Survey shows rise in Americans practicing yoga

Grab a yoga mat – June 21 is known as the International Day of Yoga.

A recent survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows the number of Americans practicing yoga is on the rise. Judi Bar, E-RYT 500, C-IAYT, Yoga Program Manager at Cleveland Clinic, said the increase may be due, in part, to people discovering yoga as a way to compliment traditional medicine.

“The data shows yoga can help calm the stress response and in that it helps chronic pain; it helps calm the immune system, and keeps us healthier – there’s so many wonderful benefits,” she said.

According to the report, the use of yoga increased from 9.5 percent in 2012 to 14.3 percent in 2017.

Results show yoga was the most popular complementary health practice in 2017 with more than 35 million people taking part.

Women were shown to be more active in yoga than men, but Bar said she’s starting to see more men taking her classes. She said yoga can benefit everyone, and there are many types of yoga classes designed fit people of all ages and abilities.

Bar recommends doing some homework to ensure the class meets personal needs.

“Not all yoga is created equal and you can get hurt doing yoga,” Bar said. “So, go watch a class, get a recommendation from a friend – less is more. Yoga is not about pushing or pain. So, find someone experienced that you resonate with.”

For those who are interested in starting yoga, but haven’t been active in a while, Bar recommends talking with a health care provider for help in finding an appropriate class.