Yoga Statistics

38 Yoga Statistics: Discover Its (Ever-increasing) Popularity

Yoga has grown massively in popularity over the past few years, with passionate yogis stretching around the world.

It’s great for both your mental and physical health, and with the value of the yoga industry growing annually, the trend shows no sign of slowing down.

Yoga Stats and Facts: A Quick Summary

  • 36 million Americans practice yoga.
  • Between 2012 and 2016 the number of Americans doing yoga grew by 50%.
  • There are an estimated 300 million yoga practitioners worldwide.
  • The worldwide yoga industry is worth $80 billion.
  • Americans spend $16 billion on yoga classes and equipment each year.
  • 72% of yoga practitioners are female.
  • Men practicing yoga rose from 4 million in 2012 to 10 million in 2016.
  • 1.7 million children are practicing yoga in the US.
  • Flexibility and stress relief are the most popular reasons for starting yoga.
  • There are currently 100,000 yoga teachers registered in the US.

Key Statistics on Yoga: Infographic

Yoga Statistics – Compiled and curated by The Good Body

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Popularity of Yoga Statistics

Take a look at our summary of the latest yoga statistics, to understand its growing popularity across the US (and the rest of the world!):

1. There are 36 million active ‘yogis’ in America.

More recent data suggests that this number could reach 55 million in 2020.

2. The number of Americans practicing yoga grew by 50% in four years.

A survey conducted by the Yoga Alliance and Yoga Journal found that the number of Americans doing yoga rose from 20.4 million to 36 million between 2012 and 2016.

In fact, yoga popularity stats show that 15% of Americans have practiced yoga in the last six months.

Did you know?

Yoga is now as popular as golf!

3. One in three Americans have tried yoga at least once.

4. 74% of US yogis have been practicing yoga for less than five years.

5. Yoga was the most commonly used complementary health practice among US adults in 2017.

Statistics show that meditation has also grown in popularity and become another go-to complementary health approach for Americans.

6. There are currently 6,000 yoga studios in the US.

7. There are currently more than 100,000 yoga teachers registered with the Yoga Alliance.

There are more than 100,000 yoga teachers registered with the Yoga Alliance

8. Acroyoga, combining asanas with acrobatics, is the most practiced style of yoga.

Hot yoga, originally known as Bikram yoga, is also growing in popularity.

It has lots of benefits but there are also a few risks that you can read more about here.

Yoga Demographics: Who practices yoga?

Yoga is no longer exclusively for the deeply spiritual. Everyone seems to be taking up the practice, however there are certain groups who know their asanas better than others:

1. 72% of yoga practitioners are female.

Women can enjoy lots of health advantages from the practice, and so can men, which has led to an increasing number of men taking up yoga!

2. Men practicing yoga rose from 4 million in 2012 to 10 million in 2016.

3. People aged between 30 and 49 years old practice yoga more than any other age group.

However yoga statistics show it’s growing in popularity with those over 50:

  • 19% of yoga practitioners are 18 – 29 year olds
  • 43% of yoga practitioners are 30 – 49 year olds
  • 38% of yoga practitioners are 50+ year olds

Yoga demographics: practitioners are predominantly female

4. Adults over 50 practicing yoga has tripled over the last four years.

5. 37% of yoga practitioners have children who also practice yoga.

6. 1.7 million children are practicing yoga in the US.

With so many advantages for kids, it’s no wonder that 400,000 more children are practicing yoga in 2012 than they were in 2007.

1.7 million children are practicing yoga in the US

7. 68% of yoga practitioners earn over $75,000 a year.

8. A large scale study found that 85% of those that regularly practice yoga are white.

Educated people are also more likely to do yoga, with research showing that 90% of yogis hold a degree.

9. Nearly 10% of yoga practitioners are vegetarian.

This is almost four times the rate of vegetarianism found in the general US population.

