Statistics about yoga show that it’s growing in popularity every year with more and more money being spent on classes, clothing and equipment.
Around the world people are learning the benefits and embracing the practice.
General Facts about Yoga
4. People aged between 30 and 49 years old practice yoga more than any other age group.
5. Male yoga practitioners are known as ‘yogis’, female practitioners are known as ‘yoginis’.
7. Yoga is the most commonly used complementary health approach in the US.
This is closely followed by meditation, which is also growing. Since 2012 the number of people practicing meditation has tripled!
8. There are more than 100 styles of yoga!
9. In 2016 there were over 52,000 registered yoga teachers.
If you were wondering how many yoga studios there were in the US, the answer is, a huge number and it’s growing!
11. There are close to one billion #yoga posts on Instagram!
12. Research has shown that practicing yoga can delay aging.
The study published by the US National Library of Medicine followed 96 individuals and looked at different aspects of aging.
They discovered that yoga combined with meditation, that has its own range of benefits, helped to delay the aging process and prevent the onset of many different diseases.
13. Americans spend $16 billion on yoga classes and equipment each year.
The global yoga market is just as epic, it’s now believed to be worth $80 billion, the equivalent of 15 billion Big Macs!
History of Yoga Facts
Though yoga is popular today worldwide, there’s really nothing new about it! It’s a practice with a rich history and an interesting story to tell.
2. The word ‘yoga’ comes from the Sanskrit language and literally means ‘union’.
4. “Yoga is not a religion. It is a science, science of well-being, science of youthfulness, science of integrating body, mind and soul” – Amit Ray.
Though historically there are links to both Hinduism and Buddhism, yoga is not a religious practice, with Amit Ray, a renowned yoga, meditation and mindfulness speaker, referring to it instead as a ‘science’.
5. Yoga was introduced to America in the 18th century.
Swami Vivekananda, a Bengali intellect, is responsible for introducing the practice of yoga and meditation to the people of Chicago, where his ideas were seen as new and revolutionary.
6. Yoga was originally practiced as a form of healing.
Healing yoga aims to look deep within the individual and use various techniques to not only treat their physical health but also their emotional and mental wellbeing.
Yoga is being introduced in to many medical centers as a complementary therapy alongside other treatments.
9. Yoga is considered to be one of the most successful products of globalization.
10. Yoga practitioners used to use grass or animal skin as a mat for their postures.
Benefits of Yoga Facts
If you’re wondering whether yoga is helpful or harmful then take a look at the benefits yoga can have on your physical and mental wellbeing.
1. Yoga can work every muscle in your body.
Don’t underestimate the power of yoga, it can do so much!
They also practice yoga for their mental wellbeing, to reduce stress and live more mindfully.
2. Yoga boosts your immune system.
According to a recent Norwegian study, which looked at the health benefits of yoga in relation to the immune system, findings showed that practicing yoga caused molecular changes that encouraged the circulation of immune cells.
3. Yoga classes twice each week can help to ease depression.
Findings published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine showed that Iyengar yoga, which focusses on deep breathing, was used in the study and helped to treat the symptoms of depression.
4. Those suffering from anxiety could benefit from practicing yoga.
There have been a number of studies into the impact of yoga practice on symptoms of anxiety.
A systematic review of all the results suggested positive outcomes, particularly for those suffering from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, however more research is needed to determine in what way it can help.
5. Practicing yoga can help you feel less stressed!
The Department of Physical Education at Banaras Hindu University discovered that practicing yoga can lower your pulse rate and blood pressure, reducing the body’s need to take in more oxygen, helping you feel more calm and in control.
6. Yoga benefits individuals who suffer from lower back pain.
With 80% of Americans experiencing back pain at some time in their life, complementary therapies are becoming more widely used.
8. Yoga can delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
Research funded by the Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation found that yoga combined with meditation could delay cognitive impairment, typically the first indicator of the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
9. Yoga in the workplace can help to improve productivity.
A team at Bangor University found that regular yoga sessions within the workplace helped to reduce back problems and also the number of sick days taken by employees.
11. Diabetes patients can help to control their condition by regularly practicing yoga.
Bidar Institute of Medical Sciences found, during a 2015 study, that blood glucose levels drop by 10% in those who practiced yoga for ten days in a row and also attended talks about the correlation between yoga and diabetes.
