Yoga No Stretch For McBride

Terry McBride’s never been one for following trends.

When the RIAA began going after illegal downloaders for lost profits, the Nettwerk Music Group head took the fan’s side. And McBride has long pushed the envelope of artist self-empowerment and connecting through new technologies and media.

So it comes as no surprise that at the intersection of music and yoga – Yyoga – a chain of studios that McBride founded in Vancouver, British Columbia, follows the Nettwerk philosophy of building strong relationships.

In the case of Nettwerk Music Group, the relationship has always been about artists and fans; with YYoga, the focus is on the relationship between yoga studios and the students.

"I’m thinking a very music-centered approach to this," McBride told Pollstar. "The way that I’m coming at it, the students own the studio. The teachers are at the center, but they don’t own it. … It would be very customer-service related in that the interaction between the teacher and the student is more than just a class."

And what makes it more than just a class?

Top-notch facilities, for one, attached to wellness centers that offer everything from "massage to acupuncture to chiro, to food and beverage, to a social lounge," he said. "Yoga would definitely be the anchor, but all these other sticky points would create that social atmosphere of like-minded people."

And in that atmosphere, McBride pinpointed a direct connection between yoga and music.

"Nettwerk as a record company has signed lots of chant and spiritual artists because I definitely view yoga studios as mini-radio stations for that type of music," he said. "Imagine if you were able to do a yoga class and they have this music that you absolutely love, and then you hop on the Web site and go to that teacher’s playlist of the month."

McBride has also discussed yoga studios and theatres as venues for spiritual singers in his Nettwerk Music Group blog.

By fall, there should be seven YYoga studios in Vancouver, he said. Following a second round of financing, the concept is set to move into other Canadian markets and possibly Seattle.