Forbes, our go-to site for all things yoga, put out their Top 10 Cities for Yoga in the U.S. They start off by reminding us that boy, this yoga thing sure is popular! and profitable. How popular and profitable? According to the 2012 study by Sports Marketing Surveys on behalf of Yoga Journal about 20 million Americans over 18 practiced yoga last year or roughly 8.7% of the adult population which is up from 15.8 million in 2008. Out of those polled who said they didn’t practice, 44% said they’d like to give it a try.
Oh yeah and celebrities do it, oh and it’s also pretty great for you, too.
As for the profitable part, Americans are doling out $10.7 billion a year on yoga classes and paraphernalia like yoga clothing, mats, props and tchotchkes, which was up a whopping 88% from 2008, which makes us think that the 44% of “aspirational yogis” aren’t too shy about strutting around in yoga pants even if they never cross the sticky mat. We’ve seen you in the soup aisle. No shame.
So out of all this yogamania, which cities win the Yoga Town title? Here’s how Forbesy got their list:
To determine the top U.S. cities for yoga, we turned to data from the marketing firm GfK MRI, which conducted surveys in 205 markets last year, asking participants whether they practiced yoga, and if so, how frequently and for how long.
So they didn’t have yogabots come practice on mats next to you in your town? No, much to our surprise and chagrin. We could have sworn that one guy was blowing a circuit a few months back and downing some sort of post-class WD-40 smoothie mumbling something like, “Got. to get. myself. in gear!”
Anyway, here they are, the Top 10 Cities Most Likely to Do Yoga (with our commentary). Can you try and guess them first? Do you think they got them right?
1. San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, CA – 59% more likely to do yoga. Congrats! Not a shocker, with all the hippies, and Yoga Journal, and yoga in the airport and everything, but we would have thought they had dropped a couple of notches by now.
2. Seattle-Tacoma, WA - 46% more likely. From the home of grunge come the lovers of lunge? Anyway, Seattle’s cool. And maybe they really believe in the power of Sun Salutations with all that rain. Believe.
3. Philadelphia, PA – 42% more likely. City of yogerly love!
4. (TIE) Washington DC and New York City, NY – 34% more likely. The DC yoga scene seems to be growing every day and they’re pretty big on election and inaugural yoga balls. NYC, is that all you got? Citing the tons of yoga studios popping up like Starbucks and incorrectly mentioning the GLBL Yoga event in Central Park (which didn’t happen) Forbes puts the big apple in the middle of the pile.
6. Baltimore, MD – 28% more likely. Hey even the Ravens do yoga!
7. Boston, MA – 26% more likely. More suburbs, more yoga. Also, the UMass Medical School in Worcester is home to the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society, and to Jon Kabat-Zinn’s well-regarded Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction method.
8. Portland, OR – 23% more likely. Yo, Portland, all the way down this far on the list? We’re surprised at you. And we’re sorry for interrupting your recycling and food truck outing. Please carry on.
9. (TIE) San Diego, Ca and Boise, ID – 21% more likely. OK, so we can’t expect all of California to be fiendish yogadorks, especially in surf town. And Boise, Boise? Boise! Go on, Boise. (It also happens to be No. 15 on Forbes’ 20 Fastest-Growing Cities list and No. 40 on the list of the Best Places for Business and Careers.)
No Boulder, no LA…Is this what you expected? Nominate your town!
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