Mumbai: The ancient healing practices such as yoga is gaining popularity in urban areas. Students, stressed-out young professionals, CEOs and retirees have chanted yoga mantras in large numbers as gymnasiums across metros have seen a spurt in yoga practitioners willing to attain health and toning benefits of this ancient system of exercise and spiritual development, according to an ASSOCHAM survey-cum-analysis. Stressed out, keeping both body and mind fit, and achieving work-balance life are the primary motivating factors that drive urban population to perform yoga.
A survey on ‘Yoga or Gym,’ conducted by the ASSOCHAM Social Development Foundation says there has been a rise in number of people that have taken up yoga by up to 30 per cent, most of whom have been inspired by many celebrities and media attention that it has garnered. The survey was conducted in 10 metros – Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi-NCR, Hyderabad, Indore, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow and Mumbai. ASSOCHAM representatives interacted with 100 gym trainers/fitness professionals and about 1,000 people sweating it out at the gymnasiums across the aforesaid cities to ascertain which is a better workout regime.
The survey was conducted over the last two months in wake of the International Day of Yoga celebrated globally on June 21.
“Yoga has grown in India from an ancient spiritual practice to big business and premium lifestyle, considering that there are an estimated four crore yoga practitioners across the country spending about Rs 1,000 crore on designer yoga-wear, mats, towels, luxury retreats thereby promoting the fitness industry,” said Mr D.S. Rawat, secretary general of ASSOCHAM while releasing the findings of the ASSOCHAM survey.
“Yoga, which has originated more than 5,000 years back, is a tradition that has stood the test of time, more so in a world of exercise trends and diet fads,” said Mr Rawat.
More interestingly, yoga is becoming more popular among females as majority of the gym trainers said that there has been an increase in number of female clients by over 50 per cent. On being asked which is a better workout regime, about 25 per cent gym regulars said they had switched to yoga after first few sessions owing to increased flexibility, toning, strengthening and other such benefits of meditation and breathing exercises, noted the ASSOCHAM survey.
Further, the survey points out yoga has significant potential to boost both domestic and foreign travellers’ inflow, especially in places like Rishikesh and others to become certified yoga instructors’, demand of whom is likely to surge in wake of the growing popularity as yoga goes mainstream.