Why do women outnumber men in Ayurveda and Yoga? - Ayurveda | Everyday Ayurveda

Why do women outnumber men in Ayurveda and Yoga?

By on May 27, 2013

I recently offered a practicum titled How to Empower Your Clients to Make Long-term Sustainable Changes with their Health and Consciousness at the National Ayurvedic Medical Association’s annual conference.

The practicum sold out and had a waiting list, so I loved seeing the enthusiasm for the topic of professional Ayurveda practice…something I feel very passionate about and loved sharing new mindsets and specific strategies with those in attendance.

Out of the 45 people in the room, almost all of them established Ayurveda practitioners, 2 were men and 43 of them were women. Now, these numbers aren’t unusual and in fact over the 16+ years I’ve been in the field men:women ratios like this have been the norm.

So, I have a couple of questions I’d like to hear your thoughts on:

1) Are you and man or a woman, and why do you think that women outnumber men so tremendously in the fields of Ayurveda and Yoga?

2) And…as more practitioners start building a financially sustainable Ayurveda practice and businesses (with help from training like the Grow Your Ayurvedic Business program), do you think that will have any effect on the ratio of men to women? Why or why not?

Leave your responses in the comment box below, and share this with your friends and colleagues on Facebook and Twitter so we can include their opinions as well.

FREE ONLINE TRAINING: How to Start or Grow a Thriving Professional Ayurveda Practice


I’m Jacob Griscom, President of Everyday Ayurveda and professional Ayurveda business coach.

If you’re an Ayurvedic practitioner or student and you’ve found this article helpful and inspiring, I’m offering a free webinar that’s going to go into the system in more depth soon. If you’re serious about starting or growing your professional Ayurveda practice, you should definitely check it out.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About Jacob Griscom

Jacob Griscom is the President of Everyday Ayurveda and Director of the Grow Your Ayurvedic Business program, the leading program for Ayurveda practitioners to grow thriving professional Ayurveda practices.


  1. Jacob Griscom

    May 27, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    For example, are men (demographically) more focused on making money than women? Are women (demographically) more focused on health and healing than men?

  2. Joey B

    June 3, 2013 at 7:28 am

    This is a valid observation, Jacob. Insofar as yoga practice and teaching is concerned, I believe there are several superficial layers involving anxiety, cultural perception, and self-image.

    I grew up in Eastern Canada, where it was just accepted that as a young male, you’d play hockey. Any young boy drawn to figure skating, as an example, was subject to peer ridicule since it was considered out of the norm. I suspect that in the US, the equivalent would be with American football versus dancing ballet. The men who are drawn or called upon to teach yoga usually are more self-aware than the average male and transcend societal-imposed stereotypes, or may care less about these superficial factors to be worried about peer perception.

    As yoga markets in the West have been historically female-dominated, the natural extension of this is Ayurveda, yoga’s sister science. Self-awareness and healing requires one to face and balance out one’s physical, emotional and spiritual states. As social stereotypes regarding gender will eventually fade and Ayurveda becomes more commonplace in our society, I fully anticipate this would balance out naturally. True yoga as described by Patanjali involves us to cease mental fluctuations and perceive ourselves as we really are. Part of this involves balancing the masculine and feminine energies to awaken unity, so it’s something everyone (both male and female) needs to face, eventually.

    That said, I believe every practitioner has their own energetic fingerprint to offer to the profession, and in everyone’s healing journey clients will be drawn to practitioners with the balancing energies they need. And male practitioners will definitely be able to contribute in that regard.

    • Jacob Griscom

      June 3, 2013 at 7:49 am

      Great thoughts, Joey. Thank you. Any thoughts on the 2nd question?

      • Joey B

        June 5, 2013 at 10:00 am

        Yup, Jacob…thanks for the discussion. I do have some thoughts on the 2nd question you posed. I would anticipate that as more practitioners start creating their own successful practices, and visibility of Ayurveda increases, you will eventually see more men participating in this field of study. Mainly because of the fact that anyone with societal or cultural anxieties will be more willing to set aside their obstacles through the examples of the pioneers who came before them. I can’t say for sure if we’ll ever have a 50/50 split between genders, though.

        Another thought came to mind since I wrote my original post. While it’s comparing apples and oranges to an extent, it still highlights another aspect of the male-female ratio differences in the profession, which you’ve observed in this article. Look at massage therapy as a healing modality – it is a primarily female dominated industry. Generally speaking, male massage therapists have commented that they need to work a bit harder to build trust with their clients than their female counterparts. People of both genders are more willing to receive massages from women, than men for the most part. There are also legal cases of male practitioners being called out for inappropriateness, as well. It’s not an impossible obstacle to surmount, but it still is a consideration. Similar social barriers may exist within Ayurveda as well, since several of its modalities employed (massage/bodywork) intersect closely with massage therapy.

