YogaWorks chain stretches its reach in California with deal

Chara Law helps lead a YogaWorks class after a Dodgers game last month.

Chara Law helps lead a YogaWorks class after a Dodgers game last month.

(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

Two of the oldest yoga chains in California are bent on combining.

Yoga Tree, a small Bay Area chain, has been acquired by growing Southern California company YogaWorks.

The deal increases Santa Monica-based YogaWorks’ reach into the lucrative Bay Area market, said Phil Swain, chief executive of YogaWorks.

“We’re very excited about the Bay Area,” he said. “It’s a very strong community.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The deal attempts to capitalize on yoga’s growing popularity.

The U.S. yoga industry has grown over the last five years with more than 26,000 businesses across the country, according to market research firm IBISWorld. Almost 10% of adults practiced yoga in 2012, up from 6.1% in 2007, according to a survey by the National Institutes of Health.


The two yoga brands have much in common, Swain said, with similar philosophies on yoga and training.

Yoga Tree was established in 1999 and owns nine studios in San Francisco, Berkeley and Marin County.

YogaWorks operates 38 locations in California and New York, though most of its studios are concentrated in Los Angeles and Orange counties. The 28-year-old company also has online classes through MyYogaWorks and a teacher training program.

YogaWorks is owned by Great Hill Partners, a Boston-based private equity firm. Great Hill Partners bought YogaWorks last year for about $45 million from Cambridge, Mass.-based venture capital firm Highland Capital Partners, according to the Wall Street Journal.

YogaWorks plans to continuing expanding in California, including San Diego and farther into the San Francisco Peninsula, Swain said.

Over the next few years, the company also plans to expand from its other hub in New York to East Coast locations like Boston and Washington.


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