Yoga Statistics - Featured Image

34 Life-Altering Yoga Statistics & Facts for 2020

by Hermina Drah

If you’re new to the relaxation yoga provides or you want to learn amazing new things about this miraculous ancient practice, then you’re in the right place. In this article, beginners and advanced yogis alike can learn about the most interesting yoga statistics and facts from different parts of the world. 

Put simply, yoga is an ancient practice involving breath control, relaxation, positive thinking, meditation, and physical exercise. Individuals who practice yoga claim that it gradually develops total harmony in one’s mind, body, and surroundings. 

So put on some calming music, grab a hot cup of tea, and take a deep breath, because here are the ultimate stats on yoga that will convince you to start the practice today.

The Top 10 Most Fascinating Yoga Statistics and Demographics 

  • There are more than 300 million yogis all across the globe.
  • 44% of those in America who practice yoga consider themselves beginners.
  • 38% of the individuals who practice yoga in the US are over 50.
  • 20% of yogis in the US are more likely to have a positive self-image after practicing yoga regularly.
  • 85% of the individuals who practice yoga regularly experience less stress in life.
  • According to the global yoga facts, 53.3% of the female respondents in an Italian survey expressed interest in yoga and pilates.
  • Practicing yoga at least twice a week may improve sleep quality and reduce insomnia.
  • 10% of the individuals who attempted yoga experienced musculoskeletal pain.
  • There’s a 21% chance that yoga will worsen existing injuries.
  • 74% of the individuals who practiced yoga experienced less lower back and neck pain.

Yoga Industry Statistics in the US

Yoga Statistics - US

1. 8.7% of Americans are practicing yoga.

(YogaUOnline)

Even though 20 million Americans practicing yoga might seem like a large number, the statistics show that it’s quite a small percentage of the population. The numbers are based on data from a fairly recent survey by Yoga Journal, which also claims that there are more people practicing yoga now than there were in 2004. In fact, there were only 15.8 million yogis in the US in 2004, yoga stats show.

2. 44% of the individuals in America who practice yoga consider themselves beginners.

(YogaUOnline)

According to the data, 38.4% of Americans have practiced yoga for less than a year, and an impressive 44% consider themselves new to the practice. This optimistic information shows that there are more and more new people becoming interested in yoga. Nevertheless, a mere 15.6% of yogis consider themselves true experts.

3. The yoga facts and data from 2012 claim that 82.2% of practitioners in the US are women.

(HuffPost)

Even though the ancient practice is suitable for both men and women, it’s almost entirely dominated by women in the US. One of the reasons yoga may be more popular among women is because the industry’s marketing tends to specifically target this group when selling products such as yoga mats, water bottles, and juice cleanses.

4. However, more recent statistics from 2016 showed that 28% of yogis in the US are men.

(DoYouYoga)

Even though yoga is still primarily practiced by women, yoga statistics from 2016 found that more and more men are getting in touch with their inner Zen. The current percentage is much higher than it had been in the past. Some of the most popular yoga poses for men include the standing forward fold (or uttanasana), warrior one, chair pose, downward-facing dog, butterfly pose, and half pigeon.

5. 34% of individuals in the US say they’re likely to try the ancient practice.

(PR Newswire)

Trying yoga out can be quite daunting, especially if you don’t have an experienced guru to guide you through the practice. According to the yoga statistics from 2016, less than half of the US is willing to try yoga in the following 12 months.

6. 38% of the individuals who practice yoga in the US are over 50.

(Yoga Alliance)

When are you too old to start practicing yoga? According to some interesting statistics, it’s never too late to take part in this relaxing practice! In fact, experts suggest that women over 50 start incorporating more yoga into their lives because it may improve strength and flexibility.

7. It’s believed that there will be over 55 million yogis by 2020!

(FTNnews, Statista)

Looking at the yoga industry statistics from 2018, the number of people practicing yoga in the US is significantly increasing. In fact, the Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends for 2018 lists yoga among the hottest fitness trends in the world for that year. 

8. In the US, 1 in 3 practitioners has attempted yoga outside of class at least once.

(Tantra Yoga Thailand)

The best way to start practicing yoga is by attending a yoga class with a skilled instructor who will guide you through the practice. However, sometimes we don’t have enough time or money for classes, so we look for alternative ways. Based on findings from the Yoga in America Study from 2018, more and more people are considering practicing yoga at home.

9. 20% of yogis in the US are more likely to have a positive self-image after practicing yoga regularly.

(Yoga Alliance)

The number-one way to cultivate self-love and have higher self-esteem is by practicing yoga daily. Yoga helps individuals connect with their inner Self, and it helps them focus on what they can do instead of what they can’t. Studies show that individuals who practice yoga are more likely to utter sentences like “I am willing to give back to the community” and “I have good dexterity.”

Yoga Statistics in the UK

Yoga Statistics - UK

10. There are 300,000–460,000 yogis in the United Kingdom.

(Core Strength Yoga)

It isn’t a surprise that the Sports Council recognized the British Wheel of Yoga as the national governing body for the ancient practice in the United Kingdom. According to fairly recent numbers, almost half a million people in the UK practice yoga!