        Like I alluded to in my previous post, male and female energies can create a whole Shiva/Shakti paradigm within the fields of yoga and Ayurveda, and I’m given to believe that for healing purposes, both are required. So I believe both men and women are needed in this profession. That said, a true healer can balance these elements within him/herself and by extension, help balance these energies out in others, as well. Namaste!

  3. cshillong@telus.net'

    Christopher Shillong

    June 3, 2013 at 8:15 am

    Hi Jacob,
    Women outnumber men not just in Ayurveda but pretty much all modalities of alternative medicine. Why? I think it has a lot to do with an inner consciousness that is more latent, at this time, in men than in women and for very good reason. Women are curious and want to know what makes their bodies and minds tick. Perhaps it is an awareness based on their nurturing qualities as woman. Most men on the other hand, are more focused on providing for their families, recreation and sports; each playing out their roles or parts so to speak. So yes, I agree with your example; men are more focused on making money and women are more focused on health and healing. This however, does not mean that men do not have the ability to undertake the task of studying Ayurveda or other forms of healing; it just means that this consciousness needs to be played out, understood and accepted for what it is. From a philosophical point of view, gender plays a very small role in the field of cosmic consciousness. Everything is unfolding as it should.

    • Jacob Griscom

      June 3, 2013 at 11:14 am

      …and what do you think: as we have more financially successful practitioners in these fields, will the ratio of men increase?

  4. ecarlisle@healing-ayurveda.com'

    Elizabeth Carlisle

    January 25, 2016 at 11:48 am

    Hi Jacob:
    I think it is no mystery that more women than men are attracted to health and life-giving principles. Woman are typically more nurturing and more attuned to their intuition. This maternal instinct connects women to nature and their bodies in very intimate ways; such as childbirth and the menstrual period. I have always had more female patients than male. Blessings.

    • Jacob

      February 2, 2016 at 10:04 am

      I can generally agree with that observation. So, a follow up question: as Ayurvedic practitioners become more financially successful, do you think we will see an increase in the number of men in the profession? Or even will the increased financial success be somewhat due to an increase in men?

  5. maryholtnps@gmail.com'

    Mary holt

    August 13, 2016 at 11:59 am

    I really don’t know. I never even thought about it. We are the intutive nurturers of the species.

    As a women with several men in my life from grandfathers, husband [DR.] to sons and grandsons and
    several male friends [professionals] I can say many men don’t have the patience this training requires.

    Ayurveda goes past one plus one equals two. We learn why and how 1+1=2. The study of herbs is deep and ongoing. The practitioner must unravel a clients many layers of imbalance, fears, and pain.
    Patience is one of the keys to being a really excellent healer.

    Maybe it’s money. This is a good question to ask men also.

  6. drkinshuk86@gmail.com'


    September 3, 2016 at 11:25 am

    Hi. Well, personally I feel there’s nothing like that. In india I have observed the opposite. There are more male ayurveda practitioners then women. May be in western countries, more women are interested in health naturally so they prefer being ayurveda and yoga practioner. Other thing, women have responsibilitis of children as well so thay they can work accordingly. Just my opinion, I’m not sure either:)

    • Jacob Griscom

      September 3, 2016 at 1:05 pm

      I heard a news story recently saying that a lot more women were going to medical school in India than men, but a lower percentage were going on to practice because their aim was family and home life instead. This article is speaking to my observation of Ayurveda and Yoga programs in the West, which are definitely dominated by women.

  7. Lorraine@peoplesrx.com'


    September 5, 2016 at 5:46 pm

    I think it is also a financial reason. It is difficult to support yourself, much less a family, on being a yoga teacher or even an Ayurveda Practitioner. One can only teach so many classes or see so many clients. Also, the fees have to be kept low ( at this point in time) because people won’t pay for something they either think of as just an exercise class….which it is not…or see an “unlicensed” practitioner. I am hopeful, that over time, this will change as the West become more familiar with what these sciences can do for them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Receive Everything Ayurveda In Your Inbox. Free!
Subscription and Privacy: Our free weekly newsletter is sent every Wednesday, and it's filled with our newest Ayurveda articles and resources.Your information will never be shared or sold to a 3rd party.
Green Smoothie pop-up
GYAB Webinar pop-up
Non-fat kitchari pop-up
Ayurveda Test pop-up
VA: Reading Pop-Up
VA: Tutoring Pop-Up
Poop Sheet Pop-Up