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Om: National Yoga Month

September is National Yoga Month, when twisting, toe-touching yogis will roll out their mats at more than 1,500 free classes and events across America. Here's a look at the vital stats of this 5,000-year-old practice from the East turned booming business in the West.

Typography by Julie Teninbaum
Typography by Julie Teninbaum

Americans spend more than $5.7 BILLION A YEAR on yoga classes and products annually, up 87% since 2004.

The average cost of a YOGA CLASS is $12.

Lululemon Athletica, the world's biggest yoga-inspired retailer, posted $452.9 million in net revenue for fiscal 2009, up 28% from 2008. Its stores generate an average of $1,800 in sales per square foot, about three times as much as apparel retailer J.Crew.

ON JUNE 22, New York's Central Park hosted the largest-ever group yoga session, with more than 10,000 people gathered on the GREAT LAWN.

For his 1967 film "Easy Come, Easy Go," ELVIS Presley recorded the song "Yoga Is as Yoga Does." Other artists who have recorded songs with "Yoga" in the title: Lupe Fiasco ("Yoga Flame"), CSS ("Jager Yoga"), and the Mountain Goats ("Yoga").

BIKRAM CHOUDHURY, father of a fast-growing style of yoga done in rooms heated to 105°F, copyrighted his script of 26 poses in 2002. In response, a team of 100 historians & scientists in India has documented nearly 1,500 poses recorded in ancient texts in an effort to stop people from patenting them.

71% of American yoga practitioners are college educated, compared with just 30% of the overall population. 44% have household incomes of $75,000 OR MORE, compared with 32% of the overall population.

108 is a sacred number in yoga and in Hinduism. For instance, the body is said to have 108 marma points (sacred spots in the body that can be stimulated during yoga).

Forms of yoga have been practiced in India for at least 5,000 YEARS. More than 5,500 yoga-related injuries were treated in the U.S. in 2008, the most recent year for which data are available.

Nearly 16 MILLION adults in the U.S. practice yoga. 72% of them are Women.

THREE-QUARTERS of practitioners in the U.S. have been doing yoga for 5 years or less.

A version of this article appeared in the September 2010 issue of Fast Company magazine.