Is CorePower Yoga poised to become the nation’s yoga studio empire?
The company, created in Denver in 2002, debuted 20 new locations in 2014 and now has more than 100 from Hawaii to Massachusetts—and it’s setting itself up for enormous growth over the next few years. Meaning if there isn’t one near your town now, that will likely change very soon.
“Our goal is to be a multi-hundred million dollar boutique fitness business,” says CEO Amy Shecter, who recently joined the team to steer the growth, after a career in fashion at Elie Tahari and C. Wonder. “Our goal is to have a geographic presence throughout the country.”
And they’d be the first. While barre studios and boutique boot camps have created national brands that have expanded quickly from coast to coast, the yoga world is still dominated by small, indie studios. And even the big-name players like Bikram and Modo Yoga focus on licensing or franchising, while CorePower owns more than three quarters of its studios.
The company ethos
That level of ownership is one thing that’s helped the company thrive, says Shecter, since it allows CorePower to maintain a very high level of consistency. “So if you join a studio in Denver and you travel to LA, the look and feel will be the same, the quality of the teacher, and the quality of the practice should be consistent.” And consistency is key to scaling a business.
Shecter says their focus on pretty, clean spaces with “spa-like” designs and amenities is another thing that sets CorePower apart. “My experience with yoga studios was kind of grunge-like before. I think we were one of the first, many, many years ago, to offer a beautiful environment.”
Sweaty yoga for everyone
And then, of course, there’s the approach to the actual classes, the core (ha!) of which is a heated, physical vinyasa flow class that delivers more of a tough workout than a spiritual experience and is created to appeal to a broad, beginner audience.
“We always teach the English before the Sanskrit. We put in music that is fun and accessible, that people hear in their lives. It makes things more resonant for people who’ve never practiced yoga before,” explains senior vice president of programming Heather Peterson, who’s been at CorePower for 11 years and helped create many of the classes programs.
Studios offer three levels of heat (non-heated, lightly heated, very heated, so people can warm up to the concept), multiple levels of practice based on experience, and cross-training classes like boot camp, sculpting, and yoga with weights. Peterson says people really value the variety. “All of it comes from a place of accessibility. That’s sort of our touchstone we come back to in everything we do,” she says.
The CorePower lifestyle
As the company grows, Shecter says it will focus on developing into not just a yoga studio company, but a wellness lifestyle brand, with more variety in class offerings, private label apparel and products, possible food and beverage initiatives, and more. “We’ve always offered more than just yoga,” she says. “We’re about making peoples’ lives better.”
One part of that, which both Shecter and Peterson passionately reference, is CorePower’s teacher training program, a huge operation that involves three trainings per year at each studio and draws many brand devotees who just want to go deeper in their own practices. After trainings, Peterson says, “They’re empowered, and they feel more confident. They’ve taught brand-new students, their friends, their families. That sets people up really well.” With practical yoga teaching skills, sure, but also to spread the CorePower gospel even more. —Lisa Elaine Held
For more information, visit www.corepoweryoga.com