Over the past year, we have all gone through a transformation with our yoga practices.
In the past we used to roll up our mats and head to our favorite yoga studio for a 60 minute practice where we might spend some time hanging out after class before we roll our mat back up and head home.
But that was quickly traded for on-demand, virtual/live streaming classes that we could take from home due to stay at home orders and lockdowns.
And while some places are opening up and lifting restrictions so we can return to in-studio classes, the online yoga world is not slowing down anytime soon.
People, more than ever, are turning to on-demand and live stream classes and continuing to keep their practice at home.
5 Reasons Why On-Demand Yoga is Here to Stay
1. People Save Time & Enjoy the Convenience of Home Practice
Let’s be real.
The amount of time that we are saving from going into a studio to take a class is huge. With most people driving 15-20 minutes one way to practice and adding a few extra minutes to socialize before and after class we are saving at least 45 minutes of time per practice.
If you practice 4 times a week you are saving nearly 3 hours each week and over 12 hours per month.
Over the course of the year you will be saving a total of 6 straight days just by cutting out your studio commute and doing your practice at home.
That’s almost an entire extra week of your life each year saved!
If the time saved wasn’t enough, there is also the convenience of being able to practice at home with your family and pets around.
This means that many parents who would have to get a babysitter, or wait until another caregiver was home or the kids were in school to practice can now fit in a short practice during nap time, or even have their kids or pets join them.
Many are enjoying the new freedom to practice at the time and place that is easiest for them and without having to fight traffic, or be at the mercy of their studio’s schedule now that they can take recorded classes or access their practice on demand.
2. You Can Reach Your Favorite Teachers & Students From Anywhere in the World
You know that teacher that you have always followed on social media and thought to yourself, one day I want to take a class from them?
Well, now you can.
One major benefit of most teachers adding a virtual component to their teaching is that they can reach students all over the globe with the click of a button.
I personally experienced this, when I began taking prenatal yoga classes with my favorite yoga teacher who is based out of Wales.
Not only was I able to take classes from her and have the experience of being her students without the 7 hour plane ride, I was also able to practice with fellow students from across the world.
The experience of being able to meet other prenatal students from different parents of the world added to the experience and community that I didn’t know I was missing.
And on the other side of things, as the teacher when I offered my virtual events and classes I was able to open my doors to anyone who wanted to join, regardless of where they were located.
I was able to reach students that I would never have had the opportunity to welcome to practice with me in person.
Being able to connect with new people, and offer my events to such a wide variety of people made them all the more unique and fulfilling.
3. People Can Try Something New Without Fear, Judgment, or Comparison
Another added benefit to one-demand and livestreaming classes is the opportunity for students to try something, and not have to worry about comparison or feeling silly.
When teachers began to share their gifts virtually, it opened up an opportunity for students around the globe to try something new.
Suddenly, there were tons of on-demand yoga classes in new and unique styles popping up everywhere, that may not have been available in their local area.
On demand classes and events such a yin yoga, yoga nidra, chanting, and pranayama practices now became accessible to anyone.
This led to people not only trying new things, but being able to expand their practice and deepen their understanding of yoga.
Although we know that we shouldn’t feel bashful, or worry about comparison when we practice in a studio, we all know that fear of judgement or not knowing what we are doing keeps a lot of us from trying something new.
For some practices like chanting, or pranayama many feel unsure of what to expect or worry they will feel silly doing that in front of other people, so having the option of doing a new style or class from the privacy of their own home is a huge benefit.
It’s much easier to give your chanting and pranayama your all when it is just your cat watching, or if you’re trying something like yoga nidra for the first time you can get as comfortable as you want and even do the practice from your warm, cozy bed- which is always a big plus!
4. On-Demand Creates New Revenue Stream and Creates Financial Resilience for Yoga Teachers
If we learned one thing over the course of the pandemic, it is that financial resilience and diversifying your offerings is essential to keeping your business afloat during unprecedented times.
Over the past 18 months we unfortunately had to see a lot of local yoga businesses close their doors forever, and we all suffered from the sudden upheaval of our industry due to stay at home orders, and social distancing guidelines.
However, if there is one large lesson to be learned from this hardship it is the importance of diversifying your offerings and making sure that you add a on-demand and virtual yoga component to your business.
This ensures that you not only have an option if we are sent back home and studios have to close their doors again, but it also adds another stream of revenue for yoga businesses.
Many teachers are now offering a hybrid of in person and virtual classes and events, either live streaming their in person classes, or allowing students to buy a membership to access replays of their classes online.
I have even seen teachers taking their businesses completely location independent and offering their signature events and training online as well as in person from different locations.
Adding a virtual component will add a new revenue stream to your business, and also give you something to fall back on if studio doors close again, but it also helps you to build business longevity and resilience by diversifying your offerings.
5. We Aren't Out of the Woods Yet
Finally, it’s important to acknowledge that we aren’t out of the woods yet.
At the time of writing Covid-19 cases are on the rise again and there are rumors of more lockdowns, and stay at home orders.
In the case of this happening it will cause studios and teachers to go completely virtual again.
Even if you can still teach in person in your area, that doesn't mean that there aren’t immunocompromised students that still wish to practice but are uncomfortable doing so in public again or other populations that aren’t able to make in studio classes.
Although we may be trending in the right direction, it is important to stay logical and pragmatic about the possibilities of a regression and make sure that we as yoga teachers are prepared and ready to take things back online if that happens.
It is essential to be able to do this and makes it certain that on-demand and livestreaming yoga is here to stay.