Group promotes yoga to US Hispanics

LOS ANGELES: Umbral Yoga is hoping to popularize yoga in the US Hispanic market through the launch of a new DVD, "Yoga en Español con Lina Navia."

LOS ANGELES: Umbral Yoga is hoping to popularize yoga in the US Hispanic market through the launch of a new DVD, "Yoga en Español con Lina Navia." Cofounders Navia and Whit Haskel are working with RLPR on local events in the Los Angeles area, national Spanish-language media outreach, and social media to introduce Hispanics to yoga.

While yoga is gaining popularity in Spanish-speaking countries, part of the challenge in the US is making yoga accessible and affordable for Hispanic consumers. A 2008 Yoga Journal study found that Americans spent $5.7 billion on yoga, including classes, clothing, and media like DVDs – nearly double the amount reported in its 2004 study.

"It's such a hugely successful industry in English, in the general market, and we feel that if the right mix is in place, it can be equally as successful in the Spanish-language or Hispanic community," Haskel said.

Navia is offering free classes in East Los Angeles and Umbral is working to partner with organizations and sponsors to host workshops and giveaways of the DVD, which was released in January. RLPR, which was hired in December, is working on social media counsel and traditional media outreach for the company.

"We're working to drive traffic to the Web site and build her professional image in the Hispanic market," said Roxana Lissa, CEO of RLPR. Umbral is using its Web site, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to showcase Colombian-born Navia and to explain more about yoga.

"We're targeting the Spanish-language media because the DVD is in Spanish and, though we know that there are a lot of bilingual Hispanic people in this country who would be interested, our focus was to go after, exclusively, the Spanish-language press," Haskel said. "We think it is very important to tell Lina's story, and what she is hoping to do by introducing yoga into the Hispanic community."

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