Yoga Market Size Statistics: Scale of the industry

As yoga has become increasingly mainstream, the worth of the yoga market has grown beyond all expectations:

1. The yoga industry is worth over $80 billion globally, the equivalent of 15 billion Big Macs!

The global yoga market is worth $80 billion dollars annually

2. Americans spend $16 billion on yoga classes and equipment each year and it looks set to keep rising.

The Yoga in America Study revealed a $6 billion increase from $10 billion in 2012, for classes as well as equipment, clothing, books and magazines.

3. In 2012, yoga was one of the fastest growing industries in the US.

Information from IBIS World showed that from 2002 to 2012 the pilates and yoga industry grew on average 12.1% per year, and was very resistant to the recession by still experiencing growth in 2008 and 2009.

4. People aged between 25 and 34 years old spend the most on activewear, including yoga clothing.

Lululemon, one of the biggest yoga clothing brands, recently published their online sales showing a 157% increase during 2020.

They also reported how yogis watched 950,000 hours of their YouTube content during the first few months of the 2020 global pandemic.

5. Searches for yoga (and meditation) apps grew 65% between 2016 and 2017.

Benefits of Yoga Statistics

Yoga has shown to have a number of different health benefits (you can read about them all here!) for both your physical and mental wellbeing.

1. Research has shown yoga to be an effective treatment for back pain.

In fact, there are a number of yoga poses that are particularly useful.

If you’re one of the 80% of Americans struggling with back pain, it could be worth a try!

2. Yoga in the workplace can improve productivity.

Research by the CDC showed that yoga practices in the workplace can improve the wellbeing of employees and in turn increase productivity.

Yoga in the workplace can improve productivity

3. 86% of yoga practitioners say they have a strong sense of mental clarity.

4. Yoga can ease the symptoms of depression.

Findings published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, showed the more yoga sessions a respondent attended each week, the greater the reduction in their depressive symptoms.

There are a number of depression and anxiety-reducing asanas you can try, to help calm a busy mind.

Stress relief, general fitness, improvement of overall health and physical fitness were also in the top five reasons for yoga participation.

The study revealed that there weren’t just benefits for their health too, yoga practitioners are more likely to live green, eat sustainably and volunteer their time to their local community.

6. Yoga is shown to improve the core symptoms of ADHD in children.

Researchers in Spain ran a study with 249 children looking at how physical exercise impacted the symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Yoga proved particularly successful in alleviating the symptoms.

Yoga improves symptoms of ADHD in children

7. Nearly 60% of yogis feel that practicing yoga improves their sleep.

With fascinating findings coming to light about the current state of people’s sleep, yoga was found to help yoga practitioners fall asleep faster.

8. 85% of yoga users feel the practice helps them to reduce their stress levels.

9. Over 40% of people who do yoga feel more motivated to make healthier food choices.

Research conducted by the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center found that yoga can help you lose weight.

Research has found that yoga can help you lose weight

Not only did respondents drop pounds during the research but they reported a changed mindset. By adopting a more mindful approach to eating, they felt it would encourage them to keep the weight off.

10. More than 75% of yoga practitioners also take part in other kinds of exercise including running, cycling and group sports.

Dangers of Yoga Statistics

Anyone who tells you that yoga “is just stretching” needs to look at the yoga injury statistics.

1. Research shows that yoga causes as many injuries as other sports.

The Faculty of Health Science at Sydney University carried out a study in 2017 which followed 354 respondents with musculoskeletal pain, who had previously taken yoga classes.

21% of participants said yoga made their pain worse, with more than 10% reporting that they felt yoga had caused their pain.

2. The headstand is thought to be the most dangerous yoga pose.

A study by the Department of Internal and Integrative Medicine in Germany, found that the shoulder stand and variations of the lotus pose also caused a higher number of injuries than other yoga poses.

3. The injury rate for yoga is steadily increasing.

The ongoing monitoring by the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, found that in 2001 there were 9.5 injuries per 100,000 participants with the number rising to 17 per 100,000, making it comparable to sports such as weight-training and golf.

The rise is believed to have come from unqualified teachers offering classes to eager beginners.

