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People have been enjoying the benefits of yoga for thousands of years. But modern yoga was not introduced to Western culture until late in the 1800s.
Today, people around the world practice yoga for its physical and mental health benefits. Many find that yoga also helps them to gain spiritual strength in their lives. Yoga has become one of the best-known and most practiced kinds of exercise. The art of yoga has even gained popularity among people with hectic modern lifestyles.
The COVID-19 pandemic impacted and continues to impact people’s lives. Yoga instructors have met this challenge by switching from in-person classes to a more online approach. Even though yoga requires more mobility than some other forms of exercise, the yoga industry hasn’t been affected as much as others.
The yoga industry has also had a major impact on the global economy. Thanks to this increased interest in yoga, a whole new industry has emerged, selling yoga mats, pants, blocks, straps, and other equipment.
In spite of yoga’s popularity, some people are still skeptical about its benefits. This article considers 50 intriguing yoga statistics to help clear up some common misconceptions. These yoga statistics cover everything you need to know about yoga. They explain where yoga got its start and how yoga is doing in the modern world.
General Facts About Yoga
In 2016, the Yoga Journal reported on some yoga statistics in the U.S. By that time, 36.7 million people were practicing yoga, which was an increase from the 20.4 million yoga practitioners in 2012. Now, the market for yoga in the U.S. is worth $16 billion . Around the world, the market for yoga is now worth $80 billion.
Yoga is based on Indian philosophy. It teaches discipline of both the body and the mind. People practice yoga all around the world. Yoga has also been added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
Yoga got its start 5,000 years ago in the Indus-Sarasvati civilization from the north of India. The first mention of yoga was in the sacred Rig Veda texts. These texts contained records of songs, mantras, and rituals for the Brahmans, who were Vedic priests.
Women were not allowed to participate in yoga classes until 1937. Before that, yoga classes were exclusively for men. Today more women practice yoga than men, in fact, 72% of people who practice yoga are women.
Many people consider yoga one of the most successful by-products of globalization. Worldwide, over 300 million people practice some form of yoga out of over 100 different yoga styles.
In 1982, Angela Farmer created the first version of the yoga mat. She used a carpet underlay during yoga classes to create a non-slip surface.
Yoga is good for everyone. While most yoga practitioners are 30 to 49 years old, over 14 million yogis (yoga practitioners) are 50 years old or older.
The world’s oldest yoga teacher, Tao Porchon-Lynch, lived to be 101 years old.
Yoga Journal reports that the following ten yoga poses are the most popular:
- Chaturanga Dandasana (Four-Limbed Staff Pose)
- Malasana (Garland Pose)
- Crescent Lunge
- Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)
- Salamba Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Supported Bridge Pose)
- Salamba Sirsasana II (Supported Headstand)
- Janu Sirsasana (Head-to-Knee Forward Bend)
- Ustrasana (Camel Pose)
- Viparita Karani (Legs-up-the-Wall Pose)
- Reclining Supported Twist
Health Benefits of Yoga
Here are a few yoga statistics that explain the health benefits of yoga:
Some research indicates that practicing yoga may help delay aging.
Yoga works each muscle in the body.
Yoga can also benefit people with depression and chronic pain. A new study from the American Osteopathic Association showed that a mindfulness-based stress relief course helped people to process pain better. It was also shown to improve people’s moods. 89% of people who participated to the program said that it helped them discover better ways to cope with pain. The other 11% chose to remain neutral.
40% of yoga practitioners claim that yoga helps inspire them to make healthier food choices. Research shows that yoga can help people make good lifestyle choices and maintain them. For example, people find that yoga makes it easier to become vegetarian, lose weight, or make similar lifestyle choices.
Yoga may help with PTSD. In another study, 64 women were asked to practice yoga once a week. At the end of the study, 52% of female participants with severe anxiety and PTSD no longer met the criteria for PTSD.
Yoga also helps children. Kindergarten-based yoga practice can help five-year-olds to increase visual attention and visual-motor precision. Over the course of 12 weeks, yoga was also shown to help decrease hyperactivity and inattentive behavior in the five-year-olds.
In one U.K. survey, yoga practitioners agreed that yoga improves physical and mental health. 88% said that they had observed physical benefits, and 86.2% said they saw a positive impact on their mental health. 82.6% of participants commented that yoga had helped with their stress levels. 87.1% said practicing yoga made them feel stronger, and 91.6% said their flexibility had improved. 69.3% of yoga practitioners in the survey said that yoga helped them make lifestyle changes. 57.4% of people even said they sleep better since they started practicing yoga.
