If you’re not offering yoga as part of the wellness program at your spa, you may want to consider it. It is a large and vibrant part of the wellness movement – and they’re spending quite a bit of money, according to a recent study released by Yoga Journal. They found that yogis in this country spend nearly $6 billion a year on yoga classes and products, including equipment, clothing, vacations, DVDs, videos, books and magazines. That’s an increase of 87 percent when compared to 2004, when the study was last conducted. Other key findings include:
6.9 percent (15.8 million) of U.S. adults practice yoga
Of non-practitioners, 8 percent (13.8 million) of them say they are very or extremely interested in yoga.
Of yoga practitioners, about 72 percent are women and 28 percent are men.
Ages of practitioners: 41 percent are 18 to 34 years old; 41 percent are 35 to 54 years old; and 18 percent are over 55.
Years of practice: 28 percent have practiced yoga for a year or less; 21 percent for one to two years; 26 percent for two to five years; and 25 percent for more than five years.
44 percent of yogis have household incomes of $75,000 or more; 24 percent 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 (49.4 percent) of current practitioners started practicing yoga to improve their overall health. In the 2003 study, that number was 5.6 percent. And they are continuing to practice for the same reason. According to the 2008 study, 52 percent are motivated to practice yoga to improve their overall health. In 2003, that number was 5.2 percent.
"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 percent, or nearly 14 million Americans, say that a doctor or therapist has recommended yoga to them. In addition, nearly half (45 percent) of all adults agree that yoga would be a beneficial if they were undergoing treatment for a medical condition.
"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."
From Yoga Journal, www.yogajournal.com for more information.