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Americans Spending More on Yoga

Posted: February 26, 2008

The latest "Yoga in America" study, just released by Yoga Journal shows that Americans spend $5.7 billion a year on yoga classes and products, including equipment, clothing, vacations and media such as DVDs, videos, books and magazines. This figure represents an increase of 87% compared to the previous study in 2004—almost double of what was previously spent.

Data for this survey were collected by the Harris Interactive Service Bureau on behalf of Yoga Journal. The poll surveyed 5,050 respondents, a statistically representative sample of the total U.S. population. Yoga Journal commissioned RRC Associates, a research firm in Boulder, CO, to perform the data analysis.

The 2008 study indicates that 6.9% of U.S. adults, or 15.8 million people, practice yoga. In the previous study, that number was 16.5 million. Of current non-practitioners, nearly 8% , or 18.3 million Americans, say they are very or extremely interested in yoga, triple the number from the 2004 study. And 4.1% of non-practitioners, or about 9.4 million people, say they will definitely try yoga within the next year.

The study also collected data on age, gender and other demographic factors. Of the yoga practitioners surveyed:
* 72.2% are women; 27.8% are men.
* 40.6% are 18 to 34 years old; 41% are 35 to 54; and 18.4% are 55 or older.
* 28.4% have practiced yoga for one year or less; 21.4% have practiced for one to two years; 25.6% have practiced two to five years; and 24.6% have practiced more than five years.
* 71.4% are college educated; 27% have postgraduate degrees.
* 44% of yogis have household incomes of $75,000 or more; 24% have more than $100,000.

"While the yoga population has stabilized, spending among practitioners has nearly doubled," says Patricia Fox, senior vice president and group manager of Active Interest Media's Healthy Living Group. "Yoga practitioners are a devoted consumer group supporting a thriving and vibrant market."

The 2008 study also indicated that almost half, or 49.4%, of current practitioners started practicing yoga to improve their overall health. In the 2003 study, that number was 5.6%. And they are continuing to practice for the same reason. According to the 2008 study, 52% are motivated to practice yoga to improve their overall health. In 2003, that number was 5.2%.