To buy or not to buy yoga

As a marketer in the wellness biz and a yoga afficionado, I’ve been keen to understand the decision process of consumers who are considering trying yoga. I love knowing what the barriers are and unravelling the shopper marketing touch points of would-be yogis. Who knows, maybe I’ll end up teaching once again.

IPSOS Public Affairs research on the Yoga Alliance website found that that 36 million Americans currently practice yoga in 2016, up from 20.4 million in 2012.

That’s quite an enviable growth figure! 28% of Americans have participated in an actual yoga class at least once in their lives. How can we in the yoga business keep the good times going?

I’ve compiled this list of ten objections to trying yoga that you may find useful in marketing your yoga-related business. These have been said directly to me. This list has been two years in the making as a matter of fact!

  1. I’m afraid of being injured / I’ve heard about yoga injuries.
  2. I’m worried about looking stupid.
  3. Yoga studios are scary.
  4. I’m not flexible enough.
  5. I just don’t do things I’m not an ace at, generally speaking.
  6. I think I would probably become addicted to yoga. I have an addictive personality.
  7. It’s too expensive.
  8. It’s only for women, right? (Feedback from men)
  9. It’s only for young/white/thin women, right? (Feedback from women not identifying in these three categories)
  10. I don’t want my muscles to lengthen or stretch. I want to look thick and “swole”.
  11. My church said yoga goes against Christianity.
  12. I just can’t do that meditating stuff because of my ADHD. I would just hate it.

A few of these points have become quite controversial allegations in the media. I love the discussions that occur and I personally enjoy the one-to-one yoga conversations I have at cocktail parties and what-not.

No press is bad press apparently, given yoga’s explosion in the West to-date, so let’s keep the blogs and scandals going and let’s keep making the yoga business healthy for everyone.


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Author: Ian Batt

Yoga blogger and digital marketing & commerce guy.

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