The yoga industry is booming. What once began as a sacred practice, hatha yoga erupted into many different commercialized styles, from hot yoga to laughter yoga.
And now, the yoga community has turned into a $16 billion yoga industry as more and more people turn to yoga for stress relief, mindfulness or physical exercise.
There are a few yoga industry statistics that have been floating around since the 2016 Yoga in America study and I wanted to contribute my own.
So I sampled my own students, all graduated from my yoga teacher training courses, to get some more intimate details about what it is like to teach and practice yoga in the US.
These are the results.
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- Yoga is increasingly more popular. There are 36 million American yoga practitioners in 2016, up from 20.4 million in 2012.
- 28% of all Americans have practiced yoga at some point in their lives.
- Yoga is becoming popular for male and older practitioners. There are 10 million male practitioners and 14 million practitioners over the age of 50 in 2016, up from 4 million of each group in 2012.
- 34% of Americans, or roughly 80 million people, say they will likely practice yoga in the next 12 months to reduce stress and increase flexibility.
- 90% of Americans are aware of yoga since 2016, up from just 75% of people being aware of yoga in 2012.
- Over 75% of practitioners also practice other forms of exercise, like cycling, running, weight lifting, or group sports.
- 50% of people practicing yoga say they also live green and sustainable lives, as well as donate time to their community.
- 75% of Americans say that yoga is good for you.
- Over 70 percent of yoga practitioners are women
- 37% of practitioners have children under the age of 18 who also practice yoga
- 71% of yoga practitioners have at least one college degree.
- 47% of people practice yoga at home.
- 80% of practitioners say they have good balance where only 64% of non-practitioners say they have good balance
- 75% of practitioners say they are physically strong where only 57% of non-practitioners say the same.
- Yogis are more likely to be involved in other forms of exercise than those who do not practice yoga.
- 86% of practitioners say they have strong mental clarity where 77% of non-practitioners feel they have mental clarity.
- 79% of yogis give back to their community where only 59% of non-practitioners do the same.
- Half of practitioners give back to their community through volunteer work.
- Only 21% of practitioners report practicing yoga for weight loss
- 69% of practitioners say they sleep better because of yoga
- 85% of practitioners say their energy levels are better because of yoga
- 90% of practitioners say their overall health has improved because of yoga
- 57% of practitioners report that yoga has helped them to maintain a healthier weight
- The yoga market is booming. Yoga practitioners spent over $16 billion on yoga products in 2016, up from $10 billion in 2012.
- Yoga practitioners are wealthy. 68% of yoga practitioners earn at least $75,000 per year.
- Yoga is paid for by Medicare. Since 2012, many Medicare programs cover yoga classes as a health benefit.
- 87% of yoga practitioners say they are spending increasingly more on items for their classes over the last 5 years.
- 66% of yoga studio owners earned income by selling yoga apparel, equipment, or accessories
- Of the top yoga clothing brands, $5 billion and $579.1 million is earned each year in sales:
- Outdoor Voices – $38 Million earned per year
- Alo Yoga – $45.1 Million earned per year
- Athleta – $1 Billion earned per year
- Lululemon – $4 Billion earned per year
- Zella – $15 Million earned per year
- Sweaty Betty – $70 Million earned per year
- Prana – $128 Million earned per year
- Gaiam – $188 Million earned per year
- Manduka – $95 Million earned per year
- Half of yoga studio owners have owned their studio for longer than 6 years
- 62% of yoga studio owners say their space is dedicated specifically to yoga
- 40% of yoga studio owners say they serve between 100 and 500 students each week
- On average, half of a studio’s earnings go to overhead costs
- 22% of yoga studio owners earned over $100,000 in 2016
- 56% of yoga studio owners say they earned from other sources besides yoga classes
- 70% of yoga practitioners say that the cleanliness of a yoga studio is a major determining factor for them taking a class there.
- 59% of yoga practitioners say a yoga studio’s location is an important part of their decision when choosing a yoga studio to practice.
- There are approximately two people interested in becoming a yoga teacher for every one actual teacher
- 52% of yogis say that the content being offered in a training is the most important aspect of choosing a training and 25% say that the most important aspect is the lead teacher
- 61% of yoga teachers spend up to $1,000 on continuing education and trainings each year
- 38% of yoga teachers spend between $1,000 and $5,000 on continuing education and trainings each year
- There are almost 20,000 yoga retreats currently running around the world, with an average price tag of $209 per attendee
- The most popular retreat destination in the world is Europe, with the highest density of retreats per square mile.
- The most common length of stay at a retreat is 7 nights, with the average daily rate of a retreat at $50 USD
- India and Nepal offer the cheapest retreats
- Botswana and Namibia offer the most expensive retreats
- Hatha and Vinyasa are the most popular yoga styles practiced at retreats
- 24% of practitioners say that yoga is a spiritual practice
- 77% of yoga teachers say that their students are somewhat curious about the spiritual practice of yoga
- 73% of practitioners believe that yoga has made them a better person
- 81% of practitioners have tried to convince others to practice yoga
- 80% of practitioners feel more connected to nature/the universe/god/a higher power through yoga
- 80% of practitioners do not believe that yoga is a religion
- Yogis are 20% more likely to have a positive self-image than people who do not practice yoga.
