Tips from the experts to help you grow the yoga business of your dreams
This month’s mentor:
Lisa Simpson, 43, of Fusion Yoga Studios, Ripley, Derbyshire
The secret to making a living teaching yoga
Every time a scary opportunity has come my way (for example, ‘growing my business’), I have been driven by the motto, ‘Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway’ by the author Susan Jeffers. I always knew I wanted to open my own space, run retreats and one day I will own my own retreat venue. I always knew I wanted to make a living from doing something that I truly loved and that didn’t feel like a job. It is absolutely possible to make a living teaching yoga. Determination, self-belief, vision and practicing what you teach in terms of the philosophy are all important. Remain authentic: be you! Live yoga and yoga will give you the life you are searching for.
Self-care is vital, especially if your intention is to make a living from sharing yoga with your community. Take time to reset and rest. If you don’t, you will burn out and you won’t be able to give what you want to give or what your students deserve. In the early days there were times I felt burnt out physically and emotionally. Then self-doubt crept in and I questioned if I even had any right to call myself a teacher. We teach self-care so we need to show self-care. Lead by example and show your students how you look after yourself and then it’s more credible when you teach it. Above all learn to nanna nap!
Know your worth. I didn’t recognise the true value, financial or otherwise on what I gave. As time has gone by, I know from feedback from students that I don’t just make a physical difference to their lives, they benefit mentally and emotionally too. My classes are themed with a message or some yoga philosophy for them to take away if it resonates. Their financial investment is not just for the one-hour class they attend. It is in exchange for the heart and soul that goes into planning and sharing my classes with them every week. It is for their mental and physical wellbeing.
Do not compare yourself to others. Do not be tempted to scroll social media looking at what others are doing. It leads to the mind monkeys taking over, telling you: ‘you don’t stand a chance,’ ‘you don’t even come close to all those other amazing teachers.’ Put your blinkers on. Don’t scroll, and just do your thing from your heart and soul and all will be well.
Clearly due to the Covid-19 pandemic, changes in the business of teaching yoga have already begun to take place. I returned from my 300-hour teacher training at the end of February 2020 and within a few weeks we were in a national lockdown. I knew I wanted to keep sharing yoga with my students, so I moved all my classes online, live, via Zoom. I am very grateful that practically all my students embraced the transition to online live classes. Even when the studio was permitted to be open again after the first lockdown, more than half of my students chose to stay at home and practice online with me. My studio capacity was originally 20, but only eight when Covid compliant!
There is no way I can keep my studio running with an eight-person capacity so therefore I have chosen to teach in the studio and online at the same time. Feedback from students is that they enjoy creating their yoga bubble at home. I see this continuing long term. The screen between us does not have to be a barrier. You can still very much engage with your students, share laughter and love even through a screen.
Find Lisa Simpson and Fusion Yoga Studios at: fusion-studios.co.uk
Written and compiled by Claudia Brown (yogabyclaudia.com)