Getting the basics right
Tried and tested approaches for running your own yoga business. By Fenella Lindsell
Loyal client base
A successful yoga company runs on returning clients. You may be able to spread yourself thinly across various yoga studios but, long-term, this approach can be exhausting. A returning client base allows you to substantiate your yoga business with these benefits:
- Long-term relationships with the people who occupy your working days. This adds meaning to your work and leaves a sense of mutual fulfilment rather than fleeting interactions.
- With loyal clients you can spend less time selling and advertising yourself as a teacher and more time building an increasingly reliable service with improved quality of yoga.
- Finally, when people know you through regular sessions, they are much more likely to recommend you to friends, family and others.
Support and mentoring
First-hand experience cannot be bought when it comes to your yoga business, but the insights gained from my nearly 30 years of teaching can be shared. Neither yoga, nor yoga teaching are exclusive and it’s essential that we find our own way based on the style that suits us. However, we all need a little guidance. By offering mentoring and support, I have built a yoga community with experienced yogis where people can ask for advice and foster personal relationships with their mentors.
Themed, varied and adaptable class plans
As a yoga teacher, class plans are your base and form the bulk of your content. Every experienced teacher has an extensive library of class plans to adapt from and build on. It’s important that these class plans are versatile for a few reasons:
- You may be teaching a variety of age groups with different expectations and mixed ability.
- You will have to provide options for injuries or health issues that don’t restrict the rest of the class.
- You will need to ensure that you keep the class engaging for each group.
Building a community
Having taught, run and collaborated on teacher training courses for many years, I have become quite embedded in the yoga community. As a returning teacher, or one starting out, you’ll need to think about studio rental, advertising, building a network, courses and health practices, good recommendations and testimonials and some equipment costs. These things come fluidly when you are part of a community of health practitioners, studio owners and mutually supportive professionals in a similar field.
Online and in-person
It’s no surprise that working from home has become an increasingly viable option for many professions. Yoga teaching unquestionably benefits from in-person interactions, but a combination of both in-person and online teaching outlets will ensure your teaching is versatile and resilient to changing business climates.
“It’s no surprise that working from home has become an increasingly viable option for many professions. Yoga teaching unquestionably benefits from in-person interactions, but a combination of both in-person and online teaching outlets will ensure your teaching is versatile and resilient to changing business climates. ”
Learn and explore more on injuries and changing health conditions
Working as a yoga teacher is a physical practice where the benefits to health are unquestionable. This being said, the potential for injury or strain are high if taught without adequate care and expertise. Some use yoga to strengthen the body and prevent injury, some for rehabilitation, others for mindfulness and many for all three and more. Regardless of your student’s approach, it’s your responsibility to help them achieve these targets and walk (not hobble!) away feeling nourished and rejuvenated.
Like any engagement, yoga is improved by practice; some wish to excel physically and others want to improve strength and resilience to injury.
Offering home practice options will ensure increasingly capable, returning students and help you stand out in the yoga business and will show who goes the extra mile. Without home practice, the improvements will undoubtedly be slower and for those less patient, this may also cause higher drop-out rates from classes.
Fenella Lindsell is the founder of Yoga Forever Academy, which offers a practical and comprehensive course to build your own profitable yoga business both in-person or online.
The course is a bridge between your teacher training course and the chance to be an independent, successful and fulfilled yoga teacher. Visit: yogaforeveracademy.com