Yoga is an essential element of the ancient scriptures in Hinduism and India boasts of being the land of origin of exercise. After Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in 2014, the government has encouraged Yoga as a cultural and spiritual practice, with guaranteed health benefits.
The US-based Pew Research Centre conducted a study that showed that most Indians do not practice Yoga. A mere 35 per cent of Indians mentioned that they 'ever' practised Yoga, and only 22 per cent said that they practice it monthly or less, and only 7 per cent of people did it daily.
Prevalent Amongst Younger Indians
Contrary to the common belief that Yoga is more prevalent amongst the older generation, the research shows that Yoga is more common in college-graduated, younger Indians. Over 56 per cent of college graduates try to include Yoga in their daily regime, whereas only 31 per cent of people above 35 do so.
The survey was conducted for one year among 30,000 Indians, and it showed that 62 per cent of Hindus said that they had never 'ever' tried practising Yoga.
Political Influence Among People
Despite its roots in Hinduism, a majority of Hindus abstain from undertaking the practice. Among other religions, Indian Jains could clear the distinctions with a percentage score of 62 per cent of practising Yoga, followed by Sikhs at 50 per cent, Indian Buddhists at 38 per cent. Moreover, only 29 per cent of Muslims and 24 per cent of Christians confirmed that they perform Yoga.
The practice is also modestly influenced by politics. Thirty-eight per cent of Indians who support Modi practice the exercise, whereas, among non-BJP supporters, the percentage is just 31 per cent.
Yoga branched out to Western countries only about a century ago, but studies have shown that many people practice it in America and Europe.