12. Practicing yoga can help you lose weight.
Discoveries by the Department of Nursing Research and Translational Science found that yoga helped respondents to eat more mindfully, and the support of the yoga community helped to maintain long term weight loss.
13. Hot yoga can improve your physical fitness.
Hot yoga, which is held in a room that can reach temperatures of 105 Fahrenheit, has so many physical and mental health benefits.
However there are a number of risks that it’s important to know.
14. Yoga can help treat the symptoms of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).
The National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences in India looked at how regular yoga practice could impact the symptoms of OCD.
Results showed a considerable improvement in the associated symptoms and experts called for further research to validate the findings.
15. Prisoners in India can reduce their sentence by getting top marks in a yoga test.
The study held at a prison in Pune in 2015 used yoga as a way to help inmates improve their mental and physical health.
A reduction in violent crime within the prison was seen following the trial.
16. You’ll get a better night’s sleep if you practice yoga.
According to a study from the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, 55% of those who practiced yoga regularly said they slept better.
With a growing number of people suffering from sleep disorders, it’s worth a try!
Plus there are certain poses that are particularly good for inducing sleep.
18. Yoga has been shown to help with premature ejaculation.
Like meditation, yoga is a wonderful alternative to medication for premature ejaculation.
A research project in 2007 compared yoga practice with fluoxetine, a drug commonly used for treating the condition.
All patients in the yoga test group showed improvements, however the sample size was small so it was felt that additional research was still required.
Facts about Yoga Poses
True yogis know that the practice is about more than just the asanas, however there are certain poses that seem to be more powerful than others.
2. You don’t always need to follow instructions. Mysore yoga invites you to simply turn up and practice whichever pose you enjoy.
3. According to DOYOUYOGA.com, below are the top 10 most popular yoga poses:
- The Lotus Pose
- Downward Facing Dog
- Half Lord of the Fishes
- Head to Knee Forward Bend
- The Cobra Pose or Bhujangasana
- The Crane Pose
- The Supported Shoulderstand or Salamba Sarvangasana
- Trikonasana or Triangle Pose
- Balasana or Child’s Pose
- Standing Forward Bend or Uttanasana
4. Performing ‘power poses’ can improve your self-esteem!
Research conducted in 2017 showed how ‘power poses’, which are expansive and open positions which take up a lot of space, helped to boost the self esteem of respondents compared to standing poses.
The study also showed an increase in energy levels.
5. During a 2012 Yoga in Australia study, headstand was reported as the most dangerous yoga pose (7.4%), followed by:
- Shoulder Stands (6.3%)
- Lotus and Half Lotus Poses (5.3%)
- Forward Bends (4.8%)
- Backward Bends (3.1%)
- Handstands (2.5%)
However don’t be put off by the dangerous poses, as there are lots of poses that are great for beginners.
- Guinness World Records (2021). Largest yoga lesson [Online]. Available from: https://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/largest-yoga-class [Accessed 20 March 2021]. ↩
- Basavaraddi, I. (see footnote 1) ↩
- United Nations (2021). International Day of Yoga 21 June [Online]. Available from: https://www.un.org/en/observances/yoga-day [Accessed 20 March 2021]. ↩
- Siddha Yoga (2021). Lord Shiva [Online]. Available from: https://www.siddhayoga.org/lord-shiva [Accessed 21 March 2021]. ↩
- Holistic Healing Therapy (2021). The Origins of Yoga [Online]. Available from: http://holistichealingtherapy.co.uk/yoga/yoga-history/ [Accessed 21 March 2021]. ↩
- Patel, S. (2021). The Origins of Yoga [Online]. Chopra. Available from: https://www.chopra.com/articles/breathing-for-life-the-mind-body-healing-benefits-of-pranayama [Accessed 21 March 2021]. ↩
- Harvard Health Publishing (2010). In the journals: Yoga may help improve women's sexual function [Online]. Available from: https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/yoga-may-help-improve-womens-sexual-function [Accessed 21 March 2021]. ↩
- Filippenko, A. (2017). Practice your favourite yoga asanas in these museums around Europe [Online]. http://museeum.com. Available from: https://www.museeum.com/practice-your-favourite-yoga-asanas-in-these-museums-around-europe/ [Accessed 21 March 2021]. ↩
- Best Health (2015). Yoga With Your Dog: Is Doga Really a Thing? [Online]. Available from: https://www.besthealthmag.ca/article/yoga-with-your-dog-is-doga-really-a-thing/ [Accessed 21 March 2021]. ↩