Tips from the experts to help you grow the yoga business of your dreams
This month’s mentor:
Amanda Riley, 44, yoga teacher
@AmandaRilyYoga and studio owner at InHale
Yoga Studio, Hale, Altrincham (InHaleyoga.co.uk)
Does a YTT set you up for running your own business?
Setting up as a new yoga teacher is much harder than people realise. If you don’t have marketing or new business development skills, and aren’t too comfortable to make some cold calls, it’s a tough place to start. There’s a lot of new teachers graduating every day and the yoga teaching world is getting more competitive.
A 200hr teacher training is a good starting place and your course may also include a talk on setting up your business, but I’m not convinced that it’s always enough support. I strongly believe finding and remaining with an experienced/senior teacher who will mentor and support you, allow you to shadow and assist in classes (and cover their classes) is essential for starting a teaching journey successfully. This is traditionally how teachers became teachers.
My particular interest is in stress and how yoga can help to change physical and neurological pathways to create new patterns, helping the body and mind to cope better. Stress is a bit of a buzz word at the moment. It’s much deeper and far reaching than mainstream ‘conversations’. Stress can be from the workplace, home life and relationships. It can also be from hormone changes, patterns of thinking/behaviour, life stages, past trauma, diet, lifestyle, products we use and also the sun.
I really believe that moving with the breath with awareness creates profound change in the mind and body. I call it the yoga magic! My trainings have taken me on a journey to understand the changing lifestyles and how current demands and habits micro dose stress to a point which we live in a heightened state of fight or flight. In a world where we are forced to be in our heads, planning the future and reflecting on the past, working at an inhuman speed, I aim to help people come back to their body and breath.
The fact is this job is pretty inconsistent! Yoga teachers are dependent on people turning up and sometimes it’s holiday season and the classes just aren’t as full! Or there’s a schedule change that doesn’t match your life plan so you have to drop a class, or take on one too many. Financially, it’s a bit of a rollercoaster. The summer months are tricky, as is Christmas. My suggestion is to plan in a bigger event before the season hits, or right within it, for example a workshop or retreat, and then save that money to carry you through the quieter months. I also think it works to plan your holidays when others are having theirs, while numbers will be lower anyway.
It’s hard to predict — who knew we’d all become online yoga teachers two years ago and have Zoom classes on our timetables! I am hoping there will be more regulation and support in the yoga industry. I’d like to see teacher trainers offering courses with ongoing support via mentors and structured CPD trainings as standard. I think there will be a change in the tone within social media, less about the asana and more about the benefits.
First published in November 2009, OM Yoga magazine has become the most popular yoga title in the UK. Available from all major supermarkets, independents and newsstands across the UK. Also available on all digital platforms.