The Yoga Questionnaire

A friend and colleague of mine, Inga Bårdsen Tøllefsen, from the University of Tromsø, Norway, is collecting data for her dissertation via an online survey. Inga is the co-editor of the recent volume, Oxford Handbook on New Religious Movements, and specializes in alternative and emerging religions.

 I have copied and pasted her introductory text below. Do take a moment to help out with her survey



Dear Sir/Madam:

I am a PhD Candidate of comparative religions (religionsvitenskap) at the University of Tromsø in northern Norway.

I am conducting research on modern yoga (primarily postural (asana) yoga) and how yoga practice may or may not connect to (alternative) spiritualities. If you in some capacity practice yoga, I would appreciate your taking the time to complete the following questionnaire.

You might find a few of the questions odd. This is in part because the survey builds on studies of other spiritual milieus. Some items from prior questionnaires are included in this survey for the purpose of comparison. Yet other items are drawn from the General Social Survey and from the Baylor University Survey, which permit certain comparisons. This has resulted in the survey being somewhat long — I deeply appreciate your taking the time to complete it.

If you are wondering about me, I have been studying the alternative scene (and particularly Hindu-derived spirituality) for a while. I wrote my MA thesis on the Art of Living Foundation, and I have since written several articles and chapters on Art of Living, Indian new religious movements in the West, gender, and the New Age. I am also a co-editor of several anthologies. I also have a page on that you are welcome to look into.

Categories found in questionnaires like this one frequently do not do justice to the complexities of real life. For this reason, a number of open-ended items have been included that allow for more nuanced responses. Though I prefer ENGLISH, you can, alternately, answer OPEN-ENDED QUESTIONS IN ANOTHER EUROPEAN LANGUAGE. You are also welcome to contact me directly at

Also, if there are items you are uncomfortable answering, it is possible to skip questions.

The questionnaire will NOT gather and store directly identifiable personal data, and will NOT store your IP-address.

Informants may, in some cases, be indirectly identifiable in the ‘raw’ data material. However, informants will NOT be identifiable in publications/ the PhD thesis.

PLEASE NOTE: If you know that you are inclined to be really thorough (a trait I deeply appreciate), this questionnaire will likely to take some time to complete. Unfortunately, it is not possible to ‘park’ the questionnaire and return to it later. What you might want to do instead is to look through the questionnaire, note the questions you think will require lengthy responses, and then compose your responses in a word-processing program. After you have finished, reopen the questionnaire, and cut-and-paste responses to relevant questions.

Thanks for your help.

Inga Bårdsen Tøllefsen
University of Tromsø
Tromsø, Norway 

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