Yoga marketing as spiritual quest or weight loss practice?

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Weight Loss Yoga Marketing“This new yoga teacher is great, Clare has one of those calorie trackers and she actually burnt more calories during yoga class than on a treadmill”.

That was a girl chatting to another woman just before a yoga class I recently started going to in the gym.

Another lady commented later, “oh, I didn’t like Caren’s yoga class cover, he was…sooo…into spirituality”…

Yes, must admit I’ve always been a bit “observative”, so I could not help but observe fellow gym-lovers, as they talked about yoga and weight loss, just before the yoga  practice.

And it was one of those observations that made me wonder:

If we want people to benefit form yoga, and it must be marketed, then should yoga be marketed as spiritual quest or weight loss practice?

hmm, then I remembered the very first time I gave in and tried yoga… it definitely was not because yoga was advertised as a “I am That” but I did because I’ve read in the fitness magazine that “doing” dynamic yoga could help burn up to 500 calories or more.

But it was not long after my first gym type yoga experience that I ended up going to yoga retreats, joining yoga studio and getting to know, and benefit from the “spiritual” side of yoga.

Which, raised a futher question:

If we want people to benefit from yoga, how do we attract yoga virgins, who are almost “frightened” of the spiritual aspect of the practice, just as the lady above was?

Do we market yoga as a spiritual quest to those obsessed (just like I was …many years ago) by calorie counting, or do we use yoga as a tool to attract people by highlighting the other benefits of yoga, such as weight loss, sexy arms and cure from insomnia?

And when it comes to marketing yoga, I can not help but wonder if we simply forgot how we first came to yoga?

Was it really spiritual aspect of it that was attractive or … something else, like in my case burning extra 500 calories? and as a result of it I wonder if yoga businesses suffer from trying too hard to get the message across, and attract clients in yoga studios?

I will leave you to this, but as a final word… I can not help but wonder:

Should we be giving people what they want like weight loss yoga, OR what we think they want – path towards spiritual journey?

Tamara Machavariani

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