The popularity of yoga is on the rise in the United States, but yoga has been popular in India for about 2,000 years. Most people know about yoga’s ability to increase joint and muscle flexibility, tone your muscles and induce a state of relaxation. Doing yoga regularly also helps control blood sugar levels, reduces blood pressure and helps you quit smoking. In the United States, the popularity of yoga began to rise in the 1960s. In the United States today, yoga enjoys the greatest popularity in the North Eastern states and on the West Coast in states like California, Oregon and Washington.
How Popular is Yoga?
We know just how popular yoga is in the United States thanks to a popularity of yoga study supported by a grant from the National Health Institutes and published in the journal “Alternative Therapies.” The results of a phone survey administered to 2,055 adults show 7.5% had done yoga at least once in their lives. Of that group, 49.3% had practiced yoga at least once in the last year. In this study, “current users” are people who did yoga in the past year and they made up 3.7% of the people surveyed. Apply the statistics from this study to the number of adults in the U.S.and you’ll find over 7 million adults are current yoga users.
Who Does Yoga?
You might be wondering “Who does yoga?” What type of person seeks out a yoga class? It turns out people who do yoga are a divergent group with few similarities. In fact, current yoga users in the United States are more likely to be female, with a college education that didn’t Christianity as their religion. The average age of current yoga users is 43 and the average age people take their first yoga class is about 28.
Why People do Yoga?
To determine why people do yoga, the researchers gave a select group of ‘current yoga users’ a second, and more in-depth, survey. The data from the NIH shows 63.7% of current yoga users do yoga for wellness and preventative purposes, and 47.9% of yoga students attend yoga classes to address a specific health condition. Natural treatment for neck pain, anxiety, arthritis and depression are the most popular reasons why people do yoga and the most common health problem among current yoga users was back or neck pain, which was cited by 29% of the select current yoga users surveyed.