Sunny Trim remembers a time when yoga studios weren’t as common as coffee shops in Vancouver. In 2003, Trim was finishing her yoga teacher training when a student, who was a lawyer, asked if she would come to teach the employees at his firm.
“I thought, ‘If he wants yoga classes at his office, I’m sure there are other people who want yoga classes at their offices.’ Really, the business just took off,” she said.
Vancouver Corporate Yoga, which Trim started solo, now has 23 teachers who travel to workplaces around the city, filling the need for flexibility and wellness among the office worker crowd. She also runs a studio in the Royal Centre downtown. While classes overflowed in her first five years and the need for yoga teachers grew, supply eventually caught up with demand, and Vancouver’s yoga landscape changed.
“Within the last five years, there’s just a saturation of teachers,” Trim said.
City of Vancouver records show 65 business licences with the word “yoga” in their trade name, compared with 21 in 2003. These include franchises such as Hot Box Yoga, Beach Yoga & Wellness and Oxygen Yoga and Fitness.
At Vancouver Corporate Yoga, Trim said she retains a loyal clientele by focusing on the basics: traditional hatha yoga at competitive rates, taught by professional teachers. The teachers also need to recognize it’s a business, at least if they want it to be a long-term career.
“You can’t walk into the office and be too hippy-dippy,” Trim said. “You’ve got to get the flowers out of your hair.” •
- By Caroline All, Business in Vancouver