Industry Overview: Yoga Studios

Last Updated: May 12, 2016

Yoga has been practiced for over 5,000 years. There are many variations of yoga, all combining a variety of physical, spiritual, and mental disciplines. Over the last few decades, yoga has become very popular in Western culture, with new studios opening up in all major urban centers. The Yoga Studio Business Accelerator Guide will introduce you to online and library resources and research tools that focus on the yoga industry.

Industry Overview


According to Google Trends (real time search data), British Columbia is the leading province in Canada in terms of having the highest interest in the searching the topic: yoga. In addition, most of these yoga enthusiasts in BC are located in Vancouver, North Vancouver, and Victoria. For some tips on using Google Trends for your market research check out this Small Business BC post. While the residents of BC remain one of the most physically active communities, a 2010 Sport Participation research paper by Canadian Heritage shows a distinct pattern of physical activity decreasing as they age.


A 10 year study by The Fraser Institute shows that yoga has grown in popularity with 9% of the population have used yoga as a form of exercise and therapy. This information is backed up by a survey published by Statistics Canada showing that Canadians have increased their physical activities over the years. Next to walking, exercises such as yoga, weightlifting, and aerobics are the second most popular leisure activities in Canada. A recent study made by IBISWorld shows that this industry has consistently showed a positive growth of at least 2% for the past 4 years.

Financial Performance Benchmarks

Yoga studios belong to the Fitness and Recreational Sports Centres (NAICS 71394) category as it exhibits similar operations to facilities that promote “active physical fitness conditioning”. The chart below pulls the latest financial data from the specific Industry Canada page and compares the cost structure of Fitness and Recreational Sports Centres as compared to the sector (Arts, Entertainment and Recreation NAICS 71). The main differece between the sector and industry is that the scope of the sector is larger (broader NAICS code) as compared to an industry, which is essentially a specific "group of companies or businesses".

Industry Trends and Challenges

Based on a survey done by the American College of Sports Medicine, yoga in all its different forms is included in the top 20 global fitness trends for 2014. While Canadians can be considered people who are health conscious, there is still room for growth in gaining more practitioners. From a recent study by Statistics Canada, a majority of Canadians are still leading a sedentary lifestyle and the active ones prefer light to moderate exercises. An article by CTV news recognizes the seniors who want to be physically active a potential market too.

No doubt in certain parts of Canada, there is a saturation of yoga studios. Competition is intense as the yoga phenomenon has led numerous entrepreneurs to capture the market share at the same time. For example, in Vancouver a number of yoga studios have closed down due to the inability to get members to cover the costs. A way to overcome this challenge might be to expand your yoga offerings, moving away from conventional yoga styles. Like any other business, there is no one way to target all yoga practitioners so it is important to determine what type of target market your yoga studio is aiming for. There are people who will potentially perceive yoga to form an essential part of their lives and others who simply float from one fad to another. Achieving customer loyalty by providing great customer service to your members is a solution as well.



Magazines & trade journals


Additional resources

If you would like to access more resources, the Yoga Studio Business Accelerator Guide is designed to help prospective and existing business owners gather information for their secondary market research. The guide is broken down into four main sections that cover how to start your research, industry information, competitive information and customer information. Depending on your needs you can spend as much or as little time as necessary in each section.
If you find that you need more guidance before starting your secondary research, check out our Business Research Basics Guide, it will help you focus on what types of information you will need to gather and why it is important.

Other related guides:


Canadian Heritage. (2010). Sport Participation 2010 Research Paper. Canadian Heritage. Retrieved from…
Esmail, N. (2007). Complementary and Alternative Medicine in Canada: Trends in Use and Public Attitudes, 1997-2006. The Fraser Institute, 8. Retrieved from…
Statistics Canada. (2013). Table  105-0501 -  Health indicator profile, annual estimates, by age group and sex, Canada, provinces, territories, health regions (2013 boundaries) and peer groups, occasional. Retrieved from
Statistics Canada. (2015). Directly measured physical activity of adults, 2012 and 2013. Retrieved from
Turk, S. (2015). Gym, Health & Fitness Clubs in Canada. Retrieved July 10, 2015 from IBISWorld database
Industry Canada. (2015). Fitness and Recreational Sports Centres (NAICS 71394): Definition. Retrieved from…
Industry Canada. (2015). Fitness and Recreational Sports Centres (NAICS 71394): Financial Performance Data. Retrieved from…
Huffington Post Canada. (2013, November 11). Fitness Trends 2014: 20 Popular Workouts For The Year Ahead. Retrieved from…
CTV News. (2015, January 3). How will you be working out this year? Top fitness trends for 2015. Retrieved from…
Fumano, D. (2014, June 11). Why are so many Vancouver-area yoga studios closing their doors? The Province. Retrieved from…
Business in Vancouver. (2015). Hot yoga is so 2014. Retrieved from
Langager, C. (n.d.). What is the difference between an industry and a sector? Investopedia. Retrieved from
Wang, R. (2014). How to use Google Trends to do market research. Small Business BC. Retrieved from…
Photo credit: Take back your health, created by Take back your health on March 12, 2015. Image made available by Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License. Last viewed on July 22, 2015.