One study on how yoga affects students’ mental health showed that practicing yoga had a major impact on the students. Students who practiced yoga twice weekly for three months saw decreased psychological distress. And the good impact lasted long after the yoga classes were over. In the two weeks leading up to the yoga classes, 60% of the students had a baseline score of 1.75 on the Hopkins Symptom Checklist (HSCL-25), which measures psychological distress. 1.75 indicates moderate to severe distress levels. After the course finished, only 39% were still above this mark. After the three-month check-in, that number had dropped to 34%.
In addition, yogis are 61% less likely to suffer from high blood sugar levels in comparison to nonpractitioners. They are also 52% less likely to have high triglyceride levels or a high body mass index.
So why do people practice yoga? There are a number of reasons. Here are a few:
- To release tension (54% of practitioners)
- To become physically and mentally stronger (52%)
- To increase happiness (43%)
- To have “me” time (27%)
- To not feel as lonely (21%)
- To disconnect from technology (20%)
Meditation and Mindfulness Facts
In the U.S., meditation ranks second most popular in any mind and body practice. The number of Americans who practice meditation has tripled in the last ten years. Over 14% of adults have tried meditation at least one time. 7% of children in the U.S. meditate on a regular basis.
Meditation may have been around for as much as 2,600 years.
The Vedas contains the oldest known record of meditation (around 1500 BCE).
Somewhere between 200 and 500 million people around the world meditate, although women are two times more likely to try meditation than men.
Also, adults between the ages of 45-64 meditate more than any other age group.
The market for meditation is worth about $1.21 billion in the U.S.
Meditation is shown to improve concentration and memory, and can literally change your brain. It may also help alleviate lower back pain. Monks can even increase the temperature of their extremities by up to 17 degrees Fahrenheit during deep meditation.
Around 43% of employers either offer mindfulness training now or are considering offering it. One survey found that 52% of organizations asked include some kind of mindfulness training or stress relief for their staff.
One of the companies to first offer meditation in the workplace was Disney.
The top reason people start practicing meditation is for their general wellness.
The global wellness economy is currently valued at $4.4 trillion. It is predicted to increase to $7 trillion by the year 2025.
The wellness market in the U.S., currently worth $1.2 trillion, is the largest in the world. The second largest, China, is about half the size. Their wellness market is worth about $683 billion. The U.S. market in general counts for about 28% of the global market.
In 2020, the wellness market accounted for 5.1% of all global economic output. Currently, the market for health and wellness is growing at a steady rate of 10%. Based on new 2021 data, this seems to be the rate that it will continue to grow. During 2022, the corporate wellness market worldwide is expected to reach a value of $66 billion.
Recent research shows that wellness matters to consumers, and their interest continues to grow. In a survey that spanned six countries and over 7,500 people, 79% said that wellness is very important. 42% of people considered wellness to be a top priority.
About 33% of small companies and 75% of large companies have run some kind of wellness program.
Wellness programs that have been well-designed have a good return on investment. The return over a period of two to nine years can be somewhere between one and a half to three times the amount spent.
Yoga Popularity by Regions
Here are some yoga statistics worldwide.
North and South America
Somewhere around 67% of Americans have given yoga a try at least once before, and in the last 6 months, over 15% of people in America have done some kind of yoga. 64% of people questioned want to practice yoga more regularly than they did last year.
It has been prohibited to teach yoga in schools in Alabama since 1993. However, a bill was presented in the Alabama House of Representatives to lift the ban. The bill passed with a 73-25 vote in favor of allowing yoga to be taught in schools.
Yoga came to the US in the 18th century.
In the US, 56% of yoga practitioners are beginners.
In the last four years, the number of Americans who practice yoga has increased by more than 50%, and between 2012 and 2016, the number of yoga practitioners grew by 50%.
Yoga is the most commonly practiced complementary approach to health in the United States, with 55% of yoga practitioners feeling that yoga helps them sleep better.
21% of Canadians said they practice yoga. (That’s one in five Canadians.)
Out of the countries surveyed, Brazil saw the highest growth rate of yoga influencers, with growth dynamics of 493% on average every day in March 2020.
10% of Chinese individuals with a high net-worth favor yoga as an activity. This makes it the fourth most popular sport among millionaires in China.
