Name of Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Mona Sinha

Faculty Sponsor Email


Author Bio(s)

Clay Wilderman graduated in July 2018 with a Bachelor’s in Marketing from Kennesaw State University. This research, ‘Namaste in the USA: The Growing Pains that Traditional Yoga Faces in America - An International Marketing Case Study, was completed in Spring 2018 as part of the coursework in International Marketing (MKTG 4820), under the instruction of Dr. Mona Sinha. Clay presented this case study at the 2018 Atlantic Marketing Association Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana where he received the accolade of Most Outstanding Undergraduate Case Study. He also presented this case study at the 2018 KSU Symposium of Student Scholars. Clay now works full-time at Transcend Networks, Inc. as their Director of Marketing and Sales, where he develops strategic marketing initiatives and does interpersonal selling to drive growth.

Publication Date

Winter 2019


Yoga is a mind, body, and spiritual practice that originated nearly 5,000 years in India. It is known to relieve stress, enhance athletic performance, increase strength and flexibility as well as assist in achieving inner peace, focus, and improving mental wellness. In recent years, the practice of yoga has grown exponentially in the United States with about 37 million practitioners in 2016. However, the future growth of yoga in the U.S faces some critical challenges. American innovations in yoga techniques and the rise of the yoga accessories industry with deep linkages with consumerism, is drawing the practice away from its philosophical roots which emphasizes mental and spiritual benefits. A shortage of qualified instructors is exacerbating this problem. Further, the practice of yoga in the U.S seems to be mainly by females and concentrated largely in urban areas and East/West coast, thus, precluding its mass adoption. Also, although yoga has many health benefits across ages, and many schools have started adopting it, there has been some backlash due to its roots in Hinudism. Anti-immigrant rhetoric is also on the rise, in the U.S. which could have adverse impact on yoga which is clearly linked to India and Hinduism. This case study examines the practice and background of yoga and its rising popularity in the United States. It delves into the many challenges that yoga faces in becoming a part of mainstream health/wellness and fitness industry. Additionally, the case study poses critical marketing questions related to the scalability of its adoption in the United States…a challenge that the Brahmans, Rishis, and Yogis who created this practice thousands of years ago in India could never have foreseen.