However compare the number of yoga injuries to another popular sport such as basketball (149 injuries per 100,000) and you’ll see that statistically yoga is much safer.

4. The majority of yoga injuries are to the hips, knees, ankles or feet.

It’s simply a case of making sure that you’re doing the poses correctly, chiropractor Kai Tiltmann advises:

Our current workout culture, including CrossFit, HIIT (high intensity interval training), and even yoga, can have negative consequences for the low back. In a way it’s ironic since we exercise to be strong and stay fit. However when done incorrectly these activities can cause low back pain and major tissue damage including fractures.

Done incorrectly yoga can cause low back pain and major tissue damage – Kai Tiltmann, Chiropractor

Yoga Worldwide: Global Statistics

It isn’t just the US that has fallen in love with yoga! The practice has spread quickly around the world:

1. An estimate suggests there are 300 million yoga practitioners worldwide.

Though yoga originated in India, many countries across the world have now claimed it as their own.

Did you know?

‘Yoga’ was one of the most searched for words in the UK in 2016.

2. The number of people practicing yoga in Japan has increased 413% in the last five years.

While it can be difficult to monitor yoga popularity by country, Google Trend data shows which countries Google ‘yoga’ and associated terms the most, which gives a good indication of popularity.

At the time of writing, the top five countries googling about yoga were:

  1. Canada
  2. Singapore
  3. Australia
  4. United States
  5. India

Supporting the Google Trend data is a study by The Frazer Institute, which found yoga was one of the top three most common complementary therapies used by the population of Canada over a lifetime:

  • Massage (44%)
  • Chiropractic Care (42%)
  • Yoga (27%)
  • Relaxation Techniques (25%)
  • Acupuncture (22%)

Now you’ve read a rundown of the latest yoga stats, it’s time to get to grips with the facts!

