The popularity of yoga is on the rise in the United States, but yoga has been popular in India for about 2,000 years.

Popularity of Yoga in the United States

Popularity of Yoga in the United States

In the United States, the popularity of yoga began to rise in the 1960s. Today, yoga enjoys the greatest popularity in the North Eastern states and on the West Coast in states like California, Oregon, and Washington.

Yoga can:

  • Increase joint and muscle flexibility
  • Tone your muscles
  • Induce a state of relaxation

Doing yoga regularly also helps:

  • Control blood sugar levels
  • Reduce blood pressure
  • You quit smoking

Is Yoga Really Popular in the US?

Thanks to a popularity of yoga study supported by a grant from the National Health Institutes and published in the journal Alternative Therapies, we know just how popular yoga is in the United States. In this study, “current users” are people who did yoga in the past year and they made up 3.7% of the people surveyed.

The results of a phone survey administered to 2,055 adults show:

  • 7.5 percent had done yoga at least once in their lives
  • 49.3 percent had practiced yoga at least once in the last year (of the aforementioned 7.5 percent)
  • Apply the study’s statistics to the number of U.S. adults and you’ll find over 7 million are current yoga users

What Type of Person 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.The average age of current yoga users is 43 and the average age people take their first yoga class is about 28.

Current yoga users in the United States are more likely to be:

  • female
  • a college graduate
  • someone that doesn’t follow Christianity

Why Do Americans Do Yoga?

To determine the popularity of yoga in the United States, 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 percent of current yoga users do yoga for wellness and preventative purposes
  • 47.9 percent of yoga students attend yoga classes to address a specific health condition
  • 29 percent of current users cited back or neck pain as their reason

The most popular reasons to do yoga are as a natural treatment for:

  • neck pain
  • anxiety
  • arthritis
  • depression

Reference for Popularity of Yoga in the United States

1. Alternative Therapies; Prevalence and Patterns of Adult Yoga Use in the United States: Results of a National Survey; Robert B. Saper et al.; March/April 2004.