Yoga is Booming

Yoga is booming. The number of practicing students in the US has increased to over 36 million in 2016, up from 20.4 million in 2012, that’s a 50% increase over 4 years! Over 36 million citizens are active yoga practitioners. These are just a few headline results from a fascinating survey just published jointly by Yoga Journal and Yoga Alliance (2016 Yoga in America study, conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs). Let’s look at another result from this important survey. It states 56% of the practitioners consider themselves beginners, while 42% consider themselves intermediate, and just 2% consider themselves expert. In other words, if you have a community of 1000 students, say, 560 are beginners, 420 are intermediate, and just 20 students are advanced. Are these proportions similar to the offerings of your studio? As an owner, are you really looking after those beginner students? Do you have enough beginner level classes and workshops aimed at and marketed correctly for beginners?

For an active teacher at a studio, teaching 10 classes per week, these numbers suggest the breakdown should be 5 beginner level classes, 4 intermediate level, and just 1 advanced class. Then, as beginner students become ready they can move into your intermediate level classes. These numbers may also suggest that students prefer more restorative and gentle yoga classes. If you are developing a video program for students online you should certainly be considering these numbers as you develop your catalog.

 Another interesting number from the survey is that over 70% of yoga practitioners are women. That’s not surprising to anyone who practices and looks around the yoga studio. But what does it mean? It means there is a huge untapped potential to grow your business by bringing in more men. As an owner or teacher, it would certainly be worth the effort to think how to make the studio or classes more man-friendly and inviting. Spend time talking to those men who do come to class and, of course, to your male teachers, with a view to broadening the appeal of yoga to reach this demographic.

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