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Detroit, Seattle and Milwaukee Are Included in the 10 Best Cities for Starting a Yoga Studio With yoga spreading to all corners of the country, online storage finder SpareFoot wondered: What are the best cities to start a yoga studio?

By Al Harris Edited by Dan Bova

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

a wellness studio

Yoga is a spiritual and physical practice that has been embraced by more than 36.7 million Americans -- that is a 50-percent increase from just four years ago, according to a recent study commissioned by the Yoga Alliance.

With more people practicing yoga, that has created an opportunity for instructors. Yoga practitioners are projected to spend $5.8 billion on yoga classes in 2016, according to the study.

With yoga spreading to all corners of the country, online storage finder SpareFoot wondered: What are the best cities to start a yoga studio?

Related: Om at the Office: This Mobile Yoga Studio Stretches Limbs and Bottom Lines

To answer this, SpareFoot teamed up with Thumbtack.com, an online service that connects consumers with skilled professionals to get things done -- including taking yoga lessons. Based on their marketplace data, Thumbtack recently calculated which markets had the highest demand for yoga, controlling for supply. Cities with the most demand relative to supply scored highest on the Thumbtack Opportunity Index.

Thumbtack also provided the average price per session (per customer) for yoga instructors in each of those cities. To come up with our list of best cities to start a yoga studio, we also wanted to consider the cost of retail space and also the cost of living.

We took the 10 metros with the highest opportunity index scores and ranked each by the following additional metrics.

  • Price per session
  • Retail property asking price per square foot (via Loopnet.com)
  • Number of sessions required to pay for a square foot of retail space
  • Median monthly rent (via Zillow.com)
  • Number of sessions required to pay a month's rent
  • Median home sales price (via Zillow.com)
Citizen Yoga
As this metropolis gets back on its feet, yoga entrepreneurs might as well make it a Warrior Pose.

1. Detroit-Warren, MI

Forget Motor City. Detroit could soon become Yoga City. Over the decades Detroit has fallen into disrepair but young creatives are flocking here and revitalizing the city. If you have a pioneering spirit launching a yoga studio here could be a great move.

  • Thumbtack Opportunity Index 75.71
  • Thumbtack Average Price Per Session: $45.48
  • Retail asking price per sq. ft.: $86.53
  • Sessions per sq. ft. of retail space: 1.9
  • Median rent: $1,119
  • Median home price: $33,425
  • Sessions needed to pay a month's rent: 24.6
a wellness studio
Cleveland offers affordable retail space and a modest cost of living for yoga instructors.

2. Cleveland-Elyria, OH

If Columbus isn't your cup of kombucha, consider Cleveland instead. Demand for yoga instructors is a bit lower than the other cities on our list, but prices per session is just a couple bucks under Columbus at $44.10. Commercial space is also incredibly cheap, at $84.58 per square foot asking.

  • Thumbtack Opportunity Index: 57.65
  • Thumbtack Average Price Per Session: $44.10
  • Retail asking price per sq. ft.: $84.58
  • Sessions per sq. ft. of retail space: 1.92
  • Median rent: $1,150
  • Median home price: $64,049
  • Sessions needed to pay a month's rent: 26.08
Balanced Yoga
Yoga studios in Columbus stand to benefit from strong demand, high prices and affordable housing.

3. Columbus, OH

Columbus is a prime spot for aspiring yogis, offering strong demand, high prices and moderate affordability for housing and commercial space.

  • Thumbtack Opportunity Index: 75.31
  • Thumbtack Average Price Per Session: $46.56
  • Retail asking price per sq. ft.: $110.64
  • Sessions per sq. ft. of retail space: 2.38
  • Median rent: $1,292
  • Median home price: $134,350
  • Sessions needed to pay a month's rent: 27.75
Tina Aligata Photography – Sutra Yoga and Barre
Yoga by the beach? Customers paid the most per session than in any other city on our list.

4. Port St. Lucie, FL

Located north of Miami, this oceanfront metro commanded the highest prices on our list for yoga sessions on Thumbtack. It also had the lowest number of jobs required to pay a month's rent.

  • Thumbtack Opportunity Index: 60.01
  • Thumbtack Average Price Per Session: $58.44
  • Retail asking price per sq. ft.: $147.31
  • Sessions per sq. ft. of retail space: 2.52
  • Median rent: $1,431
  • Median home price: $165,445
  • Sessions needed to pay a month's rent: 24.49
Core Essence Yoga
Yoga studios will find Milwaukee’s reasonable commercial rents an attractive incentive.

