Rising to Enlightenment: the Growth of the Yoga industry in China Urban Cities
Yoga, originating from India, first came into ancient China during the vast spread of Buddhism. In the 20th century, it started to gain popularity in Hong Kong and then extended into mainland China. Not until the 21st century did Yoga spread across the mainland and gradually rose in prevalence, especially in the large urban cities. The tempo of life in these cities such as Shanghai, Beijing, and Guangzhou has been accelerating due to the rapid development of China. This competitive and stressful environment brought about the sub-health crisis in our modern lives. Yoga, as a new mode of exercise, can be the path to a new healthy lifestyle. With the benefits such as keeping fit or improving health conditions, the Yoga industry has successfully caught the eyes of the people who have been suffering from sub-health conditions and are willing to accept a new attitude towards life.
The essence of Yoga is the power of meditation. When it comes to meditation, Chinese people are very likely to associate it with the enlightenment process of Buddhism. Both of them emphasize on the harmonious state of spirits and nature. Certain Chinese cultures such as tea ceremony or flower arrangement happen to coincide with the essence of Yoga. The trend of reaching the realm of peace and pursuing modern life wisdom are continuing to extend.
O2O Market Opportunities –The Persistent Hot Trend of Yoga on Social Medias
The profound effects of Yoga on mental and physical health promote the spread of Yoga exercise both online and offline. With the prominent influence of online social medias, most women are inclined to post selfies taken while doing Yoga. The selfies or videos they took are shared rapidly through Instagram, Weibo, Wechat and other popular platforms among the Chinese netizens. The exposure of Yoga has drawn more and more people, especially women, to experience the Yoga for themselves. Moreover, the increasing resources of Yoga lessons online offer people the opportunities to benefit from Yoga practice. The latest statistics shows that more than 70 million netizens in China have been involved in the discussions on weight losing topics. And Yoga, second to running, has become a new method for weight reduction.
With such a big wave of interest in Yoga, the market opportunities for O2O platforms have been increasing. In 2014, the O2O market size reached 98.68 billion yuan; by the end of 2015, the size has expanded to 400 billion yuan. The increasing adoption rate of the Internet and smartphones in China allows companies to tap the great potential of online to offline commerce. The established O2O models for take-out, ticket services, and other door-to-door services serve as successful precedents of O2O commerce and have paved the way for this new promising market. Chances are that the availability of one-to-one or one-to-few Yoga coach at any flexible time will help trigger the interest of potential customers. Besides, the convenience of paying online and the humanized design of selection, everything else is icing on the cake. Above all, the health industry as one of the untapped markets presents a promising opportunity for business investment.
Further Insights of the Yoga Industry in China
With the rapid growth of Yoga industry, the number of people practicing Yoga has risen from 4 million in 2009 to 10 million in 2014. As Yoga continues to gain prevalence, the number is bound to ascend. This prosperity has led to a wave of expansion of Yoga clubs; meanwhile, the demand for professional Yoga coaches has exceeded supply. In 2009, about 108,000 professional coaches were active in Yoga industry while in 2014 the number has increased to 225,000. Correspondingly, the number of the training institutions for professional Yoga coach has risen to 1400 in 2014 compared to that of 500 in 2009. Overall, Yangtze River Delta Area contributed to 45.4 percent of the total distribution of Yoga coaches. Circum-Bohai-Sea Region comes to the second, followed by Pearl River Delta Area. Although the present situation of Yoga market is promising, this new health industry is in the state of disorder, which requires institutions to take action for its healthy development.
Generally, women ranging from 25 to 45 are the main consumers of Yoga and its related health products. However, with the increasing spending power and growing health awareness, the market has extended to males and younger generations. A survey conducted in Shanghai in 2014 revealed that 84% customers are females and only 16% are males. Nevertheless, the fact that males ranging from 30 to 50 are suffering from overworking pressure and sub-health conditions opens another door for the Yoga market. As for the younger generations aged from 18 to 24, the Yoga clubs at school provide them with more opportunities to practice Yoga. Because of which, they gradually realize the importance of figure-keeping and self-cultivation at a young age. As the survey shows, the main purposes of people practicing Yoga are to keep fit, relieve stress and maintain good health. Therefore, to substitute the single mode of Yoga exercise, diverse Yoga lessons should be developed to fit different groups of customers. Asides from the Yoga industry facing its bright future, there is a great opportunity for Yoga peripheral products to share a big slice of the cake.
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