When Terry McBride first began practising yoga in the early 2000s, he was less than impressed with the facilities. The Vancouver-based co-founder and CEO of Nettwerk Music Group — which represents Sarah McLachlan, Avril Lavigne and Barenaked Ladies, among others – found himself bending and stretching in various facilities, none of which had showers, towel service, changing rooms, or much social interaction.
So in 2004, with Lara Kozan, he launched a yoga-focused wellness centre called YYoga (“why yoga”) in Vancouver. “I loved the yoga itself, but I didn’t love the experience going in and coming out,” says McBride. “So I thought, if I passionately love this – which I do, music and yoga – I need to go and build my own studio. Then it resonated with so many people that it was, okay, let’s build a couple more.”
Now, nine years later, it’s a chain of nine centres in British Columbia, with a new one opening in Toronto on Oct. 28, 2013 – the first east of the Rockies – with plans to open more spaces in Toronto before expanding further into Calgary.
With McBride bringing his formidable marketing skills to bear on the ancient art, his YYoga studios incorporate not only the towels, showers and changing rooms he was missing, but also tea lounges with wi-fi, infrared saunas, and a wide variety of yoga classes customized for each location. The company even offers “valet yoga,” where teachers will come to practitioners’ homes, hotel rooms, or workplaces for a class.
And, of course, YYoga also incorporates music. As a veteran music industry mogul, McBride ensures that all of the music played during YYoga classes, and in its lounges, is licensed through SOCAN. “We have classes that are specifically music-driven,” says McBride, “where the teacher takes time to create a playlist that fits the class. Music is thousands of years old and deals with emotion; yoga is thousands of years old and deals with emotions. I’m passionate about them both.”