Yoga is wildly popular, this much we know. Whilst yoga studios have suffered lower numbers since the pandemic, the trend is clearly upwards, and for good reason.
Is yoga scientifically proven?
Yes, scientific studies have confirmed that yoga has the power to improve your quality of life.
Whatever the reason you start yoga, the benefits are vast and can be felt almost immediately. More and more research supports what millions of yoga students worldwide already experience every day: yoga makes you feel amazing in body, mind and spirit.
We see a lot of anecdotal evidence of the benefits of yoga (i.e. we don't conduct formal research, but we listen to the positive stories our students share about how yoga positively changes their lives). Facts and myths have to be discerned from each other, anecdotes have to be factually supported.
This is why numbers can help support the lofty claims. So, without further ado...
Statistic #1: Yoga Popularity
Worldwide, around 300 million people practice yoga on a regular basis in 2022.
Up to 500,000 Brits are taking part in yoga classes each week.
80% of yoga students are female, but the number of men realising the benefits for the male body increases steadily.
92.6% of yoga students rate their general health as good, very good or excellent.
Wellbeing was significantly higher, and perceived stress lower than UK averages for yoga students.
Worldwide, yoga is one of the top 10 exercise forms.
In the UK, most people practice yoga in a yoga studio (57.5%) vs other venues.
Hatha yoga is still the most popular yoga style in the UK (28% practise this).
Statistic #2: Physical Benefits
88% of UK yoga students strongly agree that yoga has improved their physical health. 87% feel stronger and 92% feel more flexible with regular yoga practice. Between 90-95% of students received an improvement in back, neck and shoulder pain and 87% an improvement of their arthritis symptoms. Other reported significant benefits (more than 50%) are help with headaches / migraines, asthma, IBS and menopausal symptoms. 79% of UK yoga students find they sleep better.
Statistic #3: Mental Health Benefits
A vast number (93.2%) of UK yoga students report an improvement in symptoms of depression when doing yoga, 98.4% see their stress symptoms reduced and 97% manage their anxiety well with yoga.
Consistent with research, students that come to Unwind Yoga Studio also strongly believe that yoga has a positive impact on their physical and mental health.
Statistic #4: Reasons to start yoga
Here at Unwind, we always ask for the reasons you want to start yoga, and over the last two years we have seen a shift away from physical reasons to stress reduction as the most popular. Getting stronger, more flexible and improving wellbeing are, however, still popular reasons why students join Unwind Yoga Studio.
In the formal research we reviewed, the reasons for starting yoga were for general wellness, fitness and flexibility. Some students report starting yoga for a physical or mental health condition, with musculoskeletal conditions and anxiety/depression most commonly mentioned - again, this is exactly what we see at the studio as well.
Almost half of research respondents reported a change in focus over time, most notably in relation to spirituality, stress management and social interaction - and we see this here at the studio, too.
Statistic #5: Everything else that's interesting :)
75% of yoga practitioners participate in other forms of exercise such as running and cycling.
On average, UK yoga students attend 2-3 classes per week in a studio and practice 1-2 hours more at home.
67% want to practice more yoga than they did last year.
More and more people that are 50 years or older are embracing yoga, for good reason: research shows that yoga effectively impacts conditions associated with ageing: increased mobility; reduced risk for slip and fall; protection against cognitive decline; increased flexibility, strength, and balance; and improved sleep and mental wellbeing.
"Lack of flexibility" is the top excuse for not starting yoga.
How can you get yoga into your life?
If you are a complete beginner, join us for one of our beginner courses. Also great for people who have had a long break, or who have only taken online classes before. More info: Beginners Course at Unwind Yoga Studio
If you have done yoga before, but are looking for a new studio experience, an Unwind trial is ideal: Unwind Yoga Studio Trial
Ready to jump straight in? Check out all our options for you to join our group or private yoga classes: Pricing Information
* data and research collected in years prior to 2022