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Is Gaiam becoming the Netflix of wellness?


With the launch of GaiamTV.com, a veritable hub of wellness on demand, Gaiam hopes to become more appealing to a younger generation of urban yogis. Maybe even you.

Gaiam DVD Kathryn BudigGaiam, the Paramount Pictures of yoga and fitness DVDs, has joined the the online-streaming market with the launch of its new website, GaiamTV.com.

With this big, Netflix-like move, the website looks to become a veritable video hub of wellness on demand, which could make Gaiam more appealing to a younger generation of urban yogis.

The site, which arrived quietly at the end of August, is still in “beta” but it’s open for business. And for ten dollars per month, you can access all of the DVDs produced by Gaiam over the last 15 years from your living room (or hotel room, or parent’s Thanksgiving guest room….).

GaiamTV’s archives are impressive: the site displays close to 500 yoga and fitness titles with the brand’s mainstays like Rodney Yee (he’s done about 30) and Suzanne Deason and their newer stars like Kathryn Budig and Seane Corn. In the fitness realm, Jillian Michaels is their marquee name.

But what makes GaiamTV more than Fit TV is the spirituality lessons with Deepak Chopra and the Dalai Lama, and documentaries on metaphysics and the environment.

Gaiam TV
Gaiam TV will be available on your iPod, iPad, and TV

While not abandoning its forte (placing yogis on mountain peaks or tropical beaches with overwrought spa music guiding the flow), the company is also producing “GaiamTV Originals.” These will be shot in-studio and will more closely resemble the less-produced style of the other major player in the market (with more cool factor): Yogaglo.

This positions Gaiam well, since Yogaglo doesn’t venture beyond yoga content and it charges slightly more: $18 per month. “We have some content that they also have, but our content is so much broader, and we have so much more,” says Patricia Karpas, who heads up GaiamTV marketing and digital strategy.

Will that be enough? The company’s image as the old-guard of yoga (and a brand for non-city dwellers) will be a hard one to shed. However, Karpas is pretty confident: The data gathered from GaiamTV subscribers over the past two months already shows that the new guard is signing up. Will you be one of them? —Lisa Elaine Held

You can try GaiamTV free for ten days. (Again, we’re thinking this could be useful for Thanksgiving travel.) Click here to get started.