Tips from the experts to help you grow the yoga business of your dreams
This month’s mentor:
Katy Flower, 36, of Katy Flower Yoga, Nottingham
Does teacher training set you up for running your own business?
I did a 200-hour Alignment-Based Vinyasa training with Stefan Camilleri in Sri Lanka. I was really lucky, as Stefan includes a whole module around setting up your business and getting work from it. He is very realistic about the fact that we all have bills to pay and as much as we all love the deep-rooted traditions of yoga, we still have to make a living. He went into how to work most effectively so you don’t burn out, how to make sure you don’t under-value yourself and how to grow a community of yogis who want to keep coming back to your classes. Don’t get me wrong, putting all of what we learnt into practice is a hard and constant hustle, but I am so grateful this module was included as I know many yoga teacher trainings don’t include these important elements.
I use social media a lot! Love it or hate it, it works incredibly well in the wellness industry for networking and building a client base. I use Instagram mainly (@katyfloweryoga) and Facebook too. My biggest tips are: (a) Consistency and engagement: post regularly, always respond to comments and direct messages and comment and share other relevant posts; (b) Quality content: I love to create content that I feel offers value and helps my followers to learn new things or gain something from the post; (c) Value all of your followers: I believe it doesn’t matter how many followers you have, instead it’s the quality of those followers and making sure you look after them.
I am incredibly passionate about helping my yogis build a sustainable yoga practice. By that I mean making sure they are focusing on strength and stability within their practice as well as mobility.
I have hyper-mobility. I grew up struggling with dislocations and surgery resulting in fusions in the base of both of my thumbs. Hyper-mobility is when your ligaments are lax and aren’t really doing their job. Everything is left to the muscles and if those muscles supporting the joints aren’t strong, you can run into problems. Some forms of yoga encourage forcing our bodies into shapes that they perhaps aren’t ready for and if someone has hyper-mobile joints, this can worsen their problem. I have learnt the hard way, after years of practicing in this way before I knew better! Now I know better I want to share this, so more people can practice for years to come without pain.
What's the secret to making a living teaching yoga?
I definitely believe it is possible, but it takes consistent hard work, patience, determination and really importantly being authentically you. I think it’s important to be true to yourself and to what you believe, and this is what will attract people to your classes.
I think we have seen a huge shift recently to teachers taking their offering online. I had to hop straight onto the online membership platform as soon as we hit lockdown in March, and it’s been a great move for me. Don’t get me wrong, I still love my face-to-face classes, but online is a great addition to my business. I think there is a lot more focus on safe and sustainable yoga now and I hope this will continue. More teachers are focusing on functional movement and sustainable yoga, which is great to see!
Find Katy Flower online at: katyfloweryoga.co.uk
Written and compiled by Claudia Brown (yogabyclaudia.com)