Room service! Would you like a side of vasithasana with your vichyssois?
Last week we cracked up at the idea of in-room bed warmers – live people in special suits?! So would it really be so bizarre for hotels to offer in-room private yoga as a standard amenity? We say no! And may we also be so bold as to declare in-room yoga will be the new turndown service! If this article in the NY Times is any indication, you yogaprenuers better step on it with the hotel travel yoga program… “Free Rodney Yee signature scent eau du Om body wash! Bikram’s Atomic Balls energy drink! complimentary lululemon branded yoga water with special stress-reducer and butt-firmer in one!” There’s so much marketing potential people!
Now, with yoga becoming so mainstream, properties from chain hotels to bed-and-breakfasts are looking for new ways to incorporate it into their programs to pique guests’ interest and reach their wallets.
“Yoga is becoming a must-have amenity,” on the order of Internet access, said Chekitan S. Dev, a professor of marketing at the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration. “Guests want to be able to stress out and go on the Internet and check e-mail, and then take five minutes and do yoga. It’s the yin and the yang of travel.”
And big business! An even hotter ticket though? The multi-mutations of yoga and just about every other activity under the sun. While styles, and brands, of yoga have offered variety (Iyengar, Ashtanga, kundalini, Anusara, Bikram etc) the new mega trend is the yoga hybrid! Welcome the bastard children of the traditional yoga practice!
“Just the yoga isn’t enough to keep us entertained or maybe not even enough of a draw in and of itself,” says Kristen Ulmer, founder of Ski to Live, a resort combing, you guessed it, yoga and skiiing. It doesn’t stop there, the possibilities are endless! Just like cheese. There’s Aqua Yoga in a saltwater pool, Ai Chi/Water Yoga in a geothermal mineral pool, laughter yoga, ski & yoga, even kayaking & yoga retreats. And all are making a killing.
“We are continuing to see strong interest in the yoga component, even through the bad economy,” said Nancy Mertz, co-owner of Sea Kayak Adventures in Loreto on the Baja Peninsula. Sea Kayak has a $1,095 Yoga, Whales and Kayaks tour, in which each day begins with yoga on the beach, followed by whale-watching and kayaking outings with naturalist guides.
Last week we saw the fine pairing of yoga and gourmandizers where seekers can delight in the ecstasy of food for both the soul and the tastebuds. Honestly it’s hardly surprising to find that yoga, which many y-dorks might say is an integral part of daily life anyway, is becoming the compliment to every other activity we do for pleasure. We wonder, is it stripping yoga of its true virtues? Or celebrating its lessons in enlightenment by whatever means possible?
Why ask questions when it’s fun, delicious and makes loads of money!
Earlier…Yoga for Foodies: Sinful Delights in a Sacred Setting? Gluttons Rejoice, Kindle Veg Debate
Internet buzzing…Blackbook.com “Not Without My Yoga”
This is what the hospitality industry knows:
Yoga has become the new:
(1) Wine-tasting party
(2) Team-building session
(3) Cocktails poolside
(4) Intense backlit discussion (for a now overly wired world)
(5) Lobby huddle
(6) Hot tub huddle
(7) Ice breaking/networking session
(8) Group therapy
(9) (Dare I say it?) Foreplay
Passing trend? Not likely.