Motivations for adopting and maintaining a yoga practice: A national cross-sectional survey

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Journal Article
Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 2019, 25 (10), pp. 1009 - 1014
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© Copyright 2019, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers 2019. Background: Yoga practice is becoming increasingly popular around the world, yet little is known regarding why people adopt the practice of yoga or how their reasons for practice change with continued practice. Furthermore, whether those who practice different types of yoga have different motives remains unknown. Methods: To address these issues, the authors conducted a national cross-sectional online survey of 1,702 yoga practitioners in Germany, asking about demographic information and motives for initiating and continuing yoga practice. Results: The most common primary reasons for starting yoga were relaxation (26.6%) and prevention (25.5%), which were also the most common secondary reasons. Nine hundred and forty-one (55.3%) reported a different primary reason for maintaining than for adopting yoga practice. Prevention (38.4%) and spirituality (26.4%) were the most commonly reported primary reasons for maintaining yoga practice. More highly educated participants and those practicing longer than 5 years at the time of the survey were more likely to have reported a different current primary reason for yoga practice than that for which they started practicing. Conclusions: These results shed light on yoga's appeal to novices and regular practitioners, with important implications for making yoga appealing to beginners as well as promoting the practice as a long-term lifestyle behavior.
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