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Does breathing exercises as part of yoga

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For sample adults age 18 and older and children age 4 and older who practiced yoga in the past 12 months (YTQYOGYR), YTQYOGBREX reports whether the person did breathing exercises as part of yoga. Respondents were told that "[b]reathing exercises may involve actively controlling the way air is drawn in, or the rate or depth of breathing."

For 2012 and 2017, yoga was one of many alternative health treatment modalities included in the Complementary and Alternative Health Supplements. If sample respondents indicated that they had practiced yoga in the past 12 months, in some years they were asked a series of follow-up questions.

Beginning in 2022, YTQYOGBREX was one of twenty-five variables sponsored by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to assess complementary and integrative health (CIH) practices. Please see THPYART to learn more about the Complementary and Integrative Health content section, including a complete list of CIH variables fielded in the 2022 NHIS.


Beginning in 2012, the Field Representative's Manual provided the following definition:

Yoga combines breathing exercises, physical postures, and meditation to calm the nervous system and balance body, mind, and spirit. Usually performed in classes, sessions are conducted once a week or more and roughly last 45 minutes.

Field representatives were advised to "feel free to offer [this definition] even if the respondent has not requested [it]."

In 2022, breathing exercises were not further defined in the field representative's manual.


The NHIS questionnaire was substantially redesigned in 2019 to introduce a different data collection structure and new content. For more information on changes in terminology, universes, and data collection methods beginning in 2019, please see the user note. Beyond the sample redesign, there are no comparability issues with this variable.


  • 2012, 2017: Sample adults age 18+ and sample children age 4+ who have used Yoga in the past 12 months (YTQYOGYR).
  • 2022: Sample adults age 18+ and sample children age 4-17.


  • 2012, 2017, 2022