Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Yoga News - Yoga's All-Time Record Profit Gouges US Yogis, Group Says; US Yoga Profits Up 39 Percent

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SANTA MONICA, California - NirvanaPranaOneWorldYoga SuperStudio capped an orgy of Yoga studios quarterly record profits Friday with an 18 percent boost over last year to $1.4 billion, its highest one-quarter profit ever. What should really fuel the ire of U.S. Yogis, however, is its 39 percent increase in teacher training and Yoga conference profits, which come most directly out of the pockets of Yogis struggling to pay for $18.00-and-up Yoga classes nationwide, said the nonprofit, nonpartisan Yogis for Yoga Class Price Reform (YYCPR).

NirvanaPranaOneWorldYoga SuperStudio is also, to the tune of nearly $1 million so far, the lead funder of opposition to Proposition 108, the Fair Yoga Class Price Initiative on California’s November ballot. The measure would fund research and commercial development of alternative Yoga venues and diminish dependence on overpriced Yoga studios. It would be paid for by a levy on sales of Yoga props, videos and other Yoga paraphernalia sold by Yoga studios. Yoga studios are prohibited from passing the levy on to Yogis under the initiative.

"The successive record profits of the Yoga studios show that only outright greed drives their campaign against Prop 108," said Jeanie-ji, spokesperson for YYCPR. "The major Yoga studios want no interference in their ability to pick the pockets of Yogis, and no threats to their control of class prices.” “We find it odd”, she added, “that with new Yoga studios opening every day, prices should be driven down due to increased competition. Instead, there is almost collusion between them to keep them high.”

A recent poll by the organization, Yoga Alliance of Real California Yoga Stars, found that as the pain of continued high Yoga prices gnaws at Yogis, support for alternative Yoga venues and Proposition 108 in particular rises. A clear majority, 72 percent of those questioned, supported Prop 108 when its description was read to them. "The Yoga lobby has killed or stalled all attempts to rein in Yoga studios profiteering in the U.S", said Jeanie-ji.

When asked if there were other issues of concern beside high Yoga class prices, Jeanie-ji replied, “Yes, class sizes and crappy Yoga music. Not only are these studios charging outrageous prices for classes, but to add insult to injury, they cram as many students as they can into each class. We will be working on standards that will require all Yoga mats to be at least two feet away from each other in all directions”.

When asked about the issue of bad Yoga music played in the studio, Jeanie-ji replied, “This is one of the sleeper issues that many Yogis have been gripping about, like forever. It’s bad enough when they play that mind numbing stuff from famous Yoga kirtan stars, but when they start in with the temple bells and gong crap, we need to put our foot down”.

To incite change on a grass root level, YYCPR suggests that all Yogis take action in the fight against overpriced Yoga classes by filling out and sending the following form letter to any Yoga studio and their studio owners that they feel are guilty of the issues described above.

--------------Fill in the blanks then cut and paste into an email----------------

[Today's Date]

[Owner of Studio]
[Studio Address]

Dear [Owner of Studio]:

I am writing to let you know that your studio:

[check all that are appropriate]

( ) Is charging too much for Yoga classes
( ) Is too crowded
( ) Has crappy Yoga music

Until these conditions are corrected, I want to notify you that I will avoid practicing in your studio. I will either be:

a) Practicing at another studio where these conditions do not exist.
b) Practicing at home.

I encourage you to correct these conditions as soon as possible so we can continue to have a healthy Yogic relationship with your studio.

Please feel free to contact me once these conditions are corrected.

(Yoga studio guidelines can be found on the nonprofit, nonpartisan, Yogis for Yoga Class Price Reform (YYCPR) website)


[Your name]
[Your address]
[Optional: Your phone number and/or e-mail address]