The economy is down, stress levels are up, and more people are attending yoga class? As contradictory as this may sound, more reports are coming in from around the country on increased attendance in yoga classes.

While the practice of yoga has been around for thousands of years, most Americans have only become aware of the benefits of yoga in the past few decades. The old preconceived notions about the practice of yoga have fallen to the wayside as the benefits of yoga have become more documented and understood. Understanding the trends that are impacting the growing popularity of yoga can help you quickly begin your career in yoga!

Stress reduction
One of the number one reasons people practice yoga is to reduce stress. As a country, we have all experienced the increase in stress in our daily lives. Life is out of balance for many of us. This can be seen in the increasing divorce rate, the long hours we spend at the office, and in our health. People pop anti-anxiety drugs like candy. There is a notable trend of people who are interested in finding natural ways decrease the effects of stress.

There are opportunities to help people regain control of their lives through a regular yoga practice. Yoga is a natural stress reliever. Multiple studies have shown that a regular yoga practice can help to reduce the effects of stress on the body. The combination of asana, pranayama, and meditation is so powerful that it can drastically improve mood, quality of sleep, and your energy level.

Yogipreneur Tip: Make copies of articles (such as Harvard Medical) that discuss the relationship between yoga and stress reduction. Give copies to students, link to the article in a newsletter, or even forward it to your local health and wellness reporter with a comment about how your teaching provides these benefits!

Yoga for Health
Over 50% of current yoga practitioners began their practice to increase their overall level of health. This represents a ten-fold growth in the number of people interested in the health benefits of yoga over the past five years. Lowered blood pressure, pain management, increased metabolism, lower respiratory rate – these are just some of the many positive health effects of a regular yoga practice.

Yogipreneur Tip: Help people achieve better health by understanding their health goals. Include on your new student intake form a section for health goals with check boxes including weight control, blood pressure, circulation, digestion, pain tolerance, etc. This information is powerful for you to enroll students in attending yoga on a regular basis to achieve these goals.

Yoga Therapy
Yogis have known for centuries the powerful effects of the mind-body connection; however it hasn’t been until recently that the public become aware of how mental health issues can manifest in the body. We are a country that has learned to swallow our emotions. Without bringing these issues to the surface and dealing with them, we will continue to live in a society of fear, mistrust, and sarcasm.

The practice of yoga as therapy brings to the forefront the mind-body connection. Yoga helps patients to quiet their mind and explore the energy released during specific yoga poses. You may not be a therapist, but understanding how to guide your students through these emotions can help them learn to work out their issues on the mat.

Yogipreneur Tip: If you are interested in practicing yoga therapy, check out the International Association of Yoga Therapists to find a local yoga therapy training program.

Baby-Boomers
We have been hearing about the effects of the baby-boomers in our economy and society for a few years now, but have you considered the opportunities in working with baby-boomers?

This generation is revolutionizing the way that we look at our “golden years”. They are recreating a retirement vision to include world travel, new life experiences, going back to school, and living an active lifestyle. Entire communities have been built for this generation to continue playing golf, dancing, and socializing.

Yogipreneur Tip: Working with this segment of the population can be incredibly rewarding and make great business sense. Baby boomers want to stay healthy and active to live a long life. Offering yoga classes created specifically for baby-boomers will give you a new lease on living “forever young”.

Yoga for every Body
Hatha, Gentle, Vinyasa, Yin, Power, Prenatal…the list goes on and on. The styles of yoga are almost as numerous as the 70,000+ teachers in the U.S. Why is this incredible trend a business opportunity?

Every person is different. We all have different emotional and physical needs. We each have unique goals. While one person might love the intensity of Power Yoga in a heated room, another may prefer a slower and gentler class. Once you understand what type of student is attracted to your style of teaching, you can grow your business more quickly, offer more services to your students, and become more efficient with your time.

Yogipreneur Tip: A jack of all trades is a master of none. Focus your style of teaching on a specific style (or very closely related styles) which resonate with your students. This will help you to attract a niche group of students who will be more appreciative of your teaching.

Rise of the Mass Affluent
This is a topic discussed widely in other industries, but rarely discussed by the yoga community. In fact, thousands of businesses are specifically designed to provide services and products for the mass affluent as this segment of the population is projected to continue to grow at a rate of 10-15% per year.

So what exactly does “mass affluent” mean? Those who are in this demographic are not necessary making a huge income. Most will earn between $75K to $125K of household income per year. This segment qualifies as mass affluent based on total assets. This means that their savings, their investments, 401Ks, and even the equity in their home are north of $100,000.

Why is this important for those in the yoga business? Because this segment of the population is the most interested in yoga! It is much easier to offer services to those who are interested and have the discretionary income available to attend regular yoga classes.

Yogipreneur Tip: Learn about the lifestyle and buying habits of this demographic. This segment is loyal to those who provide incredible service and value. So go above and beyond to develop a relationship with these students!

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