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Yoga Now
Results of an Online Survey by Yoga Site

Today's 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.

That 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.

For 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).

Iyengar 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.

Almost 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.

Overall, 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.

Most 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.

Women 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.

Yoga 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 GOP.

Finally, 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.

The survey was conducted in mid-1998 by the Yoga Site and was completed by more than 200 people.

 
 

Please send comments or questions to: info@yogasite.com.

© 2004 Yoga Site Inc.

Yoga Site is trade mark of Yoga Site Inc.


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