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What have I learnt in three years of teaching yoga?

Hello curious person

First things first! I am sharing my experience of teaching yoga and I am going to be very honest.

I love teaching yoga - I am constantly reminded why I do it when I get to the end of a class or event. The space in-between teaching can be very hard work though. (Background information, I work a full time job in Information Technology and run my yoga business on the side.) There is a lot to do once you put your business hat on. We, as yoga teachers, end up wearing a lot of different hats in and out of the "studio". We typically manage those expectations in the "studio" to avoid taking on roles we are not trained for. That doesn't necessarily happen in the business side of teaching yoga.

We have to run accounts, deal with other businesses, manage our time, schedule our classes, deal with payments, sell our services, market our services and a lot more! There is a lot to do it and I've found the quicker you get on top of this stuff, the easier your life becomes.

So here we go... These are the stand out moments from my time teaching for three years:

  • