Skip to main content

Yoga boom in Germany

The practice of yoga, originating in India, is gaining in popularity in Germany.

© LuckyImages/Fotolia - Yoga

The days when people used to smirk at someone carrying a yoga mat into the gym in Germany are well and truly over. After hiking, cycling, running and swimming, today yoga is the most popular recreational sport in Germany. According to a study by the market research institute Gesellschaft für Konsumforschung some three million Germans regularly practice yoga, 90 percent of whom are women. Around 10 million people have tried yoga, and another 12.5 million could imagine starting yoga within the next 12 months. The figures confirm the trend that has long since been evident at German sports clubs and fitness studios: Yoga has a fixed place in popular sport and is no longer only on the fitness plans of Hollywood stars.

The latest trend: Yogacycling

Yoga originated in India in the seventh century BCE. The practice encompasses physical and mental exercises, breathing techniques and meditation. It is intended to bring the body, mind and spirit into harmony, improve overall health and increase performance. Anyone who has tried doing “crow”, “tree” or “frog” pose knows how taxing yoga can be and how much body control it requires.

The popularity of yoga is on the rise particularly in major German cities. In Berlin alone there are currently around 300 yoga studios, in Munich 200. Compared to other sports such as swimming or tennis, yoga has the crucial advantage that it can be practiced more or less anywhere. And anyone can do yoga, whatever target group they belong to, with offerings ranging from prenatal and baby yoga to yoga for the elderly to the latest trend, yogacycling – yoga while on a bike.

International Yoga Day on 21 June 2016