90+ Yoga statistics 2021 [Research Review]

Posted on 11 October, 2021 by Nicholas Rizzo

Because of gym closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many indoor and group activities, like yoga, had to be canceled.

Check out these yoga statistics we have gathered from 37+ reputable sources to highlight how the yoga landscape has endured the global pandemic and where it is headed.

Global yoga statistics

  • There are over 300 million yogis and yoginis worldwide
  • 67% of people who practice yoga prefer to do it at home rather than in studios
  • 50% of yoga practitioners do it to meditate
  • 37% of those who do yoga are beginners
  • Only 12% of yogis/yoginis identify as advanced practitioners

Impact of COVID-19 on yoga

Because of the stay-at-home mandates due to the spread of the coronavirus, there was a significant increase in the:

  • demand for yoga equipment - 154%
  • online yoga classes reservations - 25%
  • yoga-related social media posts - 68%
  • number of teachers and students doing online yoga - 86% and 91%, respectively
  • use of live-streaming group classes - 67%
  • use of recorded classes - 61%
  • preference for recorded yoga classes among students - 60%
  • teachers and students have a better understanding of yoga because of online classes - 73% and 58%, respectively 

Yoga statistics per region or country

The U.S.

  • In 2021, there are 21,668 yoga instructors and over 6,000 yoga and pilates studios
  • 71% of American yogis have at least one college degree
  • 38% of American yoga practitioners are vegetarian
  • In 2020, it was estimated that 55.1 million Americans did yoga, up by 53% from 36 million in 2016
  • 18.3 million Americans do not practice yoga but are interested in trying it
  • In the last 6 months, 15% of Americans have practiced yoga
  • States with the most yoga studios are:
    • California - 3,139
    • New York - 1,738
    • Texas - 1,388
  • In 2016, Americans spent $16 billion on yoga classes and equipment

Europe

  • In 2020, the UK had: 
    • 16,400 people employed in the yoga industry with 10,000 yoga instructors who teach 2 to 3 times a week
    • There are about 4,900 yoga studios in the UK which hold about 20,000 to 30,000 yoga classes per week
    • 460,000 Brits do yoga each week with an average of 15 people per class
    • 74% of Instagram posts from the UK were about yoga in 2020
  • In 2020, yoga influencer accounts on Instagram soared by:
    • 230% in France
    • 221% in Spain
    • 110% in Italy
    • 58% in Germany
    • Outside of Europe, Brazil had the biggest growth in Instagram yoga influencers at 493%

Asia-Pacific

  • 11% of Chinese millionaires with personal assets worth over 10 million yuan ($1.5 million) prefer yoga 
  • The number of yoga studios in Australia decreased by 2.7% from 2016 to 2021 and is expected to decrease 5.2% by the end of 2021
  • 10% of Australians who do yoga prefer gentle or restorative yoga

Reasons for doing yoga

People practice yoga for various reasons including to:

  • Improve overall health  - 74.1%
  • Boost energy - 67.5%
  • Improve flexibility - 61%
  • Sleep better - 59%
  • Achieve fitness goals - 56%
  • Reduce tension - 54%
  • Develop mental and physical strength - 52%
  • Increase the feeling of happiness - 43%
  • Motivates them to eat healthy food - 40%
  • Reduce stress - 38%
  • Get some "me time" -  27%
  • Reduce the feeling of loneliness -  21%
  • Unplug from technology - 20%

Yoga demographics

As of 2021, yoga practitioners are: 

  • Women - 80.7%
  • Moderate alcohol drinkers - 72.1%
  • College-educated - 51.9%
  • of Indian descent - 50%
  • Non-smokers - 46.9%
  • Aged between 30 to 49 years old - 43%
  • Aged 18 years old and below - 37%

The most common ethnicity of yoga instructors in the U.S. are:

    • White - 77.1%
    • Hispanic or Latino - 9.3%
    • Black - 6.4%
    • Asian - 3.9%

Health benefits of yoga

Mental and brain health

  • 15 minutes of yoga can improve brain activity and mood
  • 3 months of yoga can reduce depression or depressive mood by 50%
  • Anxiety is decreased by 40% thru regular yoga
  • 52% of people with PTSD claim that yoga alleviated its symptoms
  • 2x a week of yoga among kindergarten students can significantly reduce inattention

Cardiorespiratory health

  • Yoga can decrease systolic blood pressure by 26 points and 15 points for diastolic blood pressure
  • Yoga can lower cholesterol by 23% and triglycerides by 52%
  • Yoga reduces the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases by 47%
  • One month of yoga can improve lung capacity, lowering respiratory rate per minute by 43%

Other health benefits

  • 75% of women claim that doing yoga helped improved their sex life
  • Yoga can alleviate chronic pain in 89% of patients
  • Lower the chance  of having high blood sugar by 61%
  • Reduces the chance of developing a high body mass index by 52%

Fun facts

  • Yoga is over 5,000 years old
  • There are over 100 styles of yoga which includes Hatha Yoga, Bikram Yoga, Hot Yoga, Aerial Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga that varies in intensity and purpose
  • Over 60 million yoga posts can be found on Instagram
  • In 2018, the largest yoga lesson was held in India with 100,984 participants
  • The oldest yoga teacher, Tao Porchon-Lynch, was aged 101 years old
  •  64% of yogis said they wanted to do more yoga in 2019
  • 44% of yoga practitioners do it 2 to 3 times a week
  • 66% of yogis try yoga in a different setting at least once a year
  • 57.4% reported having better sleep
  • The injury rate for yoga is 10%, lower than other physically intense activities

Where people do yoga 

  • As for where they practice, the majority of respondents (67%) do yoga at home, followed by:
  • Gym (43%)
  • Yoga studio (38%)
  • Outdoors (32%)
  • Yoga or wellness festival (20%)
  • Special event or unique venue (20%)

Interest in different types of yogas

  • Iyengar yoga - 36%
  • Laughter yoga - 20%
  • Hot yoga - 18%
  • Disco yoga -17%
  • Immersive yoga - 17%
  • Aerial yoga - 15%

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Use of content

  • If the yoga statistics has got you bending over backward because you're dying to know more, feel free to reach out to Nick Rizzo at nick@runrepeat.com. He’d be happy to answer any queries. He’s also available to do interviews.
  • Data from this analysis is free to use for any online publication. We only request that you link back to this original source.

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Author
Nicholas Rizzo
Nicholas Rizzo

Nick combines 10+ years of experience in the health and fitness industry and a background in the sciences in his role as the Fitness Research Director. During his competitive powerlifting years his PRs have him sitting in the top 2% of bench presses (395 lbs), top 3% of squats (485 lbs) and top 6% of deadlifts (515 lbs) for his weight and age. His work has been featured on Bodybuilding.com, LiveStrong, Healthline, WebMD, WashingtonPost, and many more. Along the way, collaborating with industry leaders like Michael Yessis, Mark Rippetoe, Carlo Buzzichelli, Dave Tate, Ray Williams, and Joel Seedman.