Yoga is growing in popularity in the United States, especially among children under 18.
The figures published today by the CDC show that 14% of adults practiced yoga last year, compared to 10% in 2012.
The increase was sharper for children: in 2017, 8% of children aged 4 to 17 had recently tried the practice, compared to 3% in 2012.
But while the yoga trend takes off in the younger generation, more and more adults are dedicated to meditation: last year 14% of adults meditated from 4% in 2012.
Experts say that yoga, meditation and some other forms of complementary medicine have been increasingly promoted as ways to reduce stress and anxiety and improve health.
For children aged 4 to 17 years, 8% had done yoga in 2017, compared to 3% in 2012, according to the CDC. Meditation rates have not changed much, at 6%
The health benefits of yoga and meditation are widely documented.
A study conducted by the Boston Medical Center last year found that yoga is just as good as physical therapy for lower back pain. During one year, 320 physiotherapy or yoga classes were given to 320 patients. In the end, the results were the same.
In 2014, researchers at Harvard University found that yoga is as good for the heart as cycling. They studied 37 previous reports, including data on 2,700 people, and found yoga clearly improved.
Furthermore, it does not require maximum physical fitness: it can be practiced in many ways, with possible adaptations for people with injuries or weaknesses.
Americans are attacking these benefits for a variety of reasons.
While traditional doctors tend not to recommend natural therapies, they increasingly suggest yoga and meditation for patients to relieve stress, relax and get the heartbeat.
Americans live longer, making it more important than ever for Americans to create muscles and bones for good health in their older years.
Stress is also at a record level in all groups.
And with the advent of social media, more and more boys are conscious of their bodies, taking training lessons earlier in life than previous generations – while they publish selfie on Instagram in their training equipment.