Yoga is increasing in popularity in the U.S. and it’s not going anywhere. According to Lori Lowell, a Gold’s Gym franchisee, if there is one program for clubs to focus on, it’s yoga.
Before starting a yoga program, you must first determine what style of yoga you want to offer. Lowell recommends keeping it simple and avoid offering too many styles of yoga. “Our yoga style in our clubs is vinyasa flow with power elements,” said Lowell. “Through my research, in the fitness club environment, vinyasa flow yoga does best as the main offering.”
Lowell said it is important that clubs offer organic and authentic yoga — not just another fitness class that has yoga.
“It is too popular not to learn real yoga styles and figure out the best kind of yoga and teachers for your classes,” she explained. “Ensure your instructor is educated and knows their content, yoga philosophy, pose breakdown and makes it approachable, ensuring success for students.”
Below, Lowell, in her own words, shares an additional six tips on getting a successful yoga program up and running:
- Make sure your instructors speak the language, know their poses and know how to properly prepare flow.
- A yoga class with music is so much more fun than without, and it gives teachers an opportunity to express themselves even more.
- Ensure you market properly so people who still think yoga is not a workout can learn it absolutely is. This must be an integrated part of the club’s philosophy with total buy in from employees.
- Props are critical. Mats, blocks and straps are a must.
- Make sure you have a room that can be warmer than a freezing room at 68 degrees. Hot yoga is not necessary in a fitness environment, but it is important the room is warmer than the normal temperature of the club and other studios.
- Take time to make your studio a place where people want to be. Smell, candles and ambiance are so important to enhance the overall experience.
With the fitness industry constantly changing, it’s important for health clubs to figure out how to make programs special, unique, interesting and a place where people want to be. Creating a successful, authentic yoga program may be what is best for your members and your club.