An estimated 15.7 million Germans are currently practicing yoga or are at least interested in starting to practice, and they often perceive yoga as a therapeutic approach. From a healthcare system perspective, the situation is less clear. Here, yoga is only recognized as a recreational or preventive activity. When yoga teachers fulfill specific qualifications, their preventive yoga classes are covered by the statutory health insurances. Only those with additional qualifications in medicine or psychotherapy, however, can independently use and promote “yoga therapy.” The general perception of yoga in Germany as a preventive practice is reflected in the professional organization of yoga providers. Most providers are considered to be yoga teachers rather than yoga therapists and are organized mainly in yoga teacher associations. Despite the uncertain legal framework, yoga is now considered in a number of medical guidelines; in a number of hospitals, yoga is part of multimodal inpatient treatment programs and is delivered by physical therapists or members of other health professions. An increasing number of yoga therapy clinical trials are conducted in Germany, and efforts are underway to establish yoga therapy as an accepted adjunct treatment approach for selected medical conditions within the German healthcare system.

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