The Yoga Mogul: John Friend, founder of Anusara

Yoga John Friend talked about the freedom of Anusara; it’s nothing like the more rigid schools that demand students repeat the same poses in the same way at every single class, nor is it the kind of practice in which teachers withhold praise, lest students become too egocentric. “Anusara is positive,” Friend said, resting his head on the back of his chair and absently caressing one of many highly polished orbs on an adjacent table. “It’s accessible. Easily applicable. And yet it has depth and sophistication.”

Consider those religions that focus on sin and damnation, on discipline instead of joy. “Fundamentally they say no,” he told me. “While Anusara is a yes.” [Read more...]

Bikram Yoga’s New Twists

Bikram Choudhury Bikram Choudhury’s sweaty techniques are a hit with yoga studios. Now he wants his cut, writes Forbes.

Yoga is big business, racking up $5.7 billion in sales last year, and Choudhury has built a cultlike following.

Recent training costs: $10,500 per session, including $3,000 for room and board in Palm Desert, Calif. At two sessions a year, each of which draw about 325 trainees, that’s $4.9 million in annual revenue. To that add 15 speaking engagements, generating about $20,000 each in ticket sales, plus another few bucks from books and dvds. “I’m a yogi, not a businessman,” Choudhury demurs.

Now he wants another revenue stream: franchising fees paid by studios that use his name. [Read more...]