Would it surprise you to know that yoga is more popular in Canada than in India?
It definitely surprised me!
Third on the list is the US where a whopping 20.4 million Americans partake in the ancient practice.
Sometimes a single surprising fact is all it takes to discover your perfect business idea.
And you don’t even have to do yoga to benefit from its enormous popularity.
In fact, anything with millions of fans from golf to quilting to Harry Potter presents enterprising change seekers opportunities to turn interests into income.
Here are four unique ways people are profiting from the yoga boom plus ways you can “steal” these ideas to profit from your own passion.
1) Lighten Up
Who would have thought yoga had a humorous side?
I suppose it’s not surprising when you consider the well-documented health benefits of laughter.
It’s why in 1995, a family physician in Mumbai, India, Dr. Madan Kataria, decided to experiment with ways to apply those benefits.
Like most ideas, this one took some trial and error.
But it didn’t take long before laughter yoga was born.
Today it’s so popular there’s even an annual conference!
Search the term “funny yoga products” and you’ll find scores of humorous ways people are making money.
You’ll find clothes sporting slogans like “Let’s get it om,” and “My favorite pose is downward facing naps.”
There are humorous calendars that use digital technology or illustration to feature puppies and farm animals positioned in classic yoga postures.
And of course, funny yoga videos.
Steal This Idea
Have video scripting or editing skills?
Build on the success of others by putting your own unique spin on a funny yoga video.
Attract a large enough YouTube following on and you can generate some serious ad revenue.
Certainly, not everything lends itself to humor.
But if you can find a way to bring some humor to your business/idea, you may be laughing all the way to the bank.
2) Make it hip
AirBnB is now advertising classes, tours, and other things to do when you travel.
That’s where I learned about “sky yoga.”
Part yoga, part dance, part cool social meetup, event production company, Bender, describes itself as an “urban playground for body and soul.”
The company produces yoga-dance events complete with DJs.
And they do it on warehouse rooftops and in other inspiring places in LA, Chicago, and coming soon — Melbourne.
The evening events seamlessly transition from yoga to a night of dancing and cocktails under the stars.
The Bender website says that they “work with a team of the most experienced and creative yoga teachers, DJs, designers, and other collaborators – each hand-picked for their specific voice and fit with our flavor.”
Sounds to me like they may be open to proposals for collaboration from other creative/healing types or people with access to creative urban settings.
Steal this idea
It’s hard to make certain businesses like bookkeeping or SEO consulting cool.
That said, I know a realtor who hosts an annual April 15th/IRS deadline happy hour for clients, building contractors, lenders, and others in her vast network.
Depending on what you want to do, look for ways to make it newsworthy by adding an element of hip to it!
3) Tap a new demographic
When you think of yoga enthusiasts you probably picture fit people in their 20s and 30s. Or at least adults.
That’s what Jamie Dix thought too until the early childhood educator and certified yoga instructor started using storytelling to get her students to experience different yoga positions.
Soon her colleagues were asking her to teach them how to do the same with their students.
So Jamie and her siblings teamed up to launch Imagination Yoga.
Today, her program is offered to kids aged 2-to-12 in schools, daycare centers, and camps across the US.
Even within the adult population, there’s plenty of opportunity to niche.
There are yoga classes designed specifically for people with diabetes and chronic fatigue, as well as yoga for veterans, pregnant women, and people who use a wheelchair.
There’s even yoga laughter designed for the unique needs of seniors in nursing or other elder care facilities.
Steal this idea
As you think about your own gifts or interests (travel, creative writing, repairing things, sports, etc.) – ask yourself, what are the obvious and less obvious markets you can tap?
Don’t just think in terms of age, gender, race, and the like.
Consider too, groups who share a common experience or challenge…
Maybe grieving parents… teens aging out of foster care… people struggling with addiction… survivalists… rural singles…
Whether you feel personally called to serve a specific group — or you just see a market need — additional audiences mean additional income.
4) Tap a new species!
Third graders and seniors are one thing.
But who connects yoga and animals?
Miami-based yoga instructor Suzi Teitelman and the creator of Doga Dog did.
Her classes consist of a series of yoga poses that dog owners can incorporate with their pooch.
The dogs seem to lap up the light stretches, massage, and relaxed bonding time with their humans.
And their time-squeezed/guilt-ridden dog owners appreciate being able to get in some exercise while also spending time with their best friend.
Dogs aren’t the only four-legged creatures getting into the yoga act.
Yoga classes end with the traditional Hindu salutation “nameste” which in Hinduism means, “I bow to the divine in you.”
But if you’re showing people how to do yoga atop a horse, then make that “neighmaste.”
There are several books on equestrian yoga which emphasizes balance, building core strength, breathing, and mindfulness.
At the cleverly named Equine Om in Saint Augustine, Florida, yoga instructor and horsewoman Miranda Inabinett teaches classes to riders and trains other instructors in her method as well.
Finally, the vacationers at Home Ranch in Clark, Colorado near Steamboat Springs don’t do yoga while atop a horse.
Instead, they enjoy a popular girlfriend getaway that combines the fun of riding with a morning yoga class all wrapped around a luxury vacation.
If you haven’t acted on your own great idea because it feels too overwhelming to tackle on your own, take heart.
This unique vacation idea was born when a cowgirl from Montana who went to college on a rodeo scholarship (who knew?!) and a former social worker turned yoga and meditation instructor living in Florida were introduced by a mutual friend at a horse sanctuary in Hawaii.
They went out and found a ranch to partner with and have been riding strong ever since!
Steal this idea
Like to write?
Then take a page out of Brenda Bryan’s book Barking Buddha: Simple Soul Stretches for Yogi and Dogi.
It’s just one of half a dozen books on the subject. Proof that writing pays.
Again, you don’t have to be engaged in a given activity to look for practitioners in need of a ghost writer for their own niche-specific book.
Or maybe you have an insider’s perspective on the horse world and think equine yoga could be the next big thing.
If you have marketing experience — or just a determination to learn — then partner with an equestrian yoga instructor to scale the training nationally or internationally.
The Bottom Line
When it comes to making money without a job-job, there are endless ways to take a single idea and build on it.
Just remember… changing course starts with a great idea – and the willingness to act on it.
Ready to find your perfect business idea? Check out my laser-focused Profit From Your Passion coaching now.
(I’m booked for August but still have a few fall openings.)
Life is short my friend. Whatever your dream, please don’t make it wait another day.