How the yoga economy is growing, in five graphs


1. Public funds

For a long time, young Indians remained largely irreverent towards yoga even as its exoticism caught the eye in the West. The Narendra Modi government’s global push has worked wonders. Photo ops with high-ranking officials posing as seasoned acrobatic yogis make for a more engaging sight than the same officials pretending to pick up trash to clean up India. Selfie videos of digitally savvy ministers added to the cool quotient.

Between 2015 and 2019, Ayush’s ministry spent 137 crores on Yoga Day events, 50% of which goes to publicity and publicity through the media, data submitted to Parliament shows. Heads of expenses ranged from hosting marquee events to awarding prizes, buying carpets and producing postal stationery. During the period 2015-2017, at least one other 15 crore has been authorized for embassies by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to organize events abroad.

In the face of the pandemic, self-governing bodies working under the Ayush ministry also instituted funded research to find ways in which yoga could prevent covid-19 infections.

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Source: Parliamentary Questions and Answers

2. The pleasure of the traveler

Over the years, yoga has become an essential part of the wellness, hospitality and tourism sectors, attracting both local and international travelers. Wellness tourism, which includes yoga, grew twice as fast as tourism as a whole between 2015 and 2017, and before the pandemic hit it was estimated to reach $919 billion by 2022, according to the Global Wellness Institute.

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The global Google search trend for ‘yoga retreats’, which briefly dipped in 2020 due to the pandemic, is on the rise again, with Irish, Australian and Swiss users dominating search interest. From group yoga sessions to the ashram experience, travelers are seeking yoga in myriad ways, both as paid services and free with their vacations, industry professionals said.

Balaji Nanabala, managing director of Shreyas Retreat in Bengaluru, said yoga tourism was already growing “by at least 20-30% every year” before covid and has now recovered by around 50%, mainly thanks to domestic travellers.

Source: Google Trends

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Source: Google Trends

3. The Guru’s Business

Stressed at work and in personal life, many flock to yoga centers that boast a growing community of yoga teachers. It used to be that older adults frequented yoga centers but now it’s young people who have growing health problems, said Rishikesh Kumar, CEO of Xtraliving Pvt Ltd, a fitness company. Saumya Mathur, a Delhi-based meditation teacher, said young people were turning to holistic healing methods such as yoga to recover from physical and mental health issues that had “become prevalent due to a mode of messy life”.

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She attributed the influx of trainers to increased flexibility in how long to train and what forms of yoga to be able to become one, but the ease of getting certified can also create risks for students. Kumar hopes the market will take care of this problem because customers can judge the quality. The Center has also developed an app for yoga centers to self-register, and there were 5, 1, 41 at last count.

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4. Perception vs reality

Despite the growth, some surveys still find the overall adoption of yoga to be low. About 62% of 29,999 Indians surveyed by the Pew Research Center in 2019-20 said they had never practiced yoga. In another survey by fitness tech company GOQii, yoga appeared at the bottom of the list of fitness regimen preferences, behind walking, working out, running and cycling.

A government-funded study of 162,330 participants across India also revealed a huge gap between knowledge and practice: while most believed yoga improved their lifestyle, only 11.8% practiced it. .

What’s stopping us from picking up the yoga mat? “Laziness, procrastination and distraction” was the most common set of reasons (44%), followed by work (41%) and family reasons (25%), according to a 2021 global yoga survey by DoYou, a fitness app.

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This could improve as yoga reaches more people. Mathur said the practice was no longer seen as something for “spiritual” or “hippie” individuals, and that believers and non-believers alike were increasingly interested.

Source: GOQii

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Source: GOQii

5. Influencer Bogie

Enigmatic Western celebrities vouching for yoga are overwhelmed as “yoga influencers” pop up online. Several yoga teachers have taken to social media, amassing millions of followers watching their yoga feats.

Source: Instagram, Youtube

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Source: Instagram, Youtube

Views on yoga-related videos have increased every year for the past five years, YouTube said in a report, but there was a notable increase of more than 165% in 2020 as the pandemic forced a transition to home workouts and a need to regulate mental health. . Average daily uploads have increased more than tenfold over the past five years, while these videos reached almost 3 billion views in 2020, almost triple from 2019.

“The Need to Stay Healthy and the Rise of Online Classes [during the pandemic] has led many people to experience yoga,” said Krishna Kumar, Chief Client Officer at GOQii. “It encouraged many who excelled in the skill to become influencers or coaches. It also turned out to be a good career option.

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