I have a really special podcast episode with Eoin Finn, the Founder of Blissology, on the business of yoga. We discussed what’s going on in the yoga industry and conscious entrepreneurship. Eoin Finn is a yogi legend, but if you aren’t familiar, he is the Founder of Blissology and a world renowned Yogi! He was one of the first ‘yoga celebrities’ loved by Oprah and the Yoga Journal.
Eoin has been sharing his passion for yoga, philosophy, and movement since 1989! I’m so honored to have Eoin Finn on the Friday Society Podcast and hope you enjoy it!
It all started with credit card debt
Success stories that start from ground zero are very inspiring! It goes to show each and every one of us that we can achieve the outcomes we desire. Eoin’s starts out by being inspired by a gentleman named Joseph Campbell.
One of his founding teachers is Joseph Campbell, an American writer and author. He has a beautiful quote reading ‘Follow your bliss and doors will open where once there were walls.’ Eoin’s credits Blissology as a nod back to Joseph. Eoin’s journey and teachings are rooted in Joseph’s teachings.
After learning Ashtanga yoga he decided to rent space in Vancouver to begin teaching to students. However, no one showed up! Literally no one for 6 weeks!
Eoin had major credit card debt from living the life in Hawaii for many years and found himself completely broke. The lack of students was devastating because he knew the brilliancy behind yoga. Believing in his purpose and having true resiliency set the foundation for becoming who he is today.
He stayed consistent and showed up night after night. By the end of the year he outgrew his 100 person space solely from word of mouth! Fast forward to today, he has built the Blissology brand into a thriving business. He has even taught classes to over 10,000 people before!
The Business of Yoga
If you are in the fitness world or a yogi you have had a front row seat to how yoga has changed and evolved over the years. Originally, the heart of yoga was about the mind+body connection. Pranayama, nervous system regulation, and the ancient teachings dating back to Patanjali are foundational.
Since Covid we have seen more yoga studios shut their doors and avid yogi’s turn to other modalities of movement. The question is, what’s going on in the yoga industry?
Eoin opened up about his opinion on the problems with the yoga industry which I found to be spot on.
Oversaturation in the yoga industry
There are a lot of yoga studios these days, which I love, but at some point there becomes too many. I think about my town and how many studios there are. Some of them I absolutely love but other’s just aren’t necessarily my cup of tea for whatever reason.
There are only so many students in your demographic. It’s important to understand if there is oversaturation in your town. If there is, then why is your studio different and how will you encourage students to become loyal members?
Overhead is killing small businesses
Behind every small business are lot’s of expenses from employees, marketing and sales, all the way to rent. In some of the more expensive cities like New York or LA rent can be upwards of $50,000 a month!
If you think about how much a yoga class costs it can be anywhere from $18-27 depending on where you live. Now divide the average of $22 by $50,000. That equates to over 2,272 classes you need to sell a month just to breakeven on your rent!
Small business exist to make a profit and unfortunately studios are having to increase their class prices to $35 a class. When prices are that high, the perceived value of a yoga class is conceived as a luxury which dwindles the target market.
However, studio owners should charge their worth! Yes it’s a spiritual practice but as business owners we are here to make money! Consider your class price ceiling and can you pay expenses without stretching yourself too thin.
Yoga competing with the fitness industry
I’ve heard that you should charge less for yoga and should not charge like you would for a HITT class. Eoin and I both disagree with this thought process. Yoga is a service and it should be compensated appropriately! Yoga is healing and therapeutic! Think about it – no therapist is giving away their services. Yoga is a form of therapy for some people.
Why shouldn’t you be charging $25 for a yoga class if you have an experienced teacher, a beautiful space, and offering health-giving benefits?
Recently, we have been seeing yoga classes almost mimicking fitness classes where the only focus is on working out the physical body. However, Eoin believes this is cyclical and within 3 years the industry will circle back to the foundational principles.
Understanding your offerings and the ‘why’ behind your classes will help you focus on your business and not feel the need to fit-in with other fitness type classes.
Yoga is on the Up
Eoin’s perspective on the yoga industry is to buy the stock now! We both agree that the true essence of yoga will come back into studios. Students will once again be looking to slow down and reconnect to themselves.
Yoga doesn’t need to compete with the fitness industry. They are great compliments to each other! Yoga has soul and deep intentionality into the teachings. This is an aspect of the practice that will never go away and also what people need.
I am a RYT and yoga for me has a much deeper meaning beyond just the physical aspect. That’s why I respect Eoin so much and had such an insightful conversation!
The mission of Blissology is inspiring. Eoin is focused on drawing people into their parasympathetic nervous system, meditation, and kindling the connection we have with our innermost self. I’m really excited to have Eoin back for part 2 where we dive deep into the physiology of yoga and the nervous system.
Check it out part 2 here!
If you’d like to learn more about Blissology click here!