Yoga Trends on Google

Every now and then, Google will come out with a service which inspires wonder. Last time they did that for me was with Google Earth.

Now they’ve done it again with Trends: a way to compare the world’s interest in different search terms. You can enter up to five topics and see how often they’ve been searched for on Google over time, and which geographic regions have searched for them most often.

So what does that have to do with Ashtanga Yoga?

How about looking at which yoga style is most searched for? Here’s a chart comparing Ashtanga, Bikram, Iyengar, Vinyasa and the relative newcomer, Anusara:


yoga syles the online world is interested in

Google Trends show that Bikram is most popular, and Ashtanga and Iyengar are neck to neck. Anusara only starts to register in 2005. From the regional information, the top 3 countries who search for Ashtanga are Ireland, Singapore and Sweden. At least now you know where to set up your new studio. I wonder where India is though.

How about yoga compared to other types of activities? Here’s the chart of yoga compared to pilates, meditation and stretching:


yoga more popular than pilates

Yoga clearly comes out on top. But you can also see the seasonality in the interest, as both yoga and pilates peak at the beginning of the year. The January Effect with its New Year resolutions, as it is known in yoga studios around the world, is reflected here.

And India appears as the first country for yoga searches (at last!).

Here’s one more. Draw your own conclusions.


Brad is seasonal too

[For an interesting development about this post, see Asteya Redux: A Grumpy Post -Ed.]

5 thoughts on “Yoga Trends on Google

  1. Sergio

    That was very interesting!

    Did you notice that in the first graph, searches for Bikram Yoga seem to increase both in the beginning of the year and in the Summer as well? That’s called Operation Bikini in Spain ;)

    One question: what are the letters in the charts for?

  2. philippe Post author

    The letters in the charts represent news items. If you do a search for say, yoga, jogging, the letters correspond to news articles in Google news.

    “Located just beneath our search-volume graph is our news-reference-volume graph. This graph shows you the number of times your topic appeared in Google News stories. When Google Trends detects a spike in the volume of news stories for a particular term, it labels the graph and displays the headline of an automatically selected Google News story written near the time of that spike.”

  3. Sergio

    Thank you! I had already figured it out trying Google trends myself but thanks for the reply, anyway.

    Btw, I love your website! ;)

  4. Alan Little

    Ha! There are also a lot of searches for “astanga” without the h, placing it well above “Iyengar”. It seems to be mostly Finns doing it – Finland being a notorious “astanga” hotbed.

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