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Gaiam is a corporation that provides fitness products and media, including products relating to the practice of yoga. Its yoga videos are taught by instructors such as Rodney Yee. Gaiam (pronounced "guy-um"), is a fusion of the words "Gaia" and "I am". Gaia, mother Earth, was honored on the Isle of Crete in ancient Greece 5,000 years ago by the Minoan civilization. The concept of Gaia stems from the ancient philosophy that the Earth is a living entity. Its brands include Gaiam TV which changed its name to Gaia in 2016.
Gaiam was founded in Boulder, Colorado in 1988 by Jirka Rysavy. His vision was to serve the "conscious consumer", a group subsequently named the "Cultural Creatives" by sociologist Paul Ray in 1996: educated consumers who make purchasing decisions based on their values. Paul Ray now serves on Gaiam's board of directors.
Originally a catalog business, Gaiam now has products in stores worldwide.
In 2003, it bought a 50.1% share in its UK distributor Leisure Systems International (LSI). LSI subsequently changed its name to Gaiam Ltd. In May 2008 however the UK directors of Gaiam Ltd bought back their share of the business and changed the company name again to HAB International Ltd.
In 2001, Gaiam merged with Real Goods Solar, a California-based company specializing in the production and distribution of solar power systems, other renewable energy equipment, and off-grid/sustainable living products.
In 2005, Gaiam acquired the media assets of GoodTimes Entertainment Inc and Jetlag Productions which included brands such as GT Xpress, The FIRM, and Billy Blanks. Gaiam has been known to attempt to market cheap knock-off products, such as a Vídeo Brinquedo DVD entitled The Frog Prince (2009), an imitation of Walt Disney Pictures' The Princess and the Frog (2009), under the name of the former GoodTimes brand, even when this company has no association with the production or the product itself.
Gaiam launched Real Goods in 2008 to provide "off grid living" items like solar power invertors and tankless water heaters.
In 2012, Gaiam acquired a DVD distributor from Universal Music Group Distribution (a subsidiary of Vivendi) and merged it with its home entertainment division, forming Gaiam Vivendi Entertainment.
In 2011, Gaiam, Inc announced the launch of Gaiam TV, a streaming video subscription service offering streaming of over 5,000 films and documentaries dedicated to yoga, fitness, conscious media, personal growth and spirituality. Many of the titles in GaiamTV's library feature respected experts and individuals, such as Rodney Yee and Jillian Michaels, as well as Deepak Chopra and The Dalai Lama.
In December 2012, GaiamTV.com announced a new original show with George Noory, host of radio's Coast to Coast AM. The new show covers many of the topics such as psychic vampires, privacy issues, and topics that generally fall outside of what mainstream media will cover.
Similar to other streaming video services, Gaiam TV is available on a variety of platforms including Roku, iPad, and iPhone.
- Miller, Ben (11 May 2016). "Gaiam metamorphosis: Will sell its yoga brand and also change its name". Denver Business Journal. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
- 'Gaiam Third Child of Entrepreneur Rysavy,' Boulder County Business Report, November 1, 1998, p. 1.
- Ray, P. H. (2001). The Cultural Creatives: How 50 Million People Are Changing the World. New York: Broadway
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- "Gaiam TV Is Now Gaia." Retrieved 24 November , 2015, from Gaia corporate website.