welcome to om exchange!
Connect with yogis everywhere. We can help you to reach people and share your yoga offerings including retreats, workshops and events.

Yoga Buddy - technology taking you to the mat

January 29, 2015 by Francesca Baker 

Some days you know that you need to stretch your body, connect with your soul, and come to your mat. But if you are in a new place, your regular class is not on, or you simply want to try somewhere new, it can be hard to know where to find a class. Technology to the rescue, as per usual. A number of new apps have been developed to help yogis find a space in which to practice. Lululemon’s Om Finder detects a user's location and shows yoga classes happening at studios around them, including time and directions, and is now in over 60 countries. Along a similar vein is MindBody Yoga, which also searches nearby for classes and opportunities. Keen to understand a bit more about the drive for such products, I spoke to Beau Bergeron of YogaBuddy, the app that offers anyone the opportunity to discover, book, and share creative and uplifting yoga classes beyond the traditional gym or studio. yogapeople   Yoga professionals create classes and events, and YogaBuddy creates a website from which students can book and pay, and helps to provide marketing and business management support. Beau and her co-founder Robin McIntish were Inspired by the business problems and promotional frustrations faced by co-founder Robin’s youngest sister, who is a certified yoga teacher. Based in San Francisco, they drew from the area’s entrepreneurial buzz. Developed by yogi aficionados rather than technology tycoons, there is an ethos of community and inspiration, and an aim to build a thriving and global community of passionate, independent yoga teachers. Many of the classes are one offs, and some vibrant and exciting events have taken place as a result. ‘We've discovered so many amazing yogis that are putting really unique experiences into the world for their students.’ says Beau. Beau was drawn to yoga by taking the big outdoor group classes in Millenium Park when she lived in downtown Chicago. ‘I find yoga beautifully minimal and yet so deep. It has given me a new lease on my personal spirituality. No matter how stressful things get creating a global company, there's always a class to hop in to.’ Beau is aware that for some people the meeting of technology and yoga is not something that sits comfortably with them. ‘There has been some small backlash against the global diversification of this ancient practice, but it has also exposed so many people to a beautiful way of centering.’ She says. But technology and apps can be used to improve health and relaxation rather than as a saboteur. ‘My favorite thing about this current wave of innovation is that technology is connecting and empowering us in ways never before possible. I want to live in a big global community and hopefully our app facilitates exactly that.’ Robin is also passionate about the ‘quantified self’ features available through technology, using them to help enhance her practice and learn more about her body. Given the challenge of working in this environment and building their mini yoga empire, the girls need time to switch off and rejuvenate. And of course that is where yoga comes in. What does yoga provide, I ask Beau. ‘Focus. A little more mental clarity. Inner stillness which I desperately need!’ Then they just pull out their phones, swipe away, and find a place in which to practice. Yoga Buddy is currently only in a few cities in the US, but if the passion of its creators is anything to go by, it could find its way to this side of the pond. yoga1