Over the past several decades, yoga has increasingly become one of the most popular fitness trends in the United States.
The origin of the practice, however, is much older than that. Developed in India over 5,000 years ago, long before the creation of structured religion and belief systems, yoga was created as a philosophy.
The practice was a culmination of meditation, breathwork, and spiritual development.
Although Americans were introduced to the practice of yoga in 1893, it has caught on like wildfire in recent years, developing into a fad-like phenomenon.
Regardless of the purpose, practitioners have reported significantly positive benefits to mind, body, spirit and beyond.
The Proof is on the Mat: 50 Fascinating Yoga Statistics to Date
Yoga has had a considerable effect on the economy as well. An entire industry has been formed surrounding the ever-growing practice and fitness trend.
Below is a compilation of 50 all-encompassing yoga statistics, covering multiple aspects of the ancient practice in our modern society. Despite it’s popularity, there are still plenty of skeptics. This data may help to clear up some of the most common assumptions and misconceptions.
Yoga Growth and Popularity Stats
Yoga has become one of the fastest-growing wellness practices in the past decade.
- Worldwide, approximately 300 million people regularly practice yoga.
- Approximately 36 million Americans practice yoga regularly.
- In the past 5 years alone, yoga practitioners in the U.S has increased by over 50%.
- The number of men practicing yoga went from 4 million to 10 million between 2012 and 2016 – an increase of 150%
- 34% of Americans are likely to try yoga for the first time in the next 12 months.
- Currently, 1 in 3 Americans(30%), have at least tried yoga.
- 2019 statistics list yoga as one of the top 10 fitness trends in the world.
- By 2020, the number of U.S yoga practitioners will grow to over 55 million.
Yoga Mental and Emotional Benefits Stats
Regular yoga practitioners reported the following when surveyed about the effects of yoga on emotional well-being:
- 86% report a reduction in stress.
- 69% report a positive increase in temperament and mood.
- 63% report yoga mentally motivates them to exercise more.
- 59% report an improvement in sleep quality and quantity.
- 86% report an overall improved sense of mental wellness and clarity.
- 28% report a noticeable reduction of depression symptoms.
- 79% report a feeling of closeness with their community and wanting to give back.
Physical Benefits of Yoga Stats
Yoga has been shown to provide both physical and functional benefits as well as ease symptoms of chronic and internal disease.
- 77% report being physically stronger.
- 82% of patients surveyed with chronic inflammation reduced inflammation by nearly 50% after just 6 weeks daily yoga.
- 47% of patients surveyed with progressive heart disease, stopped further progression completely after one year of regular yoga practice.
- 37% of people who drank excessively and/or smoked cigarettes credit yoga with encouraging them to stop.
- 74% of arthritic adults used regular yoga practice to dramatically reduce pain and stiffness and increase mobility, according to a 2018 UK study.
- 12 months of regular yoga can decrease total cholesterol by 23% and 26% of the LDL “bad” cholesterol.
- Over 80% of yoga practitioners with prior back pain reported significant relief of symptoms.
Industry-Related Yoga Statistics
Despite its minimal nature, yoga continues to produce a sizable profit in a rapidly expanding industry.
- Collective annual spending among Yogi’s on classes, apparel and accessories reached nearly 18 billion dollars in 2018 – About $63,000 per individual.
- There are currently 6,000 operating yoga studios in the U.S.
- As of 2018, there are 18,000 yoga instructor school in the United States.
- There were over 52,000 registered yoga instructors in 2017.
- The revenue generated by the yoga industry in the US is projected to rise to $11.6 billion by 2020.
- The market for yoga has grown on a global level to 80 billion dollars.
- Lululemon, a popular yoga apparel retailer has grown 18% in just one year, grossing 929 million.
- 24% of yogi’s in the United States practice from home using some form of digital guided yoga.
- 53% of women reported ease of menstrual symptoms with regular yoga practice.
Stats on Why People Practice Yoga
The following are the most popular reasons people surveyed have given for practicing yoga. Some reported one or more of the following:
- 61% desired an increase in flexibility.
- 56% sought yoga for stress relief.
- Over 30% began practicing yoga to ease symptoms of depression.
- 49% wished to improve general fitness and overall health.
- 44% wanted to increase strength.
- Over 45% were referred by friends or family.
- Just 13% of people practice due to a medical condition.
Characteristics of Yogis
The following are common characteristics shared among those regularly practicing yoga.
- 75% of yoga practitioners participate in other forms of exercise such as running and cycling.
- Over 55% of regular yoga practitioners attend 2-3 classes per week.
- Over 40% of yogis plan to experiment with more wellness activities in 2020.
- 67% want to practice more yoga than they did last year.
- 41% of yogis are vegetarian.
- Approximately 50% of yoga practitioners focus on meditation.
- Over 50% of those practicing yoga are more likely to volunteer and have donated to charities in the last year.
Yoga is Ageless
More recently, yoga has begun attracting curious people of all age brackets and continues to branch out.
- A 2016 study revealed that 8% of children in the United States are practicing yoga.
- 19% of yoga practitioners range between ages 18-29.
- Individuals aged 30-39 make up 43% of Yoga practitioners.
- Individuals over age 50 have shown the largest increase in yoga participation, recently reaching 38% of total yogi’s in the U.S
- 6.7% of yoga practitioners in the U.S are over the age of 65.
- Delaney, B. (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 9 July 2018].
- Ross, A., Friedmann, E., Bevans, M., & Thomas, S. (2013). National survey of yoga practitioners: Mental and physical health benefits. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 21(4), 313–323. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2013.04.001
- Rakicevic, Mira (26 June 2019) 31 Yoga Stats: The Modern World Embraces Yoga Retrieved from: https://disturbmenot.co/yoga-statistics/
- Yoga Stats: Staggering Growth shows Ever-increasing Popularity (16 November 2018) https://www.thegoodbody.com/yoga-stats/
- Magee, M. (2016) Rise of the golden yogi – why the over-50s are embracing yoga. [Online] Available from: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/health-fitness/body/rise-of-the-golden-yogi—why-the-over-50s-are-embracing-yoga/ [Accessed 9 July 2018].
- Black LI, Barnes PM, Clarke TC, Stussman BJ, Nahin RL. Use of yoga, meditation, and chiropractors among U.S. children aged 4–17 years. NCHS Data Brief, no 324. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2018.