The real reasons why people practice Yoga
Yoga industry saw explosive growth in popularity in the USA from 2010 to 2020. In 2022 there are roughly 36 million Americans practicing Yoga on a regular basis according to the YogiTimes. Yoga in the past decade has seen explosive growth replacing Pilates as the trending fitness regime.
The majority are white American females 72%, between the ages of 30-49 43%. The over 50's make up 38% of the market.
Here we look at some of the drivers that influenced the growth in westernised yoga across the American market.
Pre-lockdowns saw amazing growth in yoga classes
Overall yoga is and was a predominantly a white, female, middle aged audience that felt that yoga would improve physical and emotional health whilst reducing stress. Theres some evidence to suggest that it improves health and fitness but so do other forms of exercise. Putting the health benefits aside; Yoga during the last decade boomed.
Yoga gained the social cachet of “doing yoga” a socially acceptable form of exercise that attracts a mainly female audience.
As mainstream yoga became more and more popular throughout the 2000's, its trendiness started to influence how people saw the practice. The public’s perception of yoga morphed into a Westernized vision of white, thin, women wearing expensive leggings and tight crop tops.
Eastern Yoga morphed to attract a high value social demographic set, mostly females looking to join the yoga bandwagon, a new mix of traditional and non-traditional yoga inspired exercises, with a bit of authenticity thrown in. Bikram yoga went even further developing a form of hybrid yoga that required heated rooms, filling huge spaces with a heady miasma of sweat. Bikram yoga ultimately crashed, under accusations of impropriety, sex, and excess.
In the USA by 2019 almost every city block featured a yoga studio. In fact there were so many studios it was hard for many studios to make a profit on yoga classes alone. Class prices plummeted and many studios found that running yoga teachers courses was where the profit lay. Result yoga student where encouraged to qualify as yoga teachers. The number of yoga teachers exploded, and this in turn created even more hype as the newly qualified spread the word of yoga.
Yoga trended on social media in particular Instagram. Social media platforms were awash with females (and males) doing yoga poses, daily pictures and videos flooded the platform. Further enhancing the practice of yoga, tight leggings, handstand poses as the must do form of exercise for this social group. Yoga stars and influencers were born and died on Instagram, pushing yoga and yoga accessories, and yoga videos.
The yoga hype resulted in a boom in yoga classes, clothing and accessories jumping 18% in one year alone. The yoga industry is currently estimated to be valued at about $88 billion wirldwide.
International brands have jumped into yoga market according to the yoga fashion trends, Americans spend an estimated $10 billion on clothes, accessories, and classes a year.
Yoga USA is BIG business.
Yoga today, a multibillion dollar market, and when it gets this big you can forget the love, peace, and understanding. This is yoga USA.
So you can see that yoga attracts people for all kinds of reasons including the health benefits. It's explosive growth over the last decade could be attributed to a number of drivers, social media giants such as Instagram and facebook, the dynamics of running yoga studios, which resulted in the huge increase in yoga teachers across the US.
The discovery by the big sportswear brands with big advertising budgets that yoga sells merchandise, combined with social media influencers have no doubt played a significant part in persuading this wealthy demographic group to take up Yoga.
In effect the real reason why many (but not all) have either tried or current Do Yoga is because of a combination of social media, social influencers, commercial pressure on yoga studios, advertising and sports brands targeting this specific demographic.
The question is what next for yoga?
The answer is pretty clear. The lockdowns and coming recession will ultimately weed out the yoga teachers and studios who could no longer commercially survive. Many yoga teachers have given up on teaching yoga for good. Gyms and yoga studios have or will close as inflation bites. This will ultimately reduce the availability of yoga classes and yoga teachers.
This represents an opportunity for the best experienced yoga teachers and studios who are not only surviving they are prospering.
They have embraced technology; got themselves listed on high quality platforms such as NearYou, increased their class prices, and focused on delivering amazing classes both in person and online.
Yoga will continue to thrive, however, expect top see a reduction in the number of studios and classes available. We expect yoga class prices will increase with less competition, smaller class sizes will allow yoga studios and yoga teachers to get back to basics, focus on more traditional yoga, offer a better yoga experience than ever before.
Find a yoga class Near You USA.