Archive for May, 2008

Yoga Business in Vancouver: Can They Keep to Roots?

Nettwerk Music is big if you’re small–it represents indie musicians who get good play in Canada–Sarah McLachlan, Barenaked Ladies, Avril Lavigne. But now CEO Terry McBride is catching the yoga biz bug. According to the May 29 article in The Vancouver Sun. McBride says that, “yoga hasn’t received the marketing it deserves.”

Even with gyms jumping on mainstreamed yoga’s promise of luxurious and exotic well-being, it still surprises me that a music CEO wants a slice of the pie.

“He wants to fill the need with YYoga, a business that incorporates restful tea lounges, infrared saunas, in-house yoga classes and other niceties he hopes will draw potential practitioners who might otherwise be frightened away by the prospect of trying to twist themselves up like pretzels.”

As a long-time practitioner, it’s hard to relate to this idea of the pretzel. But I know, I know, it’s marketing…

“You should walk in and feel like you are in a spa,” he said. “It should have people who work at the front desk, after class the teacher should sit and have tea for half an hour and the teacher should get paid for that. “You have to make it easy to practise yoga – have different classes for different studios.”

He plans to expand to add more studios in Canada-and one in Seattle– after another round of financing.

As reported in The Vancouver Sun.

Meditation and you: “Lotus Therapy”

The Science Times talks about the benefits of meditation in therapy. Some doctors–many who got turned on to meditation in the 70s–are now being taken more seriously in their fields. Yoga gets a mention: “Enhanced awareness through breathing techniques and specific postures. Schools vary widely, aiming to achieve total absorption in the present and a release from ordinary thoughts. Studies are mixed, but evidence shows it can reduce stress.” Uh, yeah. 

As #1 most emailed article for Tuesday, it’s worth a look. Read it here.  

Suburban Yoga commentary

A meandering “no drama” reflection on how yoga builds community and meaning for a middle aged physician from Westwood, MA. It’s so hard to communicate the grit in yoga that keeps people coming back. 

Published in the Suburban Diary section of the Boston Globe

First NIH Yoga Week

The National Institute of Health initiated its first annual Yoga Week, May 19 – 23, in Maryland.

The press release says, “Highlighting the science and practice of yoga, this five-day series of events will serve NIH employees and the public. Participants will not only learn about the benefits of yoga but also experience them first-hand through stretching and practice.”

Speakers include Alan Finger, John Schumacher, Timothy McCall, an assortment of doctors, and representatives from Burt’s Bees, and appearances by Weight Watchers, Honest Tea, Whole Foods, and the Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation.

Reminds me of Donna Karan’s Urban Zen project.

Kundalini Comes to Small Town

Yoga in small-town USA is not news–but a major figure like Gurmukh Kaur Khalsa, spiritual leader of little-reported-on Kundalini yoga, visits Long Island, NY and most of the town shows up–that’s news.

Scene at St. Mark's United Methodist Church, c/o Herald

She radiated a tranquil aura as she spoke to the group who hung on her every word.  “All the answers are within,” she said.

The event helped raise money to build the Peki Hospitality House in Ghana, West Africa.

Read about Gurmukh’s May 19th visit to St. Mark’s United Methodist Church in Rockville Center, NY on Herald Online Community Newspaper.

Wii Fit, Ewwwww

Wii Fit: the idea of it just reeks of gadget joy for shopping-channel aficionados. And fitness industry insiders with their spreadsheets oozing sumptuous numbers. If you’ve ever tried to do yoga from a video you know that it’s just hard–uncomfortable and imperfect–to do it outside of a live, real-time classroom. Do you really want to be rated on your yoga practice? And by a machine? Talk about feeling like a number…

So far the reviews are mixed. From Om Yoga’s founder and director Cyndi Lee, to game theory reporter for the NYTimes the reviews are not hot at all.

Not to bash those like who might like Wii Fit, like women caring for small children at home, but ew.