11. There are more than 10,000 active yoga instructors in the UK.

(Finder)

Individuals who want to become qualified yoga instructors can turn to the British Wheel of Yoga, where a diploma and a level four certificate is offered to the best of the best. According to the yoga participation statistics in the UK, altogether these yoga instructors teach between 20,000 and 30,000 yoga classes each week.

12. The word “yoga” is among the 15 most popular words in the UK.

(Tribune India)

Expert linguist and researcher from Lancaster University, Robbie Love, compiled a list of the most popular words in the UK, and found that “awesome,” “Facebook,” “Twitter,” and “yoga” are among the top most-used words in the country. Furthermore, in the UK, yoga was one of the most popular searched-for words on Google in 2016.

13. According to the yoga industry statistics from 2018 in the UK, the yoga and pilates industry was worth over £875 million.

(Finder)

According to the 2018 statistics on yoga in the UK, there was a 2.1% increase in this market between 2017 and 2018. Pilates is considered a practice similar to yoga in the sense that it also alleviates high stress levels, is an excellent form of physical activity, and increases focus.

Yoga Statistics Worldwide

Yoga Statistics - Worldwide

14. There are more than 300 million yogis all across the globe.

(Yogi Times)

According to the global statistics on yoga, the accessibility of this practice across all ages and genders in multiple countries contributes to its growing popularity. In fact, most cities nowadays have at least one local yoga school or yoga center.

15. The number of yogis in Japan has risen by 413% in the past 5 years.

(Yogi Times)

Based on the global yoga population statistics, the popularity of the practice has especially risen in different parts of Japan. An increasing number of yoga retreats have opened all across the country, with several in Hakuba, Ishigaki, Myoko, Nagano, and Tokyo. Japanese yoga helps individuals in improving mental clarity, releasing mental and emotional tension, and enhancing muscle tone.

16. More than half of the yogis in the world are Indian.

(ETHealthWorld)

Even though yoga is practiced worldwide, not many are aware of the fact that its birthplace is beautiful India. Based on data from a 2017 study examining global yoga statistics and yoga in India, over half of the yogis in the world are originally Indian. In fact, many Indians consider yoga one of their most valuable cultural resources.

17. However, 80% of youth respondents in a Hindustan Times survey in India indicated that they don’t consider yoga important.

(Hindustan Times)

Since yoga is India’s ancient tradition, one would assume that Indians, in particular the youth in the country, would go crazy for the practice. According to further statistics on the future of the yoga industry in India, 70% of citizens don’t get enough regular physical exercise, and about 62.5% don’t have a healthy diet regime.

18. 53.3% of female respondents of a survey in Italy are interested in yoga and pilates.

(Statista)

Since Italy has many gorgeous yoga retreats—in Tuscany, Sardinia, and Rome, for example—one could freely assume that Italians are fond of this relaxing practice. According to the yoga statistics from 2019 based on a survey of Italian females who practice yoga and pilates, more than half of the participants enjoyed these calming activities. 

19. In 2016, there were 754 yoga facilities in Beijing.

(Statista)

The Chinese seem to be die-hard fans of the ancient Indian practice. Based on a graph representing the number of China’s yoga facilities and their locations, the most yoga centers are located in Beijing, followed by Shanghai and Guangzhou.

20. Only 10% of respondents in a survey in Germany claim they practice yoga regularly.

(Statista)

On the flip side, the yoga statistics and demographics in Germany show that the number of Germans practicing yoga is scarce in comparison to the Japanese and Chinese. Furthermore, statistics on the forms of yoga preferred by most Germans show that around 23% of the participants who’d been practicing yoga for the previous 24 months prefer Hatha yoga.

21. Around 30% of the Dutch prefer mindfulness or meditation yoga.

(Statista)

2016 statistics on the most popular yoga forms in the Netherlands showed that most respondents preferred meditation yoga. Additionally, 25% had a preference for Hatha yoga. The least favorite form of yoga among Dutch respondents was Bikram (only 10%). Additionally, approximately 60% of the participants found that yoga alleviates stress, while 25% claimed that yoga works best for flexible individuals.

Yoga and Health Statistics

Yoga Statistics - Health

22. 85% of individuals who practice yoga regularly experience less stress in life.

(Psychology Today)

According to the statistics on stress, it’s estimated that around 80%–90% of patients visit medical experts due to stress-related issues. Individuals who aren’t keen on taking medication should try yoga, as it’s said to train the mind and body to cope with daily stress better. Indeed, a national survey showed that more than half of the respondents who practice yoga are less stressed out.

23. What are the proven benefits of yoga? Practicing yoga at least once a week can help individuals lose around 5 lbs.

(Prevention)

Alan Kristal, a researcher at Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, conducted a study on 15,000 overweight adults over the age of 50. The results of the study found that the participants who practiced yoga once a week for around four years lost an estimated 5 lbs, whereas those who didn’t managed to gain 13.5–20 lbs.

