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Stress Stimulates Popularity of Yoga Practice

by Shirley Archer, JD, MA on Feb 17, 2011

Mind-Body-Spirit News

Yoga is continuing to grow in popularity even through the recession, particularly among college-educated Americans and businesspeople seeking to reduce stress and improve well-being, says Bill Harper, publisher of Yoga Journal. Harper references two studies in particular: a spring 2010 Market Research Insight (MRI) study that reported an increase of 1.2 million yoga participants from spring of 2009 to spring 2010; and a fall 2010 MRI study that found more robust growth in yoga than in over 50 sports from 2001 to 2010. MRI measured yoga participation for the first time in 2001.

“More and more finance professionals are attracted to yoga,” Michael Wald, co-founder of Namaste New York, which has yoga instructors at more than 20 banks and hedge funds, told Katya Kazakina of Bloomberg News. “They work in a stressful environment. The purpose of yoga is to calm the mind and relax the nervous system.” Julie and Michael Wald, a husband and wife team who are both yoga instructors, took advantage of this market demand by founding Namaste New York, which provides both corporate wellness services and private yoga training.



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About the Author

Shirley Archer, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA IDEA Author/Presenter

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, was the 2008 IDEA Fitness Instructor of the Year and is IDEA's mind-body-spirit spokesperson. She is a certified yoga and Pilates teacher and an award-winning author based in Los Angeles, California, and Zurich, Switzerland. Two of her books, The Walking Deck and The Strength and Toning Deck, are now featured as iPhone apps. Contact her at