"Peloton is first and foremost a cycling company. That's really how most people think of Peloton and how we got to where we are today," says Ross Rayburn, director of yoga and meditation at Peloton. "We moved ourselves further and further, and will continue to do so, toward greater variety. At this point, especially now for this launch, I'm super proud of the really wide spectrum of offerings that we have on our platform that our members can have access to." Peloton's digital offerings are accessible to members from their smart TV, Peloton Bike/Bike+, Peloton Tread+, or the mobile/browser App for $13 a month.
The decision to offer classes in Spanish and German is out of hope to make yoga more accessible to people for whom English isn't their first language.
"Peloton already has had a German cycling department for a while. From what I understand, the German audience has been absolutely clamoring for German yoga," says Rayburn. "The icing on the cake is the fact that yoga will be the first of Peloton's methodologies to offer Spanish language content. As the director, I'm red with glee, basically. Because we don't necessarily always get to lead the way, being the newest modality."
Even if you understand English, Rayburn stresses that taking a class in your own language is much more fulfilling. "To be able to offer yoga from someone who understands nuance and cultural references, idiomatic phrases—that's just such a cool opportunity to be able to expand in that way," he says. This expansion brought on three new instructors, growing the team from six to nine. New York City-based Mariana Fernandez, who is originally from Tampico, Mexico, teaches classes in both Spanish and English; Nico Sarani, from Frankfurt, Germany, teaches the new German classes; and Kirra Michel, from Byron Bay, Australia, teaches classes in English.
In terms of structure, Peloton Yoga is now broken into five "elements," or class types:
- Foundation teaches the basics and allows you to build a confident yoga practice.
- Power focuses on fast flows to build heat and sweat.
- Focus allows you to take a step back and refine your practice focusing on one area at a time.
- Recovery is all about slowing down and resetting.
- Unity is the miscellaneous bucket where you'll find more event-focused classes including everything from Peloton’s Black Lives Matter-focused "Breathe In, Speak Up" series to prenatal/postnatal yoga.
As Peloton Yoga expands, it's cognizant of honoring the historical roots of the practice. "[We're] making sure to not diminish this beautiful tradition by dumbing it down when it doesn't need to be," says Rayburn. "That's an extra layer of responsibility that all of us have, especially those of us that are not South Asian, where most of the traditions come from."
Rayburn is excited to set Peloton up as a yoga destination rather than a pit stop for the Bike and Tread users. "I love our program so much. I know it as well as anybody," he says. "There's so much incredible solid teaching, like transformative teaching."
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