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6 Inspiring Yoga-Based Businesses

Chakra 5 Yoga

McKenna Rowe opened her first yoga-based business in Los Angeles in 2011. Her studio grew out of a desire to help her clientele and spend her career working in a positive environment. Unfortunately, excessive real estate costs, insurance expenses, and so on became too much to manage. That’s when she realized she needed to make a change.

That’s when she came up with the idea to bring yoga to the client, rather than the client to a conventional studio. Thus Chakra 5 Yogawas born. Rowe offers mobile yoga classes on location, scheduling appointments for companies that want to offer their employees the benefit of work-day yoga.

“I love making people feel better. I’ve seen how transformative yoga is for mental, physical and spiritual health, both as a student and as a teacher,” Rowe said. “All you have to do is do it — regularly.”

Wanderlust Festivals

Jeff Krasno and Sean Hoess founded theWanderlust Festival in 2008 after noting a lack of large-scale music gatherings for the yoga community. A hybrid celebration of music and movement, Wanderlust is part music fest and part yoga immersion, allowing yogis to practice with renowned instructors such as Jonny Kest and Shiva Rea in tranquil settings while enjoying live performances by familiar bands. Since its conception, Wanderlust has grown by leaps and bounds.

Hoess credited Wanderlust’s popularity to grassroots marketing, direct outreach, and its symbiotic relationships with yoga studios.

Jade Yoga

While many yogi entrepreneurs begin as students and evolve into the business, Dean Jerrehian, founder and CEO of Jade Yoga, maker of environmentally friendly yoga mats, towels and blocks, took the opposite path.  At the start of 2000, Jerrehian was in the business of natural rubber rug pads. A chance encounter with a yogi who said that existing yoga mats made of PVC (polyvinyl chloride) material lacked proper slip resistance inspired Jerrehian to turn his rug pads into yoga mats. The mats, which were the first natural rubber yoga mats, were well-received in the yoga community. It was only after that time that Jerrehian began to realize the wellness benefits of yoga.

Blissoma by Iriestar

Julie Longyear is a self-described “lifestyle businessperson,” has always believed in integrating her business pursuits and spiritual beliefs.  That philosophy guided her to start Irie Star in 2001 directly out of college. The company introduced its Blissoma Yoga Mat Cleanser in 2005. Along with a network of studio customers, single location specialty boutiques and estheticians, Blissoma Mat Cleanser is sold in select Whole Foods Markets.

olumbus & Company Consulting

Even the most well-intentioned yoga businesses owners can use guidance in the form of best practices. That’s what makes Tracy Columbus, a lifestyle, branding and strategic marketing consultant, serving the entertainment and yoga industry, a valuable asset. Based in Los Angeles, Columbus observed that the yoga studio population had taken on a consumer shift in the early 1990s.

 “Yoga had gone mainstream and the new yoga devotee was more likely to be a stressed-out business person in search of a place to unfurl — and willing to pay for it,” said Columbus.

Pravassa

In 2009, Linden Schaffer was leading distribution for a multi-million dollar fashion shoe brand. Traveling the globe and struggling to find time for yoga led her to create Pravassa, a New York City-based retreat planning company that brings teachers and students together for healthy retreats.
Schaffer said that by serving a niche within the travel market, Pravassa has found particular marketing value through its blog, which reviews classes around the world. That in turn, creates valuable buzz and viral activity, when reviewed instructors share the blog with their students.