The trend of pop-up retail stores and restaurants is successful in part because of the exclusivity associated with relying on a customers who are in-the-know to find the pop-up locations before they disappear again. It might seem like a stretch, then, that the trend is finding its way into the yoga community—a population that has grown quickly because it is all-inclusive.
But pop-up yoga classes are using the idea to make yoga more accessible, not less.
"We try to offer some unique yoga experiences for people who might be intimidated by the traditional yoga studio," said Pop Up Yoga NYC founder Angelica Olstad, who has held events in art studios and coffee shops among other non-traditional places. Pop Up Yoga NYC, which was founded last year, is turning its efforts toward contributing to nonprofit organizations in 2013.
New York isn't the only city with pop-up yoga offerings. Olstad said she's been communicating with someone in Miami who is hoping to start a pop-up yoga scene there. And Detroit recently got in on the trend with roving a pop-up yoga studio offering regular weekly classes.
Yoga teachers Beth James and Corinne Rice founded Pop Up Yoga in Detroit in an effort to bring the practice to people at a lower cost. Since they don't have the overhead of paying for a studio space, they can keep the class price down. They suggest that students pay a donation of $10 a class. Classes are offered throughout the city, in an art gallery, chiropractic office, church community room, and a restaurant and tea house, among other locations.
"This way if we have a student who got laid off and can't give us anything that's fine," James said. Another benefit of the pop-up model is that they will be able to conduct classes outside in different areas as the weather starts to warm up.
Olstad sees the pop-up yoga trend as a grassroots movement of people dedicated to creating low-cost yoga classes that everyone can enjoy. "Sometimes taking yoga out of the studio can give you a different perspective," she said.