References

  1. Harvard Health Publishing (2016). New survey reveals the rapid rise of yoga — and why some people still haven’t tried it [Online]. Available from: https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/new-survey-reveals-the-rapid-rise-of-yoga-and-why-some-people-still-havent-tried-it-201603079179 [Accessed 8 December 2020].
  2. Harvard Health Publishing (see footnote 1)
  3. USA Today (2015). Ancient practice of yoga now a growth industry [Online]. Available from: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/03/01/yoga-health-fitness-trends/23881391/ [Accessed 8 December 2020].
  4. One in three Americans have tried yoga at least once. (see footnote 1)
  5. Yoga Journal and Yoga Alliance (2016). The 2016 Yoga in America Study Conducted by Yoga Journal and Yoga Alliance [Online]. Available from: https://www.yogaalliance.org/Portals/0/2016%20Yoga%20in%20America%20Study%20RESULTS.pdf [Accessed 08 December 2020].
  6. National Institutes of Health (2018). More adults and children are using yoga and meditation [Online]. Available from: https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/more-adults-children-are-using-yoga-meditation [Accessed 08 December 2020].
  7. Yogi Times (2020). 4 financial habits of highly successful yoga business owners [Online]. Available from: https://www.yogitimes.com/article/yoga-business-habits-success-studio-owners [Accessed 08 December 2020].
  8. Yoga Alliance (2020). Yoga Alliance - About Yoga Alliance [Online]. Available from: https://www.yogaalliance.org/About_Yoga_Alliance [Accessed 08 December 2020].
  9. Statista (2016). Types of yoga people in the U.S. do or did 2016 [Online]. Available from: https://www.statista.com/statistics/639286/popular-types-of-yoga-in-us/ [Accessed 08 December 2020].
  10. Yoga Journal and Yoga Alliance (see footnote 5)
  11. Yoga Journal and Yoga Alliance (see footnote 5)
  12. Yoga Journal and Yoga Alliance (see footnote 5)
  13. Yoga Journal and Yoga Alliance (see footnote 5)
  14. Yoga Journal and Yoga Alliance (see footnote 5)
  15. Harvard Health Publishing Source Date: 2016 (2016). More than just a game: Yoga for school-age children [Online]. Available from: https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/more-than-just-a-game-yoga-for-school-age-children-201601299055 [Accessed 08 December 2020].
  16. Yoga Journal and Yoga Alliance (see footnote 5)
  17. US National Library of Medicine - National Institutes of Health (2013). National Survey of Yoga Practitioners: Mental and Physical Health Benefits [Online]. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3721070/ [Accessed 08 December 2020].
  18. US National Library of Medicine - National Institutes of Health (see footnote 17)
  19. The Guardian (2017). The yoga industry is booming – but does it make you a better person? [Online]. Available from: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2017/sep/17/yoga-better-person-lifestyle-exercise [Accessed 08 December 2020].
  20. Yoga Journal and Yoga Alliance (see footnote 5)
  21. New Statesman (2012). IBIS World - Top 10 Fastest-Growing Industries [Online]. Available from: https://www.newstatesman.com/sites/default/files/files/Fastest%20Growing%20Industries.pdf [Accessed 08 December 2020].
  22. Multichannel Merchant (2016). Why Millennials Love Activewear — The Numbers Behind This Explosive Growth [Online]. Available from: https://multichannelmerchant.com/blog/why-millennials-love-activewear-the-numbers-behind-this-explosive-growth/ [Accessed 08 December 2020].
  23. Think with Google (2017). [Online]. Available from: https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/consumer-insights/consumer-trends/search-statistics-for-yoga-meditation-apps/ [Accessed 08 December 2020].
  24. US National Library of Medicine - National Institutes of Health (2016). Yoga as a treatment for chronic low back pain: A systematic review of the literature [Online]. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4878447/ [Accessed 08 December 2020].
  25. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2017). Prevalence of Mindfulness Practices in the US Workforce: National Health Interview Survey [Online]. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2017/16_0034.htm [Accessed 08 December 2020].
  26. Yoga Journal and Yoga Alliance (see footnote 5)
  27. British Journal of Sports Medicine (2020). Effects of yoga on depressive symptoms in people with mental disorders: a systematic review and meta-analysis [Online]. Available from: https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/early/2020/04/05/bjsports-2019-101242 [Accessed 08 December 2020].
  28. Yoga Journal and Yoga Alliance (see footnote 5)
  29. National Library of Medicine - National Center for Biotechnology Information (2015). The effects of physical exercise in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized control trials [Online]. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25988743/ [Accessed 08 December 2020].
  30. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2015). Wellness-Related Use of Common Complementary Health Approaches Among Adults: United States, 2012 [Online]. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr085.pdf [Accessed 08 December 2020].
  31. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2015). Wellness-Related Use of Common Complementary Health Approaches Among Adults: United States, 2012 [Online]. Available from: https://www.nccih.nih.gov/research/wellness-related-use-of-common-complementary-health-approaches-among-adults-united-states-2012 [Accessed 08 December 2020].
  32. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (see footnote 31)
  33. Yoga Journal and Yoga Alliance (2016). The 2016 Yoga in America Study Conducted by Yoga Journal and Yoga Alliance [Online]. Available from: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/06/28/yogamore-dangerous-previously-thought-scientists-say/ [Accessed 08 December 2020].
  34. The Telegraph (see footnote 5)
  35. ABC Health & Wellbeing (2013). Can yoga be dangerous? [Online]. Available from: https://www.abc.net.au/health/talkinghealth/factbuster/stories/2013/05/02/3750102.htm [Accessed 08 December 2020].
  36. SAGE Journals - Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine (2016). Yoga-Related Injuries in the United States From 2001 to 2014 [Online]. Available from: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2325967116671703 [Accessed 08 December 2020].
  37. BMJ Journals - Journal of ISAKOS (see footnote 36)
  38. Yogi Times (2020). Demographics & statistics of the yoga industry [Online]. Available from: https://www.yogitimes.com/article/unstoppable-trend-yoga-infographic-business [Accessed 08 December 2020].
  39. The Guardian (see footnote 19)
  40. Yogi Times (see footnote 38)