Rejuvenate with Yoga
Over the years, yoga therapy, a practice originated from the East, has attracted attention of affluent Western nations resulting in a multibillion-dollar industry. The word ‘yoga’ is derived from the Sanskrit root word ‘Yuj’ which means ‘to yoke’, ‘to join’ or ‘to unite”. Therefore, it is an exercise that creates consonance between the mind and body leading “to the union of of individual consciousness with that of the Universal Consciousness” (Basavaraddi, 2015). Georg Feuerstein, praxis of yoga, defined yoga therapy as a “holistic treatment of various kinds of psychological or somatic dysfunctions ranging from back problems to emotional distress”. Therefore, yoga is a specific type of therapy that focuses on building resilience, strength, flexibility, and durability of individual’s mind, body, energy, and emotions. The integral elements of Yoga are breathing and posture, entailing number of movements aimed to increase flexibility and strength. According to the International Yoga Federation, approximately 300 million people across the globe practice yoga (Rakicevic, 2020). Therefore, yoga therapy is gaining momentum in the world with yoga practitioners growing exponentially. Alone in the United State, yoga participants increased from 20.4 million in 2012 to 55.05 million in 2020 (Zuckerman, 2020).
The increasing popularity of yoga is because of its profound psychological and physical benefits: an “increased cardiopulmonary and central nervous system (CNS) function and reduced respiration rate, blood pressure, fatigue, and symptoms of anxiety and depression” (Hartfiel, Havenhand, Khalsa, Clarke & Krayer, 2011). Moreover, yoga is said to have a positive effect on human heart as it helps in lowering blood pressure, lowering cholesterol levels, and restoring "baroreceptor sensitivity" ("Yoga – Benefits Beyond the Mat - Harvard Health", 2015). Also, yoga entails taking breaths at higher volume which results in declining respiratory rates from from 13.4 to 7.6 breaths per minute, thereby strengthening the lungs (Dobrić, 2020). Apart from numerous physical benefits, practicing yoga reduces secretion of cortisol, relieves anxiety, fights depression, alleviates chronic pain, relieves migraines, and improves wellbeing by instilling happiness and positivity.
Ages that practice Yoga
18 - 29 years old - 19%
30 - 39 years old - 43%
50+ - 38%
(with courtesy from comparecamp)
Profile of Yoga Practitioners
Female - 80.7%
College educated - 51.9%
(with courtesy from Statista)
Thus, on the accounts of innumerable benefits, the ancient sages, philosophers, and sibyls adopted yoga as a way of life. Although the practice of yoga is 3000 BCE old, dating back to the Indus valley civilization, it has gained enormous popularity in this pandemic. For instance, yoga became the most popular topic on Instagram across the globe where “demand for yoga equipment grew by 154%” and classes saw an “increase of 25% in reservations as people joined via online classes from home” (Andre, 2021). Furthermore, yoga therapy is most practiced in its birthplace India with the rest of the world increasingly catching up to reap the benefits of this ancient practice. In China, yoga is “the third most popular sport amongst Chinese millionaires” (Hurun Chinese Luxury Consumer Survey, 2021). Similarly, in the UK, the “market size of yoga industry is worth £926 million” (IBISWorld, 2020). On the social media, France saw a massive spike in influencer accounts within the yoga space; “more high scores in the growth dynamic of yoga Instagram influencers were Spain (221%), Australia (127%), and Italy (110%)” (Andre, 2021). Additionally, “countries with only double-digit growth on yoga influencer dynamics were Germany at 58% and the US at 50% “(Andre, 2021). Thus, yoga has become a worldwide phenomenon with millions celebrating international yoga day on 21st June.
Mahnoor Zakir is a contributor and research assistant at dR CLB Lab
She is a senior undergrad student majoring in economics & political science from Lahore University of Management Sciences. She is a talented and versatile writer, proficient in all aspects, with a primary interest in succinctly analyzing political developments and international affairs. With versatile courses at hand, Mahnoor is a performance-driven individual with an exceptional ability to develop essential and valuable ideas necessary to thrive in the world. Although Mahnoor is in the developing stage of her career, she has high aims and objectives in fulfilling her academic aspirations while parallel working in a practical research field.
Mahnoor is also a reserach assistant at the Global Foundation of Cyber Studies and Research Think Tank Washington DC
Work cited page
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Dobrić, M. (2020). 35 Mind-Bending Yoga Statistics to Merge Your Body and Soul.
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Feuerstein, G. Retrieved 23 June 2021, from https://www.iayt.org/page/YogaAndYogaTherapy.
Hartfiel, N., Havenhand, J., Khalsa, S., Clarke, G., & Krayer, A. (2011). The effectiveness of yoga for the improvement of well-being and resilience to stress in the workplace. Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health, 37(1), 70-76. Retrieved June 23, 2021, from http://www.jstor.org/stable/40967889
Hurun Chinese Luxury (2021, January). Most popular sports among Chinese millionaires as of 2020. Retrieved from statista.com
IBISWorld (2020, July 15). Pilates & Yoga Studios in the UK – Market Research Report. Retrieved from ibisworld.com
Rakicevic, M. (2020, December 21). 31 amazing YOGA Statistics: Find out why it's so popular. Retrieved June 22, 2021, from https://disturbmenot.co/yoga-statistics/
Yoga – Benefits Beyond the Mat - Harvard Health. Harvard Health. (2015). Retrieved 23 June 2021, from https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/yoga-benefits-beyond-the-mat.