24. Yoga statistics from 2018 on insomnia show that practicing yoga at least twice a week may improve sleep quality and reduce insomnia.

(Yoga Goa India, Psychology Today)

Shocking statistics in the US show that around 10%–15% of the population is battling with chronic insomnia. Furthermore, 40% of American adults suffer from insomnia every year. Luckily, a study found that yoga may help reduce fatigue, improve sleep quality, and reduce the use of sleep medication.

25. Yoga may significantly increase libido levels.

(JSM)

Practicing yoga may help individuals suffering from decreased libido levels by assisting in the reduction of stress and cortisol according to the yoga statistics. A study conducted on 40 women in their 20s and 50s found that after practicing yoga for 12 weeks, there was an improvement in patients’ sexual functions. The study also highlights the fact that the improvement was more evident in older women.

26. Yoga may decrease symptoms of depression by 58%.

(Medical News Today)

Around 16.1 million American adults suffer from some form of depression within a 12-month period. Fortunately, yoga is an all-natural way to treat and prevent depression in individuals who prefer to stay away from medication. Stats show that 13 million American adults have experienced better mental health and clarity after practicing yoga for a year.

Yoga Injuries Statistics

Yoga Statistics - Injuries

27. 10% of individuals who’ve attempted yoga experienced musculoskeletal pain.

(ScienceDirect)

Even though some people practice yoga to increase flexibility and alleviate musculoskeletal pain, a study conducted on 354 people found that the practice may instead be a cause of the condition. Thus, yoga instructors are urged to discuss the risk of musculoskeletal pain with yogis.

28. There’s a 21% chance that yoga will worsen existing injuries.

(The Guardian, Locomotive)

Furthermore, yoga contributes to 10% of incidences of pain per year. However, in the case of yoga in the workplace, statistics show that the practice alleviates frequent pain from various desk jobs.

29. 74% of individuals who practice yoga experience less lower back and neck pain.

(The Guardian)

Even though yoga poses such as downward dog and pigeon may put a significant amount of weight on the extremities, there’s good news too. Most people also claimed that the practice helped them alleviate symptoms of pain in the body.

30. When it comes to yoga injuries, statistics indicate that there’s a 13.3% likelihood that yogis will experience pain in the elbows, wrists, hands, or shoulders.

(The Guardian)

A small percentage of surveyed participants reported experiencing new pain in different body parts, such as the wrists. To prevent wrist pain, yogis should keep proper form and warm up before practice.

FAQs

Yoga Statistics - FAQ

1. Is yoga scientifically proven?

(Medium, Pharmacy Times)

In short, yes, yoga has been confirmed by scientists to help in flexibility, endurance, strength, and mental health. 

Fairly recent findings have also shown that yoga may significantly improve cardiovascular health by boosting heart health and lung capacity. Other benefits include reduced stress levels, reduced inflammation, and boosted libido levels. A study at Johns Hopkins found that individuals who practiced yoga for at least eight weeks experienced less pain, had better moods, and had more energy.

2. Does yoga really help with anxiety?

(Verywell Mind)

Yes, yoga is an excellent way to combat anxiety and panic attacks. Individuals who suffer from a panic attack or anxiety may have different uncomfortable symptoms such as tightness and tension, and they may also be highly sensitive to pain. According to the experts, asanas, or yoga poses, could help people struggling with anxiety as they stretch tight muscles and balance the mind.

3. How many times a week should I do yoga?

(Yoga Journal)

According to professionals, the wonderful benefits of yoga may be felt even if the person decides to practice it for only an hour every week. However, it’s best to practice yoga more frequently, ideally daily. 

Beginners should start off slow at around 2–3 sessions per week, whereas more experienced yogis can practice it as frequently as desired. If you’re interested in Vinyasa yoga, it’s best to practice it up to 3–5 times a week so there’s enough time for the body to get proper rest. It’s important to incorporate rest days into a weekly regime since rest is needed for recovery.

4. What are the disadvantages of yoga?

(Inspired Abundance)

Surprisingly, yoga comes with a few disadvantages. First, because yoga is a form of physical exercise, it carries some of the same risks as any other type of workout. Yogis often need to incorporate rest days into their weekly regime and to stop immediately if pain is present. 

Second, Bikram yoga, or “hot yoga,” may not be suitable for individuals who can’t deal with high temperatures. Furthermore, yoga instructors may discourage participants from drinking water during Bikram sessions, and this can lead to dehydration. 

Third, yoga may exacerbate already existing injuries, so it’s important to consult with a skilled yoga instructor before starting off.

Conclusion

Yoga Statistics - Facts

This ancient Indian discipline has been practiced for thousands of years, providing individuals of all ages and skill levels with heaps of benefits. Nevertheless, the yoga statistics in this article have shown that the practice comes with a few risk factors and precautions, so it’s vital to consult with a medical expert before committing to it. 

In sum, yoga is a powerful spiritual practice known for calming the mind, relaxing the body, and even burning some extra calories.

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