Yoga in America – study by Yoga Journal

The number of people practicing yoga in the US has reached nearly 16 million and is expected to continue to grow steadily.

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 (DVDs, videos, books and magazines).  This figure represents an increase of 87 percent – almost doubled compared to the previous study in 2004.

Yoga Journal also reported that the 2008 study indicates that 15.8 million people, or 6.9 percent of the US population, practice yoga.  Of current non-practitioners, nearly 8%, or 18.3 million Americans, say they are very or extremely interested in yoga.  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:

  • 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 over 55.
  • 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.

The 2008 study indicated that almost have (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%.

“Yoga is no longer simply a singular pursuit but a lifestyle choice and an established part of our health and cultural landscape,” says Bill Harper, publisher of Yoga Journal.  “People come to yoga and stick with it because they want to live healthier lives.”

One significant trend to emerge from the study is the use of yoga as medical therapy.  According to the study, 6.1% of nearly 14 million Americans, say that a doctor or therapist has recommended yoga to them.  In addition, nearly half (45%) of all adults agree that yoga would be beneficial if they were undergoing treatment for a medical condition.

And what about those Baby Boomers?

In just a couple of years, according to recent statistics, the number of Baby Boomers-aged adults participating in yoga classes increased by three million.  Attend a yoga class and you’ll find that it’s not exclusively populated by younger women.  Older women-and many older men-are also attending yoga classes.

According to the National Institutes of Health, yoga:

  • Improves mood and sense of well-being
  • Counteracts stress
  • Reduces heart rate and blood pressure
  • Increases lung capacity
  • Improves muscle relaxation and body composition
  • Helps with conditions such as anxiety, depression, and insomnia
  • Improves overall physical fitness, strength, and flexibility
  • Positively affect levels of certain brain or blood chemicals

“Yoga as medicine represents the next great yoga wave,” says Kaitlin Quistgaard, editor in chief of Yoga Journal.  “In the next few years, we will be seeing a lot more yoga in health care settings and more yoga recommended by the medical community as new research shows that yoga is a valuable therapeutic tool for many health conditions.”

The Best Shape of your life! Yoga for Fitness & Health Magazine

Fall 2010 Special Issue – Yoga Journal

I was hoping that Yoga Journal would put out another overall magazine, like they did last year.  I found the extra magazine had a lot of great information in it, and shared some of the information, here on this website.

And they did it again.  Last year, I was able to find the special Yoga Journal magazine in Walmart, but no such luck this year.  Just happened upon it in Sams, and of course Sams magazines are at a 30% discount.  Nice buy!

I happens that this years issue has 8 complete workout by top teachers in the yoga field.  Patricia
Walden, Kira Ryder, Richard Rosen, Sarana Miller, Sianna Sherman, Lisa Black, Nicki
Doane & Eddie Modestini, and lastly, Shiva Rea.

I really like the Sun Salutation presented by Richard Rosen, as that is the way, I typically teach a Sun Salutation.

You can also send off for the free DVD (you pay postage only) associated with the magazine.

Here is the summary of the magazine

  • Get In the Best Shape of Your Life
  • 8 Complete Work Outs By Top Teachers 
  • Ultimate Core Challenge
  • 5 Poses for Over-All Conditioning
  • Yoga for Strength Training
  • The Inner-wisdom diet
  • Find your perfect weight 

and here is the link to purchase online if you cannot find it locally.
http://www.yogajournal.com/shop/back_issues/  It is the Fall 2010 issue.  Enjoy!

Start or Re-Start your Yoga Practice — It Does a Body GOOD!

5benefitsofyogalistCount on Yoga.  Looking for a reason to start practicing (or restart your practice)?  Here are a few ways yoga can improve your health and well-being.

  1. Flex Time.  Improved flexibility is one of the most obvious benefits of yoga.  During your first class, you probably won’t be able to touch your toes, never mind do a back bend.  But if you stick with it, you’ll notice a gradual loosening, and eventually, seemingly impossible poses will become possible.  You’ll probably notice that aches and pains start to disappear.  That’s no coincidence.  Tight hips can strain the knee joint due to improper alignment of the thigh and shinbones.  Tight hamstrings can lead to a flattening of the lumbar spine, which can cause back pain. And inflexibility in muscles and connective tissues, such as fascia and ligaments, can cause poor posture.
  2. Bone Zone.  It’s well documented that weight-bearing exercise strengthens bones and helps ward off osteoporosis.  Many postures in yoga require that you lift your own weight.  And some, like Downward- and Upward-Facing Dog, help strengthen the arm bones, which are particularly vulnerable to osteoporosis fractures.  In an unpublished study conducted at California State University, Los Angeles, yoga practice increased bone density in the vertebrae.  Yoga’s ability to lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol may help keep calcium in the bones.
  3. Worry Thwarts. Yoga lowers cortisol levels.
    If that doesn’t sound like much, consider these facts.  Normally, the adrenal glands secrete cortisol in response to an acute crisis, which temporarily boosts immune function.  If your cortisol levels stay high even after the crisis, they can compromise the immune system.  Temporary boosts of cortisol help with long-term memory, but chronically high levels undermine memory and may lead to permanent changes in the brain.  Plus, excessive cortisol has been linked with major depression, osteoporosis (it extracts calcium and other minerals from bones and interferes with the laying down of new bone), high blood pressure, and insulin resistance.  In rats, high cortisol levels lead to what researchers call “food-seeking behavior” (the kind that drives you to eat when you’re upset, angry, or stressed).  The body takes those extra calories and distributes them as fat in the abdomen, contributing to weight gain and the risk of diabetes and heart attack.

These 3 little reasons as to why yoga is good for you, can be found in a new magazine- Yoga for beginners.  It is written by the editors of Yoga Journal.

So, if you’ve have not come to yoga in a while, and want to join us, with the new time change – 6:15 PM on Mondays at Wesley United Methodist Church, 3515 Helena Avenue, Nederland, Texas.

Class fee is $10.  Part of your fee supports the Back Pack Food Ministries at the church.

Thank you for coming to yoga for whatever reason!