The 2008 study has finally been eclipsed by new data from a study via Yoga Journal. So how many millions of Americans are down with the yog? A whopping 20.4 million! That’s 8. 7 percent of American adults, a 29 percent increase from 2008’s 15.8 million and a hell of a lot of coconut water. We know because the cash flow heated up like Santa in Bikram class: spending on yoga classes and products, including “equipment, clothing, vacations and media” is estimated at $10.3 billion a year, almost double the previous estimate from the 2008 study at $5.7 billion. We can hear the distant cheers of joy from retreat centers in Tulum and Costa Rica now.
It should be noted the data was gathered by Sports Marketing Surveys USA on behalf of Yoga Journal, not at lines in grocery stores and the DMV where we might have suggested. Honestly, we don’t know how the surveys were conducted, exactly, but the results seem to have yielded a lot of the obvious. More women do yoga than men (despite our love for them, male pro athletes’ and superstar endorsements and hearty crude jokes) and most practitioners are under 45. Only the Guinness World Records’ Oldest Yoga Teacher may be surprised by that one.
The study also found that 44.8 percent of practitioners consider themselves beginners which means the other 45.2 percent need a refreshing reminder that they are, too.
Here’s the 2012 info:
•82.2 percent are women; 17.8 percent are men.
•The majority of today’s yoga practitioners (62.8 percent) fall within the age range of 18-44.
•38.4 percent have practiced yoga for one year or less; 28.9 percent have practiced for one to three years; 32.7 percent have practiced for three years or longer.
•44.8 percent consider themselves beginners (22.9 percent are new to yoga; 21.9 percent are beginning to practice yoga after taking some time off); 39.6 percent consider themselves intermediate; 15.6 percent consider themselves expert/advanced.
•The top five reasons for starting yoga were: flexibility (78.3 percent), general conditioning (62.2 percent), stress relief (59.6 percent), improve overall health (58.5 percent) and physical fitness (55.1 percent)
Another interesting tidbit is that ‘of current non-practitioners, 44.4 percent of Americans call themselves “aspirational yogis”—people who are interested in trying yoga.’ And for these folks, Lululemon and all of the yoga pants fairies of the land rejoice, for it’s the “aspirational yogis” who will lead us into the future snug butt first.
For varying perspective here’s a completely un-scientific cross-section of commenters from a naturally snarky Gawker post:
Yoga helped me recover from a couple of issues and I do appreciate the relaxation and focus it promotes. I have no desire to progress beyond the “beginner” level, though, because I can see myself getting injured (and because I dislike certain parts of the yoga “culture.”) Also, when it comes to my behind, yoga can’t even come close to barre classes; those and regular strength training are why my yoga pants fit so well.
What’s wrong with being an aspiring Yogi? All the extra strength and and flexibility make it much easier to snatch pick-uh-nick baskets.
Hey everyone, I really want to get into yoga but the studios around her average at 15$/class. As a broke college student, even taking only 1 class weekly would tally up to 60$ a month. Is it worth it? And moreover, how many classes should I take every week/month? Thanks!
“You’re secure in your masculinity and you’re not about to listen to some ignorant taunts from someone who doesn’t know what the fuck they’re talking about?”
I fall in to that category. I don’t a fuck about what other people think, Hot Yoga is one of the most physically challenging things I’ve ever done.
I used to yoga because I tore out my back in high school and I never gave a shit about it being feminine.
There’s no better place to meet incredibly fit, hot women FYI. If I was single I’d be taking yoga just to hook-up.
ragepanda in reply to Manscape:
I’ve been doing yoga for almost five years…. have dated a couple girls from class, but not that many. Yes, there are hot, fit women there, but it’s not really a great way to meet people for dating. People are there to do yoga, not meet people or talk to people. It’s not like a party where you just go up to someone and introduce yourself.
Gather your own data from that.
Does this all sound about right to you?
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