5. Milwaukee-Waukesha, WI

Milwaukee is a good place to stretch your dollars, coming in the middle of our list. The city has affordable commercial space at $101 per square foot and affordable housing to boot.

  • Thumbtack Opportunity Index: 69.67
  • Thumbtack Average Price Per Session: $41.73
  • Retail asking price per sq. ft.: $101.07
  • Sessions per sq. ft. of retail space: 2.42
  • Median rent: $1,487
  • Median home price: 109,885
  • Sessions needed to pay a month's rent: 35.63

Frankie of Satya Life Yoga
There is a huge opportunity for yoga studios in Lakeland, FL, which scored the highest on Thumbtack’s Opportunity Index.

6. Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL

This metro (located east of Tampa) is completely crazy for yoga, scoring a 100 percent on Thumbtack's Opportunity Index. Retail commercial space is moderately priced at $118 per square foot, and apartment rents are quite affordable as well.

  • Thumbtack Opportunity Index: 100
  • Thumbtack Average Price Per Session: $40.55
  • Retail asking price per sq. ft.: $118.8
  • Sessions per sq. ft. of retail space: 2.93
  • Median rent: $1,164
  • Median home price: $135,400
  • Sessions needed to pay a month's rent: 28.4
Inside of Knoxville
Knoxville offers the lowest apartment rents compared to other cities on our list.

7. Knoxville, TN

This Tennessee city is a good option for those looking to open a studio in the South. The big plus? It has the cheapest apartment rents on our list at just over $1,000 a month.

  • Thumbtack Opportunity Index: 65.4
  • Thumbtack Average Price Per Session: $38.33
  • Retail asking price per sq. ft.: $124.42
  • Sessions per sq. ft. of retail space: 3.25
  • Median rent: $1,089
  • Median home price: $134,500
  • Sessions needed to pay a month's rent: 28.41
Evolution Power Yoga
Demand is strong in this emerging market for yoga.

8. Lancaster, PA

Believe it or not, the heart of Amish country is a great place to start a yoga studio. Demand is strong, and the cost of living is quite cheap. However, at $25.49 for an average session -- be prepared to hustle.

  • Thumbtack Opportunity Index: 72.49
  • Thumbtack Average Price Per Session: $25.49
  • Retail asking price per sq. ft.: $155.18
  • Sessions per sq. ft. of retail space: 6.09
  • Median rent: $1,146
  • Median home price: $118,125
  • Sessions needed to pay a month's rent: 44.96
shefayoga Roosevelt
Yoga instructors in Seattle earned the second highest per class among cities on our list.

9. Seattle-Tacoma, WA

If West Coast living is for you, consider setting up shop in Seattle -- the only city on our list west of the Rockies. The good news for yoga instructors: The city has the second-highest average price per session, On the downside, Seattle has the most expensive retail space among cities on our list.

  • Thumbtack Opportunity Index: 61.39
  • Thumbtack Average Price Per Session: $51.53
  • Retail asking price per sq. ft.: $189.84
  • Sessions per sq. ft. of retail space: 3.68
  • Median rent: $1,981
  • Median home price: $515,561
  • Sessions needed to pay a month's rent: 38.44
3 Tree Yoga
The Dallas-Ft. Worth area offers a prime climate for outdoor yoga activities.

10. Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX

Dallas earned a strong 10th place on our list. The Big D also happens to be the largest metro area on our list. Retail space is quite high here, but prices for yoga services are fairly strong. The market is a bit more saturated than the others on our list but the Dallas metro continues to grow.

  • Thumbtack Opportunity Index: 56.99
  • Thumbtack Average Price Per Session: $43.88
  • Retail asking price per sq. ft.: $168.71
  • Sessions per sq. ft. of retail space: 3.84
  • Median rent: $1,510
  • Median home price: $247,021
  • Sessions needed to pay a month's rent: 34.41
Al Harris

Editor at SpareFoot.com

Alexander Harris is a reporter covering the business of self-storage. He obtained his degree in journalism from Virginia Commonwealth University. He loves reading Elmore Leonard novels and listening to classic country music. You can call him Al.

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