From certified Yoga teachers to articles about Asanas in mainstream media, interest in Yoga has exploded in the United States over the last ten years. It seems a new Yoga studio or style of Yoga pop-ups daily. Americans have even developed new forms of Yoga, such as Chair Yoga, Spin Yoga, Slow Yoga, Jazzy Yoga, and even Holistic Yoga.
Preliminary research studies found that a whopping 50% of Americans were regularly practicing Yoga in 2015. Considering the persistence of extremely high obesity rates, heart disease, diabetes, and other food-related maladies, scientists were perplexed by the results, since Yoga research shows that practicing Yoga reduces obesity, heart disease, etc.
Seeking to clarify the findings of the early research, scientists decided to dig a little deeper with their questionnaires and began the Real Yoga Real Practice Deep Research Study. After sorting through thousands of responses and conducting hundreds of in-person interviews, scientists found that while 70% of Americans are familiar with the term “Yoga,” only 3% regularly practice Yoga – and 39% pretend to do Yoga.
Driven by the perspective of passive consumers, 20% of people who initially reported doing Yoga were in actuality only reading about it, buying Yoga pants, or periodically bending over to touch their toes. While touching toes is quite a feat for most Americans over 25 said Dr. Stansbury from the University of Central Rhode Island, he confirmed that this action does not equate with actual Yoga practice.
An additional 10% of those who initially reported doing Yoga had attended one Yoga class or purchased one book about Yoga in the last year. The remaining 6% thought they were both meditating and doing Yoga every time they closed their eyes while not in bed, a belief 5% said they learned from Cosmopolitan Magazine.
According to Dr. Stansbury, many participants of the Real Yoga Real Practice Deep Research Study became quite angry when asked simple questions about Yoga after falsely reporting Yoga practice. Questions about Asanas were met with accusations toward the scientists for either sexually objectifying the participant’s “ass” or calling the participant a fat “ass.”
Due to the staggering results of this study, the severe cognitive dissonance created by the desire to be perceived as doing Yoga without doing any Yoga is now being considered for inclusion as a disorder in the Psychological Diagnostic & Statistical Manual forthcoming in 2020. The tentative labels for this new psychological disorder are: CD Yoga, Yoga Alliance Syndrome, and Level 2 Obesity.