Yoga adopts lucrative posture in Koramangala

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Yoga adopts lucrative posture in Koramangala, up market centres charge Rs 500 to Rs 10,000 for separate session

KORAMANGALA: Staying fit is Koramangala’s new mantra. It is evident from the number of fitness ventures sprouting in the area with an eye to capitalise on India’s traditional, cultural asset-Yoga. While people find other activities like diet, jog, swim, climb stairs and ‘gyming’ rigorous and boring activity, Yoga seems to win Koramangala’s heart. Clearly, local fitness centres do want to miss on the lucrative opportunity and offer yoga classes.

“I have been doing yoga for last one year and I have lost 17 kilos,” says 32-year-old Mukul. “I feel mentally happy, which never happened when I did gyming for one-and-a-half year some year ago,” he adds. Mukul discoloses that he is paying Rs 5,000 a month at one of the high-end yoga studio in Koramangala.

There are around 15 prominent up-market Yoga centres operating in Koramangala, and about every gym or fitness centre conducts separate yoga sessions, costing Rs 500-10,000 a month. The high differential in the fee structure comes from the form fanciness of the centre and the quality of the trainer. Interestingly, all of have reported a rise in the number of people opting for various forms of yoga.

Posh Yoga Studios

Due North Yoga Private Ltd, which runs and own ‘a1000yoga’, an upmarket studio in Koramangala, is witnessing a steady growth of 40-50 new practitioners each month at its Koramangala studio. Started by Pradeep G Gowda, with a seed capital of Rs 1 crore in April 2011, the unit has observed a significant growth by registering more than 1,000 practitioners after a year according to Gowda. Besides Koramangala, a1000yoga has its foot in neighbouring Indiranagar, Jayanagar also, where it is seeing similar growth.

On offer at ‘a1000yoga’ are various forms of yoga, hatha yoga, ashtanga vinyasa, power yoga, yoga for kids, yoga for senior citizens, pre- and post-natal yoga and even ‘hot yoga’. The fees ranges between Rs 1,500-4,000 a month.

“Hatha yoga which is asana- pranayama-meditation (APM) has the largest number of practitioners,” says Gowda, adding that Koramangala proved to be their stepping stone, “which helped us bring this gift of good health to the people and be located on one of the busiest food streets in Bangalore”. According to him, people of age 25-40 years are coming for yoga coaching and from all types of work areas.

In terms of yoga coaching as a business opportunity, Gowda says that one can expect profit margins of 30-50 percent. Gowda should know. His a1000yoga has grown over 120 per cent in terms of Y-O-Y revenue for the past two years. “We expect to continue to grow at this rate for the next three years,” said Gowda.

Location Advantage

Manish Pole of Total Yoga begs to differ on the business aspect. “It is wrong to call and treat yoga as business; it is community practice,” said Pole, who runs and co-owns Total Yoga, which has centres in Bangalore, Delhi, Pune Singapore and Bucharest (Romania). Incidentally, amongst all the centres, Koramangala is the fastest growing centre, and makes about 20 percent in rise in number of people every month.

However, Pole believes unless one runs Yoga as community business, one does not have to put in heavy investment costs and hefty running costs. “To do community work like yoga, we get able partners here,” said Pole. About the local clientele, he said earlier people were coming just to lose weight but now the practioners have realized yoga as part of a healthy lifestyle or for relaxation.

“In Koramangala, we see clients more from creative fields, like designers, architects etc while earlier it was more of techies,” he said. The fee for the classes at Total Yoga is Rs 3,000 per month for 12 classes.

Personal Trainers

Where on one hand, people at Koramangala are making a beeline at upmarket yoga centres, the opportunity is growing for individual yoga teachers as well. Meet Amishi Desai, who has been offering personalised yoga at doorstep to city residents since last 12 years. Desai charges Rs 3,500 for eight classes in a month, and everyday teaches yoga for around 5-6 hours.

There is corporate groups who also encourage yoga practices, shedding a chunk of money for wellness of their employees. Desai’s 50 per cent of business is from such corporate clients. Most of the yoga centres of the area too get 25-35 per cent of their business from corporate clients.

Desai feels since the demand is high, setting up a yoga teaching ventures does not require high investment as there are no equipment or rigid infrastructure involved. “Yoga trainers like me have zero investment, and running costs only includes travelling,” Desai said, refusing to share any figures.

To tap people who wish to become yoga trainers, several yoga institutes also have a separate set of classes to nurture coaches. “There is quite a demand for teachers training where yoga practitioners want to take their own practice to next level and eventually teach others too as it will come very naturally,” said Gowda of a1000yoga.

A lot of practitioners at these institutes are from outside India who are interested in an international teachers training course. Expats living or working in and around Koramangala wish to take back a piece of ‘India culture’ home and find yoga a good find. According to a study by Yoga Journal, there are 250 million estimated practitioners of yoga globally and the numbers are growing considerably. Read More…

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