Redefining Yoga and the Importance of Your Audience

In case you haven’t visited a gym, received a Groupon or watched TV in the last few years, yoga is gaining some major popularity among Americans.

While it’s unclear as to when exactly the practice of yoga began, some records suggest it could date back more than 5,000 years. The practice has been influenced by different religions and philosophies over time, but is most commonly associated with Buddhism and Hinduism.

Interestingly, the current yoga craze in America seems to largely be unrelated to religion and spirituality. For being such a religious practice historically, the vast majority of gyms, magazines, and studios have altered yoga to satisfy heath and fitness needs, but not much more. Yoga has been redefined for its audience.

More than 4.8 percent of Americans (15 million people) report taking part in the practice of yoga, but only 1.1 percent of Americans profess the Buddhist and Hindu faiths. If yoga had maintained its original traditions, it wouldn’t be increasing with such popularity. Once it reached that 1.1 percent of Americans, it would be done growing.

Don’t be stubborn, Adapt and Evolve

Instead, yoga did what companies and brands need to do constantly. It changed its approach to meet the needs of more people. Instead of touting the spiritual benefits of yoga, Americans tout yoga’s medical benefits of increased flexibility, strength, and balance and its improvement of breathing, concentration and mood, decrease of stress, heart benefits and improvement other medical conditions.

As a company, look at your audience. Look at their needs. Look at their wants. Spend some time doing this, because meeting your audience’s needs and wants are the most important thing you can do. But you first have to know what they are.

If you’re selling an idea when people are looking for a product, you’re missing an opportunity. If you’re selling a product when people are looking for an experience, you’re missing an opportunity.

At the end of the day, it all starts with knowing the ins and outs of the people you’re communicating with. How else will you know what to say?

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