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‘Recession-Resilience’: Yoga and the McDonald’s Happy Meal

in Business of Yoga, Recession Yoga, YD News

According to today’s news the yoga business is alive and well, thriving even! Frazzled members of Crunch and Equinox gyms are swarming to even more yoga and meditation classes added to the January schedule. Maybe yoga really is recession proof! Or, maybe not. The sources interviewed for this latest article are super mammoth gyms (with inclusive memberships) and major bi-coastal chain YogaWorks – not exactly a cross-section of the yoga business world. The only one missing is Pure Yoga – which technically doesn’t really count as a joint-venture in the US with Equinox- and maybe Bikram studios, although they’ve kinda cooled down lately haven’t they.

Granted, it is encouraging to see people are turning to yoga for stress relief rather than resorting to more harmful options to numb the pain. It could be worse! However, we suspect these NYers are likely not to be the same exercise-concerned yogis who’d drop their gym memberships for free classes at the local Y, effectively putting the little guy out of business – probably the biggest threat here.

YogaWorks Marketing Director Terri Seiden explains her take:

“We don’t say yoga is recession-proof but rather recession-resilient,” Seiden said. “Yoga is one way that people can take care of multiple needs – it is a complete workout for your mind and body, a form of stress relief, entertainment and there is a sense of community as well.”

We agree, and here’s hoping she’s right.

Ironically, you know who else appears to be recession-resilient and thriving in these budget-crunching times? McDonald’s! And why not? It’s cheap, it’s convenient, it’s ‘comfort food’… a perfect recipe for recession survival. And the people keeping Mickey D’s comfortably afloat? Well, probably the ones going to the free yoga classes at the local Y.

We have yet to venture through the golden arches, but the day when McD’s starts offering free yoga classes we might just see what all the fuss over the dollar menu is about. Er…maybe.

Hilariously, McDonald’s has broached this before with their Go Active! Happy Meals for Adults campaign in 2004, as an answer to bad press from Super Size Me, which subsequently, and unsurprisingly flopped, but somehow we suspect would do much better this time ’round.

In Time of Economic Crisis, People Turn to Yoga [Reuters]

More on McDonald’s – At McDonald’s, the Happiest Meal is Hot Profits [NYTimes]

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