Another Yoga Gimmick

Gimmicks, gimmicks and more gimmicks.
Yoga and goats! Yoga and kittens! Glow in the dark yoga, blindfolded yoga, naked yoga, yoga and BOOZE!

How many more gimmicks are going to come out designed to get people to their mats and deface the integrity of what our practice actually is?

I can’t even type that entire sentence without chuckling. Because to me, I don’t care WHAT it was that brought you to your mat, I am thankful you made it.

What brought you into the studio? Was it a 30 minute yoga VHS (ha! We are dating ourselves with this one)? Was is a free class at your gym? Did your best friend decide it was in her soul and you needed to accompany her? Maybe it really was yoga with kittens? There are many brave souls who can and do jump into new projects wholeheartedly without looking back, but lots of us need a little lure to get started, to open our minds or to just catch our attention.

Think about those moments when you have the perfect support system when trying something new. It might be just the right gear, clothes, space, people, but it feels right. When it feels right, we can allow ourselves to give in to that urge of being “open.”


Find a way to open.
When we allow ourselves to be more open, new things are learned easier. Experiences feel more fulfilling because we go in with an open mind, judgment aside– ready to try something new.

Sometimes, getting to that internal open feeling requires us to take the edge off. We need an icebreaker or aka a “gimmick.”

Everyone loves a good gimmick., especially the ones done right. We as a society, are looking for the next original and fun thing so why should the yoga industry be exempt? Why is yoga above these gimmicks? Too honorable to be dishonored?

Don’t get me wrong, we all have to draw the line somewhere. Some of us would never do Naked Yoga, or drink beer while doing yoga poses… Yoga Innovations has participated in most of these gimmicks: the glow in the dark, the couples yoga, the naked yoga (yes. For real.) and now the beer yoga. Where others draw the line doesn’t mean it’s wrong or should be judged– we all have the right to our personal preference.

For us, we will drink after the class to ensure we are honoring our body while doing all the crunchy yoga stuff we do. And then yes, after, we want a beer. As a responsible, of age, healthy professional human being, yes I enjoy a beer (and wine, and spirits) now and again. For us these gimmicks become icebreakers.


Know why you are participating.
I firmly believe in modesty, across the board. Too much of a good thing, doesn’t stay a good thing for long.

To me, this gimmick is my headliner to my friends who I have been trying to get to the studio for all these years. The opening incentive to the professional acquaintances in the network. This gimmick has a purpose. Contrary to popular belief it isn’t “to make a buck.” (Most) Yoga studio owners don’t enter into this industry with the dream to get rich. Eventually, if business is done right, yes making a profit is great and it allows this whole shebang to be viable…. For most of us, we enter with the idea of providing for ourselves and our families while spreading the yoga philosophy.

Some would say the yoga philosophy is watered down when partnered with “gimmicks”. I would agree. And I would also argue we do this already in our basic and introductory classes.

Eventually we figure out, if we wait until we aren’t worried, scared or intimidated anymore to try something new– then we will never get to try them at all.


Icebreakers or gimmicks. Who cares what you call it, now take the first step.

We have to start somewhere. If during ‘getting started’ we have a way to take the edge off, to feel supported, to feel really ok while doing something— then more power to us. Indulge in the gimmicks that speak to your heart, grab your best friend, do whatever needs to be done to help yourself try something new.



Claire Baer

I am the meat and potatoes, caffeine and chocolate kind of yogi. I like a good glass of wine as much as a good Om. Yoga has always played a significant role in supporting my athletic lifestyle. In college, I majored in business management with a focus on advertising and marketing. While working at an advertising agency in Boulder Colorado I learned a valuable lesson: “you must sell the truth of the product.” The truth of the matter was, there wasn’t anything I believed in enough to commit to selling. On top of a mountain, while skiing I confessed this dilemma to my husband. His response seemed so simple, so obvious “why don’t you own a yoga studio?” Finally, I had found a way to combine my two passions: business and yoga. The next natural step was to formally go through yoga teacher training. At Core Power Yoga in Denver Colorado I received my 200 hour certification in Power Flow and Bikram styles; in addition, to children's yoga and prenatal. Then, after teaching and living in PA, Dana Barone offered me the opportunity of a lifetime: to become the new owner of Yoga Innovations. In 2012, we celebrated the birth of our first daughter, as well as the new business venture. I look forward to continuing to build the yoga culture in the south hills and sharing the passion I have for the practice- and maybe a tip or two on the juggling act we call life.

There are 3 comments on this post

  1. Celeste
    5 hours ago

    Great article Claire and beautifully written. I wanted to say that gimmicks to an older student like me seem just a cute pleasure to the young and sure, why not have fun from time to time but still honor the practice. I hope Yoga Inn. thrives forever. I bought my first class ever there 5 months for my 59th birthday gift to myself, not knowing at all what to expect. I hope I celebrate my 90th there!

  2. Amy Ross
    13 hours ago

    I’ve seen the gimmicks come and go in my profession as well, how boring our careers would be if nothing was new. I have to have change in my life constantly even if for a short time. #talkthetalk #loveyoga

  3. Carol
    13 hours ago

    Loved the read. I do not care what brings anybody to yoga. Personally it and this yoga studio saved my soul. Wish more people would try it. It would surprise them.


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