- 37% of yogis say that they practice yoga for their mental health
- 70% of yoga practitioners consume alcohol whereas only 65% of the US population regularly drinks alcohol
- 44% of yoga practitioners report that they’re ‘flourishing’ in terms of mental health, compared to 22% of the US population reporting themselves to be ‘flourishing’
- 67% of practitioners say their relationships with others are better because of yoga
- 87% of practitioners say they are happier because of yoga
- 61% of yoga teachers are also regular runners
- 94% of yoga teachers say they have a strong sense of mental clarity
- 93% of yoga teachers believe they have a good range of motion or flexibility
- 69% of yoga teachers also meditate
- Only 22% of yoga teachers are vegetarian
- 38% of yoga teachers have been teaching for 6-10 years
- Only 5% of yoga teacher have been teaching yoga for less than a year
- 37% of yoga teachers teach fewer than 5 hours per week, where only 5% of yoga teachers actually work full-time teaching yoga
- Only 29% of yoga teachers report teaching as their primary source of income
- 30% of yoga teachers say that teaching is just a way to provide additional spending money
- Yoga teachers mostly teach yoga as a hobby (33% of yoga teachers)
- 85% of yoga teachers earn below $2,000 per month by teaching yoga
- 37% of yoga teachers teach group classes at two or more locations
- 30% of yoga teachers teach 5 or more yoga classes per week
- 31% of yoga teachers teach 1 to 3 private yoga sessions per week
- 15% of yoga teachers spend 10 to 20 hours per week leading yoga classes
- 53% of yoga teachers believe that they are not paid fairly by yoga studios
- 30% of yoga teachers reported making money from posting selfies or videos online
- Only 31% of yoga teachers have made and distributed a yoga instructional video
- In the US, the highest density of yoga teachers is in the Northeast (30% of yoga teachers), followed by the South (30% of yoga teachers)
- 80% of yoga practitioners think that you should not be able to brand or trademark yoga (ie ‘Bikram Yoga’)
- 62% of yoga teachers do not get paid for social media posts but would like to
- 17% of yoga practitioners have experienced inappropriate touch in a class or training
- 61% of yogis read Yoga Journal online and 54% of yogis get their yoga information elsewhere online
- 55% of practitioners get their information in yoga class
- 34% of yogis learn about yoga in a retreat or conference
- 24% of practitioners get their information from emailed newsletters
- 25% of practitioners learn yoga through streaming videos and podcasts
- 99% of yoga studio owners think that yoga teachers should have continued learning through additional training
- 99% of yoga studio owners think that teachers should know about the yoga poses they’re teaching
- 66% of practitioners think their yoga teacher should be warm and friendly
- Though 24% of practitioners think that yoga is a spiritual practice, only 26% of practitioners actually want their yoga teacher to focus on the spiritual aspect of yoga
- 64% of practitioners say that they look for a yoga teacher that gives clear instructions
- 56% of practitioners want their teachers to give physical corrections to adjust the body
- 59% of practitioners want their teachers to be helpful and 58% prefer them to be approachable
- Only 38% of practitioners want their teachers to know the ‘art of sequencing’ yoga poses in a class
- 35% of yoga teachers have felt pressured by yoga studios to teach their classes in a certain way that they would not choose for themselves
- 23% of yoga teachers feel pressured by yoga studios and students to make their yoga classes more challenging than they should be
- 72% of yoga studio owners think it’s important that their teachers are registered with the Yoga Alliance
- 55% of yoga practitioners think that Yoga Alliance is not necessary at all to teach yoga
- Most yoga studio owners think it is more important that a teacher be helpful to students, give clear instruction, be approachable, be knowledgeable about the yoga poses, be warm and friendly, participate in ongoing learning, and know the ‘art of sequencing’ than it is to have a Yoga Alliance credential
- There is no correlation between a yoga instructor salary and having a Yoga Alliance credential
Proven Benefits of Yoga
- 87% of practitioners say they feel better after taking a yoga class
- 94% of yogis say they practice yoga for its wellness-related benefits
- 40% of yogis report eating healthier because of their yoga practice
- 87% of yoga practitioners over the age of 50 say that yoga helps with back pain
- 54% of practitioners of all ages practice yoga to release tension
- 59% of yogis attribute better sleep to their yoga practice
- 21% of yogis with injuries said that yoga worsened their injuries
- You are 41 times less likely to be injured practicing yoga than in other sports
- A third of yogis injured by yoga say the pain lasted for more than three months
- Practitioners over the age of 65 are more likely to be injured while practicing yoga
Whether a traditional yogi or a modern-day practitioner, I find it beautiful that yoga participation around the world has boomed to this level. Yoga and meditation are healing, especially when you move past the physical activity of the practice.
Do You Have Yoga Statistics To Contribute To This Page?
I’m looking for more data on yoga demographics, yoga retreat sales and competition, and yoga pose stats, so if you have completed a survey or study and would like to be included here, then email [email protected].