From downward dog to upward boom — influencer and teacher Ira Trivedi shares how virtual yoga took off during the lockdown

From downward dog to upward boom — influencer and teacher Ira Trivedi shares how virtual yoga took off during the lockdown
Ira Yoga Wellness
  • The author and founder of Ira Yoga Wellness and Yog Love has been at the forefront of the yoga movement in India.
  • Ira Trivedi in an interview with Business Insider shares how more people turned towards yoga during lockdown and tuned in to online live classes.
  • Today, Ira Yoga Wellness has over 3000 active users and have seen a 100% month-on-month growth with repeat customers.
When the coronavirus lockdown began in March, Indians stuck at home turned to online classes to pick up a new skill or just keep up with their fitness routine. And amidst the boom of online fitness, India’s age-old practice of yoga too donned a virtual avatar.

And riding on the popularity of yoga is Ira Yoga Wellness. Ira Trivedi, who has long been an advocate for yoga and wellness in India, found herself at the right spot in the beginning of the coronavirus lockdown.

Ira Yoga Wellness, which under its umbrella had physical classes along with a gamified app where people were rewarded for doing yoga, saw a sudden spike in interest. “The app actually started doing well during the pandemic as corporates offered their employees something more during work from home as a part of their corporate wellness initiatives,” Trivedi told Business Insider.

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Trivedi has been at the forefront of the yoga movement in India having been a part of the first International Day of Yoga at Rajpath New Delhi.

While Trivedi calls the app a passion project, it was her quick decision to go online with live yoga classes that really did the trick. “We began with offering free yoga classes and everyone came online. We slowly grew from having one class a day to having six-seven classes a day. We grew along with the customer demand and kept responding to what our students wanted,” she said.

Since March, Ira Yoga Wellness has launched yoga for kids, yoga for seniors, yoga for teens and more such classes to keep their students engaged.

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Doubling down every month

Today, they have over 5000 active users and have seen a 100% month-on-month growth with repeat customers. Ira believes it is the different way in which they teach yoga that got their students hooked. For any live class, they create an ambience with soothing live music to make it as real as possible for the students. “We have teachers from five different countries and all follow the standard Yog Love format of teaching. We really figured out how to teach yoga online – every single class was interactive and it wasn’t like a youtube channel you are just following,” she said.

And it is this format that got their users talking. “We have seen a completely organic growth, which is our strength. Most of our growth is from referrals where our current members invite their friends and family to come try yoga with us,” she said.

A long road ahead for Yog Love

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They have also started live training courses to encourage more people to become yoga teachers. “It’s beautiful to see more and more women sign up for it. By teaching yoga from home, women can earn money while staying at home and all they need is a phone,” she said.

Yoga might have become a favourite at-home exercise during lockdown. But Trivedi is gunning for more. During the lockdown, they even organised Yogathons which was an 11-hour event of yoga. “Yogathon is a whole day of yoga, meditation, healing, nutrition, and more for our users,” she said.

While Yog Love has been profitable from the get go because they don’t spend much on marketing and instead have relied on organic growth and brand collaborations, Trivedi has left one door open for the possibilities of more. “We are very happy with where we are today, but we are being approached by many to consider expanding and we are beginning to consider external funding to go global,” she said.

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