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Does meditation 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, YTQYOGMED reports whether the person did meditation as part of yoga.

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 (YTQYOGYR), in some years they were asked a series of follow-up questions.

Beginning in 2022, YTQYOGMED 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 for yoga:

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.

The Field Representative's Manual also provided the following definition for meditation:

Meditation refers to a group of techniques, most of which started in Eastern religious or spiritual traditions. In meditation, a person learns to focus his attention and suspend the stream of thoughts that normally occupy the mind. This practice is believed to result in a state of greater physical relaxation, mental calmness, and psychological balance. Practicing meditation can change how a person relates to the flow of emotions and thoughts in the mind. Some research suggests that meditation may physically change the brain and body and could potentially help to improve many health problems and promote healthy behaviors.

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

In 2022, meditation as part of yoga was 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