Due to the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) infection in the world in 2020 and the measures taken by states worldwide to combat it, sports clubs and fitness centres, including yoga studios, were paralyzed for months.

During the pandemic, taking into account the restrictions imposed in order to preserve the ability to continue to hold classes and have at least some revenue to cover rent payments and pay salaries to employees, fitness clubs switched to working online (and the most advanced and far-sighted already worked in this way), providing their clients with platforms and services for training, including yoga. The situation stimulated the development of the online segment and attracted old and new customers to this area, because the demand for online courses and studies in 2020 increased sharply due to the lack of opportunities to use the city's public and sports infrastructure.

So, according to the Yandex.Wordstat service, the growth of requests for online yoga in April 2020 compared to the same period in 2019 increased by more than 3.5 times.

The main platform for providing services for yoga classes was Zoom application, aimed at organizing online training. The logic of fitness and yoga studios when using the Zoom platform was to keep the same class schedule online as much as possible.

The clear advantages of online classes are:

1) Opportunity. to practice yoga with your favorite teachers in conditions of self-isolation and restrictions.

2) Save time. Both students and teachers, since you do not need to go anywhere: classes are available without leaving home.

3) Price. Classes have become 2-2.5 times cheaper.

At the same time, the holding online classes has a number of disadvantages:

1) Lack of body-oriented practices. This makes it impossible for the teacher to provide assistance to students, for example, when stretching.

2) Lack of "live" communication. This makes it difficult to learn the proposed asana or lecture material. Thus, the basic principle of knowledge transfer in yoga is violated, in which the teacher has the opportunity to correct the student and show the performance of a particular technique by personal example.

3) Loss of coaching staff. During the pandemic, trainers had the opportunity to set up personal training sessions separately from clubs and fitness studios and thus lead some clients to their profile platform.

In addition, sales of lessons in the form of lectures and recordings of their own classes and workouts, as well as the promotion of their own yoga applications, has become widespread in the fitness services market during the pandemic.

It can be concluded that at the beginning of the pandemic in the world, online yoga classes became a necessity for fitness clubs and yoga studios due to the sharply increased demand for online training formats. Today it becomes clear that the development of online platforms is an integral part of the "menu" of yoga training services. Now the competitive advantage for studios that have online classes will no longer be the fact of having an online channel, but a well-built dialogue between the teacher and his students in online classes, as well as original content posted on electronic platforms such as Youtube and social networks.

Speaking about prospects of development of the fitness industry, in particular yoga, it is possible to note the following. For example, on June 23, 2020, restrictions on offline sports were lifted in Moscow. However, there was no surge in the return of yoga Studio clients from online to offline due to the presence of fears and concerns of citizens about the risk of getting sick, despite the activities carried out in the studios for antiseptic treatment of premises, regular airing, washing mats and the introduction of social distancing standards. In addition, the decline in demand was also affected by seasonality due to the fact that many people take vacations in the summer, and also prefer to play sports in good weather in parks or workout areas.

In autumn the second wave of the virus came and again the flow of people in offline training decreased. The online format is now more demanded. 

But in General, there is no need to talk about replacing offline classes with an online service. It is an additional mechanism for development (expanding the customer base). At the same time, for many people, offline classes are the way to socialize a person. For example, online classes are not a substitute for a person "going out" to a yoga Studio, where they can comfortably communicate, stay in a pleasant atmosphere for them, and demonstrate their achievements in front of the teacher and other students.

Even in conditions of total restrictions, when entire industries are underfunded and in decline, there are still new solutions that contribute to your development and hobbies.

The main thing is not to lose sight of them and practice further!

Both online and offline! ;)