More than 36 million people in America practice yoga—an increase of over 16 million since 2012, according to the 2016 Yoga in America Study Conducted by Yoga Journal and Yoga Alliance. Forty-three percent of participants are 30–49 years old, 38% are 50 and up, and 19% are 18–29. Thirty-seven percent have children who also do yoga. Seventy-two percent are women. And, interestingly, 74% are relatively new to yoga and have been doing it for only the past 5 years or less.

“The data tells a compelling story,” said Carin Gorrell, editor in chief of Yoga Journal in a joint news release from the journal and Yoga Alliance. “More people than ever across all age groups are realizing the benefits of yoga, from stress relief to flexibility to overall well-being.

Yoga is a thriving, growing industry.” Students spend $16 billion annually on classes, gear and equipment, reported the study; that is up from $10 billion annually in 2012.

Shirley Archer-Eichenberger, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, is an internationally acknowledged integrative health and mindfulness specialist, best-selling author of 16 fitness and wellness books translated into multiple languages and sold worldwide, award-winning health journalist, contributing editor to Fitness Journal, media spokesperson, and IDEA's 2008 Fitness Instructor of the Year. She's a 25-year industry veteran and former health and fitness educator at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, who has served on multiple industry committees and co-authored trade books and manuals for ACE, ACSM and YMCA of the USA. She has appeared on TV worldwide and was a featured trainer on America's Next Top Model.

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