Results of an Online Survey by Yoga Site
yoga practitioner is most likely a woman in her mid-thirties
who does yoga three to five times a week, has been practicing
for less than two years and believes in reincarnation. Although
not a vegetarian, she watches what she eats, goes to class
at a local yoga center, has never been on a retreat, and
is more into physical/mental fitness than enlightenment.
She thinks she's in better shape than the average American,
often gets stressed or anxious, is more likely to vote than
most people, and makes between $30,000 and $50,000 a year.
composite portrait is based on responses to "Yoga Now" --
an online survey by the Yoga Site Inc. Although few, if
any, people mirror a statistical snapshot, the survey results
provide a glimpse of who does yoga, what they do and why
they do it.
most practitioners, yoga is about postures. More than 90% practice
asanas, whereas only about half meditate and even fewer practice
pranayama. Just over a third (38%) are vegetarian, although most
say they watch what they eat. Nearly half (46%) believe in reincarnation
(35% weren't sure).
is the most popular style, practiced by about one-third (36%)
of survey respondents. Ashtanga is the second most popular style
(26%) followed by Kundalini (12%), Integral (8%), Kripalu (5%),
Sivananda (4%) and Bikram's 3%. However, a fair number of yoga
practitioners seem to be an independent lot, with 33% citing "classical/generic/eclectic"
as their style. The total equals more than 100% because many people
selected multiple styles.
half (42%) see yoga primarily as a spiritual discipline, but most
(56%) treat it as a mental and/or physical fitness program. More
than half of those surveyed (55%) originally turned to yoga for
stress relief; more than two-thirds (68%) say they feel stressed
or anxious very often.
however, yoga practitioners think they're a healthy lot. Two-thirds
say they're in better shape than the average American. They seem
to be in decent financial shape, too, with one in four (23%) citing
a household income of more than $50,000. Almost half (43%) say
their household income exceeds $30,000 a year.
of those who took the survey (58 percent) have been practicing
for less than two years. Nearly one in five (19%) does asanas
everyday, with most saying they go at it three to five times a
week. When they practice, most people (47%) do so for 30-60 minutes
a session, with 41% practicing for 60-90 minutes. Although most
(57%) have a teacher -- 48% go to a local center and 9% have a
private instructor, a large number (39%) practice on their own
without the help of a teacher.
make up about 64% of those who took the survey. The median age
of those who took the survey is 34. Respondents are about evenly
split between married (43%) and single (41%). Another 16% didn't
answer the question.
practitioners are more likely to vote than other people (71%
vs. less than 50%). Of those who vote, the vast majority (72%)
go for the Democrats, while less than 20% cast ballots for the
yoga practitioners come from a wide variety of professions, including
computer and software engineers, nurses, machinists, accountants,
marketing executives, teachers, homemakers, scientists, students...and,
of course, yoga teachers.
survey was conducted in mid-1998 by the Yoga Site and was completed
by more than 200 people.