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