Transforming YogaFriday, December 7, 2012
Great Interview with Beth Shaw, the President and Founder of YogaFit Inc.
>>> I started YogaFit in 1994 after being a fitness enthusiast since age 15 and a student and teacher of yoga and fitness. The name YogaFit came to me spontaneously on a bike ride. I had created my own cable yoga, fitness and health TV show, was selling clothing with my logo at the gym and at trade shows, as well as teaching at all of Los Angeles major health clubs. One of my students saw the potential in the brand and invested $100,000 of seed money and helped me incorporate.
>>> I have always loved fitness, from an early age I was at the gym, working out and exercising. In college, although I majored in business administration, I had a keen interest in nutrition and health, doing a lot of my own independent study. Additionally, I spent a lot of time at the gym, doing aerobics and playing tennis. In the early 90’s, as a teacher and student of yoga, I saw the need in the fitness industry for safe fitness oriented yoga. I saw too many instructors watch a video of yoga, replicate its format, and not really understanding what people who come to the gym want. I started YogaFit and began writing articles for fitness trade magazines about the opportunity for “Yoga as a Profit Center for fitness clubs.” In trade for an ad in one where I listed myself as a trainer & consultant on yoga, I got 250 responses from clubs. This led to our first training in Fargo, N.D., and YogaFit Training Systems Worldwide got its official start.
>>> YogaFit’s community service commitment. Teaching yoga to a group of people who would not normally have the opportunity to receive it has been part of our Teacher Trainings from the beginning. Community outreach was huge at our studio — breast cancer walks and classes, pet adoptions and giving free class packs to every organization that asked without fail. I have always believed as Master Vivekananda said when he brought yoga to America in 1893 that Karma Yoga is the most important yoga we can do. At YogaFit, we take our community service very seriously — it is the foundation of our business and what I believe energetically has helped us grow and prosper — and, kept us afloat in the most recent challenging times. The YogaFit Network has given over a million hours of a community service teaching. In 2011, we will giveaway $1 million of free yoga trainings to charities that will use them to raise funds.
>>> YogaFit’s Club Series gives clubs structure for their yoga programs — class formats, music and more — we take the guesswork out of yoga and take the liability out at the same time. With the exciting YogaFit format members are assured of a fun and safe yoga class. YogaFit style is the most popular among club members. YogaFit’s products, clothing and accessories help clubs make non-dues revenue in the pro shops.
>>> We have no competition, we were the first in the industry, the leader and are the gold standard for yoga in the fitness industry. We are the only yoga company that is a partner with the American Council on Exercise (ACE). We have been IHRSA members since 1998.
>>> Clubs should know YogaFit’s style is the best and only Yoga for the Fitness Industry. YogaFit instructors are the best and safest instructors you will ever find for your club. YogaFit classes are fun and attract members. We are the largest education company in the world and we take very seriously the work that we do and the contribution YogaFit is to the fitness industry.
>>> YogaFit works with all the major fitness chains and we just were signed exclusively in Canada with GoodLife Fitness for our new YogaFit Sweat™ program.
>>> YogaFit is expanding into China in 2011. As a company we are also increasing our educational offerings to truly be the leader in Mind Body Fitness. We have programs that are more medical and therapeutic this year like our 300 Hour Yoga Therapy Program. These are bridge programs to medical fitness — a growing category. Additionally, we have formed a clothing company called YogaFlair that features Made in The USA clothing and supports our economy. Please go to www. yogaflair.com.
>>> It is my personal hope that everyone that is teaching anything in the fitness industry take YogaFit Training — actually go through our 500 hour RYT Program. What we do for the growth of the individual — far above and beyond teaching them yoga — or how to do yoga is truly transformational. We evolve people to be their highest selves, their personal best. With an alarming number of people in our country obese, it’s crucial that a shift happen to the consciousness of the nation. Fitness clubs and those who teach in them are the conduit for this messaging to take place.
>>> YogaFit has been bringing Yoga to the fitness industry for almost 20 years. We truly created the Fitness Yoga Category in the Fitness Industry. What YogaFit has done for the quality of instruction as well as the delivery of the 6,000 year old secret to health and vitality is truly amazing. Few people realize the huge contribution YogaFit has been to this industry. But our time of recognition is coming soon — I feel it.
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