In the last five years, Japan saw a 413% increase in yoga practitioners.
The yoga studios market in Australia is estimated to have a value of $608 million in 2022.
One survey showed that Australians considered gentle or restorative yoga as the top mindful movement. In surveying people who exercised in a group, 10% go to a gentle or restorative yoga class.
Europe and the United Kingdom
One study released some yoga statistics detailing why people in the U.K. practice yoga. 39% of people said they practice general wellness yoga. 19% said they do yoga to improve their general fitness, and 8.5% do so to improve flexibility. Interestingly, 9.5 % of people began to practice yoga to help with a specific physical condition. 6% said they started practicing yoga to improve their mental health.
The pilates and yoga industry in the U.K. grew by 25.1% in 2022. The industry is now worth $845.1 million in the U.K.
The world has also seen an increase in Instagram influencers promoting yoga. In Spain, the number grew by 221%, and Italy saw a 110% increase. Other countries have also seen an increase. Australia saw a 127% increase in yoga Instagram influencers. Not all countries have seen such drastic growth, but the numbers are still swelling. For example, Germany saw a 58% increase, and the U.S. saw a 50% increase.
Yoga as a Business: Key Industry Statistics
The art of yoga has grown to be so much more than just a spiritual practice. It has become one of the largest growing industries worldwide. To get an idea of the scope of the industry, here are a few more yoga statistics.
Americans spend an estimated $16 billion every year on yoga equipment and classes.
The yoga industry is now estimated to value at approximately $88 billion. Predictions calculate that that number will increase to $215 billion by 2025. According to recent data, the market for yoga in the U.S. is growing at a steady 9.8% each year.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the yoga industry saw a growth of 154% in the demand for yoga supplies and equipment.
In just four years, the amount of money spent on the yoga industry worldwide went from $10 billion to $16 billion.
Adults between the ages of 25 to 34 spend more money on activewear than any other age group.
The average yogi spends an average of $90 a month on yoga-related costs, including lessons, workshops, and accessories. That amounts to about $62,640 spent on yoga during a person’s lifetime. The yoga market has its trends, just like any other industry, and many people who practice yoga like to follow the current yoga fashion trends.
In the U.S. alone, there are over 6,000 yoga studios. Close to 40% of them report somewhere between 100 to 500 students each week.
Over one billion Instagram posts include a hashtag that is yoga related. This makes Instagram a great option for yoga businesses to market online. Another option is YouTube, where the most popular yoga channel is hosted by Adriene Mishler. There are over 11 million subscribers to this channel.
Yoga instructors make good money. The average yearly salary for yoga instructors comes out to $75.292. That is about $36.20 per hour. This means that, in a week, yoga instructors make $1,447. In a month they make about $6,274.
Private yoga sessions cost somewhere between $70 and $150 each.
Corporate yoga sessions cost a bit more. Depending on how many employees will be participating, they may cost anywhere from $75 to $250.
Calm is the most downloaded app in its genre. Between Google Play and Apple’s App Store, the app was downloaded 9.6 million times from January to June 26 in 2022. The app provides courses and exercises to help people reduce stress. Here are a few similar apps that many people downloaded this year:
- Headspace (downloaded 5.2 million times)
- Yoga Go (also 5.2 million downloads)
- Meditopia (4.6 million)
If you are planning a yoga event, here are some trends and yoga statistics to keep in mind:
- In 47% of cases, people are more likely to stick to a good routine of wellness when they are accountable to a teacher or a class.
- In 2019 38% of yogis planned to increase participation in other wellness activities.
- Outside of in-person classes and yoga sessions, 24% of yoga practitioners also participated in video or app yoga sessions. 22% of people also used guided meditations by an app or video in order to reduce stress.
- 86% of people said they see a big improvement in their mood after doing yoga. 43% said they feel very happy after a yoga session.
Conclusion on Yoga Statistics
Yoga may be an ancient art, but it is as relevant today as ever. The yoga statistics covered in this article prove this beyond a doubt.
The yoga industry is a fast-growing, multimillion-dollar industry. Each year, millions of people are drawn into yoga worldwide.
And those numbers are expected to continue to grow. Countless yoga statistics show that people start practicing yoga because it has a positive impact on their physical and mental health.
If you enjoyed reading this article about yoga statistics, you should check out this one with yoga marketing ideas you could use.
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