vancouver reaches peak yoga: what does this mean for the rest of us?Actually, it’s the opposite of “peak oil,” which has something to do with extraction, production, and the demand exceeding the supply. Or maybe “peak yoga” just looks a little different from “peak oil,” as we have the supply of yoga (teachers and studios) exceeding demand (people who want to do yoga).… Read more

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vancouver reaches peak yoga: what does this mean for the rest of us?

Actually, it’s the opposite of “peak oil,” which has something to do with extraction, production, and the demand exceeding the supply. Or maybe “peak yoga” just looks a little different from “peak oil,” as we have the supply of yoga (teachers and studios) exceeding demand (people who want to do yoga).

At least this is what The Province, a Vancouver-based borderline tabloid newspaper, is claiming in a recent story on why so many yoga studios in the city are closing.

For many, yoga studios are as much a part of Vancouver as coffee shops and sushi joints, but after a wave of at least six city-area yoga studios closing in recent months, some are wondering if the market is overstretched.

In recent months yoga studios have closed down in North Vancouver, Gastown, Kitsilano, Dunbar and the West End. Another, Heart Centre Yoga in Burnaby, has announced they’ll roll up their mats and shut the doors later this month.

But figures in the local yoga community are taking different positions on the reasons for the rush of closures. [via The Province]

The article, of course, gave both of these positions, quoting Lynn Roberts of Innergy Corporate Yoga, who says the Vancouver yoga market is saturated. Jen Riley, the vice-president of marketing for YYoga, a corporate chain (kind of Canada’s version of Pure Yoga) with studios throughout Vancouver, believes there is enough yoga pie for everyone in Vancouver, but Groupon is killing small studios (a small aside: years ago, IAYB had gotten wind that YYoga had bought out independent studios as they expanded into Vancouver’s neighbourhoods).

Not surprisingly, YYoga continues to grow and “aggressively expand” into new markets, including a mega studio that recently opened in Toronto. They’re also campaigning for the “yoga orphans” who are left yoga-less when their neighbourhood studio closes.

The all-important last word, however, goes to a “yoga business expert” from Simon Fraser University who has closely studied and taught about Lululemon’s business plan. “There’s only so many people who want to do yoga, and we probably just have too many studios,” said David Hannah.

Is it more complicated than this? Has the current business model to thrive in the yoga industry (open a studio / start a teacher training to generate revenue / train more students / saturate the market) created a vicious cycle? Does this rash of closures say something about the excess of supply over demand for yoga in other North American cities? And is it possible that as the economic rewards of studio-based yoga diminish, that this phase in the cycle may actually benefit the passionate, committed teachers and students?

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  1. If it benefits the seasoned and passionate teachers I will be gratified but I don’t see how. I see the same over saturation in Nashville and studios are scrambling to figure out how to stay open. When you have to take students money as trainees rather than students to stay afloat is it any wonder the market will collapse?

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