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Yoga Day in numbers: just how big has the yoga industry become?

Sourjya Bhowmick | Updated on: 20 June 2016, 22:04 IST

Last year, the United Nations officially declared 21 June as International Yoga Day, after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the General Assembly on 27 September 2014. A total of 177 countries adopted the resolution unanimously.

As thousands gear up to mark the second International Yoga Day on Tuesday, here are some interesting facts about the ancient Indian practice.

  • Provisional estimate of the classical period when Yoga gained prominence in India, according to the Ministry of External Affairs.
  • Yoga is a multi-purpose discipline to fine-tune one's mental and physical health, which originated in ancient India.

  • Number of people who practice yoga worldwide.
  • This is approximately twice the population of the largest country in the world, Russia.
  • Of these, 100 million people are in India, while about 20 million are in the US.
  • The popularity of yoga can be understood by one fact: in Japan, there was a 413% growth in yoga practioners between 2005-10.


  • Number of Yoga asanas (positions) that are mentioned in classic texts, which can help attain physical and mental well-being.
  • Yoga has eight steps, or limbs, which are used to attain exercise the entire body and mind.
  • These are:

Yama- the practice of non-injury and truthfulness

Niyama- internal and external purity

Asanas- body postures

Pranayama- breathing exercises

Pratyahara- control of the senses

Dharana- concentration of mind

Dhyana- meditation

Samadhi- the meditated becomes one with the universe.


  • The age of Gladys Morris, from Royton, Oldham, who petitioned the Guinness Book of World Records, to be acknowledged as the world's oldest yoga teacher.
  • However, she passed away in 2011, not knowing whether she would be recognised by Guinness. She practiced yoga for 50 years.
  • Earlier, Guinness had nominated Bette Calman from Australia as the world's oldest yoga teacher. She was 85.


  • The estimated amount spent on yoga clothing, equipment, classes and accessories in the US alone in 2016.
  • If one were to add packages from special yoga retreats and investments into clothing retailers and studio chains, the economic market would be far bigger than this estimate.
  • "The sudden boom of interest led to people wanting to fill the demand by getting more teachers trained, and studios discovering that they can make more money training yoga teachers than giving classes in some cases," Philip Goldberg, a spiritual teacher, told the Huffington Post back in 2013.


  • The number of programmes that the Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan will hold across different parts of India.
  • Additionally, 391 universities, 16,000 colleges and 12,000 schools across the country will observe the day.
  • Yoga guru Baba Ramdev is supposed to lead 3,000 paramilitary troops in Jodhpur, while 57 ministers will participate throughout the country.
  • Last year, PM Modi led the way as 36,000 people practiced yoga at Rajpath, New Delhi.
  • Rs 32 crore was spend to celebrate the day in 2015, including the cost of t-shirts, procurement of yoga mats and printing entry passes etc.

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First published: 20 June 2016, 22:04 IST
Sourjya Bhowmick @sourjyabhowmick

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