The ‘Learning Happiness’ course at the Harvard Business School now attracts the maximum number of applicants. But this article is not about the course, but something closely related, yoga! With grueling work hours, stressful schedules and uncompromising lifestyles, the quest for human happiness is increasing; and to that extent, the yoga philosophy is increasingly being seen as a ‘must-add’.
Latest statistics are eye opening. Around 70,000 trainers are known to now impart the practice and knowledge of yoga to around 30 million people in North America alone. Not only individuals, but government offices, police, military, therapist, schools and media are also capitalising on this 5,000 years old art of living. The yoga market offers everything ranging from teachers, corporate portfolio, accessories, yoga mats, equipment, instructional books and DVDs to tours to India. But most stunningly, recent studies show that while US now spends close to $2.95 billion on yoga classes alone, the size of the yoga industry now is, phew, $30 billion! It’s quite clear that the emphasis on the quest for human happiness has the potential to not only change the world, but also to add to global GDP figures! There’s perhaps only one other ‘happiness’ industry that’s as good, if not better, in sales. April 2007 saw CNN reporting the global porn industry to be worth $57 billion... ahem!