Yoga and Meditation for Health Gain Popularity among Americans

Category : Health

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. drastic / ˈdræstɪk / (adj) – severe or extreme

    My friend’s drastic weight loss shocked me!

  2. apparent / əˈperənt / (adj) – clearly seen

    She looks weak; the signs of her illness are very apparent.

  3. posture / ˈpɑːstʃɚ / (n) – the body’s position when standing or seated

    My doctor said that I need to sit up straight to correct my posture.

  4. turn to (something) / tɚn tuː / (phrasal) – to depend on something

    I turn to activities like reading and writing whenever I feel stressed.

  5. at play / ət pleɪ / (idiom) – already active or implemented

    New programs for mental health are already at play.


Read the text below.

More Americans are practicing yoga and meditation, research has found.

Based on 2017 data, 14.3% of American adults said that they had practiced yoga in the past year, while 14.2% had meditated. These findings show that there was a drastic change from 2012, when only 9.5% did yoga and only 4.1% did meditation.

The same trend is apparent among American children aged four to 17. Yoga practice in that age group increased from 3.1% in 2012 to 8.4% in 2017. For meditation, the numbers jumped from 0.6% to 5.4% during the five-year period.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) gathered the data using the results of the National Health Interview Survey from 2012 to 2017. The survey mainly determined the number of people who practiced yoga and meditation in the United States.

In the survey, yoga was described as a practice involving meditation, breathing exercises, and physical postures. People do it to relax and achieve a mental, physical, and spiritual balance. On the other hand, meditation was defined as a type of mental exercise that can boost mindfulness and spiritual awareness.

Richard Nahin, one of the researchers, speculated that people are turning to yoga and meditation because they are starting to recognize the medical benefits of these practices. The benefits include relieving pain in certain body parts, such as the lower back and neck, and alleviating stress.

Furthermore, the implementation of wellness programs at companies and schools, along with the development of yoga and meditation apps, is already at play.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you think yoga and meditation can replace traditional health practices or treatments? Why or why not?
• In your opinion, should yoga and meditation be offered as mandatory programs in institutions (e.g. companies, schools)? Why or why not?

Discussion B

• Why is it important to take care of one’s physical and mental well-being?
• In your opinion, which is more challenging to take care of: physical or mental well-being? Explain.

Category : Health