Hey do-gooders and social action heroes, here’s an organization for you: Yoga for the Unemployed! It’s true, on this stormy spring day comes gloomy gray news that in March the unemployment rate in the US reached a 25-year high, that’s 8.5%, 633,00 jobs lost. Still (still!) there is news from Detroit, of all places, that Yoga is righteously coasting to new heights in attendance and sales. (ew, sales).
Says Instructor Dave Tomaszewski from House of Yoga in Berkley,
“It sure seems like the opposite would be happening with the economy the way it is. But people are still willing to spend money on yoga. I do attribute it to people being stressed out.”
Even students who have lost their jobs still attend classes regularly, said Tomaszewski, who also teaches at the Detroit Athletic Club. His classes at the club are filling up quickly with professional types such as lawyers, business owners and accountants.
Well thank goodness for the Recession. Where would yoga studios and the flurry of new yoga teachers be without it? Oh sure, the yoga “industry” was already a booming business, but boy it sure got a boon with this super strung out, having-no-money-and-no-job deal. All right, sauciness aside, we admit it’s gratifying to see attendance is up and/or steady, but having it subsidized by federal and state unemployment checks just makes it kinda bittersweet no? When surely the money might be best used for things like, oh we don’t know, food, shelter, credit card debt (ugh).
The article also points to Yoga conferences still seeing healthy registration, something these yogadorks can not conceive of – who has$500 to shell out on something you can learn about on the internet? Yoga Journal currently has 4 of these pow wows a year, attended by 1,000-1,500 yogis. You do the math. The mag also claims steady readership with growth potential online (we imagine even more so with the addition of this dude), to which we say more power to you, especially considering recent yoga mag downsizing.
So there’s growth all around, in studios, expansion in yoga apparel (for majors and indies – Be Present’s co-founder Jon Dobrin states “a steady increase” in sales over the past few months), pricey retreats, which we won’t even get into right now, and yet more and more people are doing the unemployment shuffle. And so, we are torn, be thrilled or aghast? The best we can hope is that yoga’s recession resilience rubs off on those needing resilience the most: today’s unemployed (and the 1 out of 10 Americans receiving food stamps).
Will our pay-by-donation yoga turn to pay-by-food-stamps and barter? We don’t expect to be receiving government issued yoga-stamps any time soon. What a weird time eh?
Sorry to bum you out…Happy Friday? 🙂
Yoga Industry Stronger Than Weak Economy [Detroit News]
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