How to Succeed in the Yoga Business.
Yoga teaching as a career
Image: Yoga teaching as a career
The prolific growth of
Yoga around the world has made Yoga teaching more of a feasible career choice
than ever before. But, just as many dedicated practitioners are now able to
make their livelihoods from Yoga, so the market has flooded and the choice of
Yoga teaching as a career has become fraught with all the dangers of any small
business. The incredible swell of the industry has left many sincere and
dedicated Yoga practitioners behind, while corporates swoop in to take the
market – especially in big cities.
The advance of Yoga
corporations is the result of business-minded people going into Yoga, readily
equipped with entrepreneurial experience and the capital to make it work.
Marketing and business development skills of this kind are not a Yoga teacher’s
natural habitat - but exactly the skills they are now compelled to adopt in
order to ensure a sustainable Yoga business. Independent Yoga teachers and
studios have a challenge ahead of them, and they can be no better advised than
to learn from the strategies of Yoga corporates to make their own names in the
How to Grow Your
Strong local presence – your aim is to ensure a permanent place for
your Yoga studio in your local community. Makes sure you stay in tune with the
needs and interests of your regulars and expand your business along these
lines, aiming to integrate your services as far as possible into their leisure
time. This could mean offering other healing methodologies such as Ayurvedic
therapies, Thai Yoga massage, or Chakra/energy healing. Incorporate the
traditional Yogic practice of Seva and
earn the goodwill of your customers by conducting charitable work in the
community, or offering weekly satsang or
mantra chanting on a donation basis.
Special Yoga events – start by offering day-long Yoga workshops,
combining Yoga sessions, talks and delicious organic food. Build interest in
your events schedule, offering your students access to special Guest Teachers
and approaches to Yoga that they haven’t experienced before. Such events are a
chance for the community to bond and form the building blocks for longer Yoga
retreats and holidays, which can become an important source of income for your
Yoga retreats and holidays– hosting
a successful Yoga retreat pays dividends to
your business, as well as your reputation as an authority in the field of Yoga.
Retreats allow you to bond deeply with your regular students as well as to
bring in other customers outside of your local area. Offer your clients the
chance to experience a truly exotic, authentic Yoga destination, and combine
the experience with Ayurvedic detox to further increase your revenue. Be sure
to get professional marketing advice and start advertising your retreat up to a
year in advance.
Raise your own profile – try to create online what you have created
in your local community. Raise your profile as an expert in the area by guest-blogging
and publishing authoritative articles on your own media, as well as submitting
to print magazines. Use and boost your own networks, offering guest Yoga
workshops at other peoples’ studios and inviting other to guest-teach at yours.
As the old adage says, we are known by the company we keep, so maintain
community networks with other Yoga professionals so you can benefit from your
respective good names.
Social media marketing – an excellent forum to display the ways in
which you are raising your profile - post links to your published articles and
keep a stream of interesting information and opinion flowing. Social media is a
vital tool for strengthening your local links – post a ‘debrief’ of your daily
yoga class in order to encourage comment and personal involvement from your
followers. This is the way you will promote special events, workshops and
retreats, so do all you can to ensure that you are
getting regular feedback and community involvement on social media.
Yoga teachers and
studio directors interested in offering retreats in exotic Yoga and Ayurveda
destinations in South India can read more about Kairali Yoga’s Guest Teacher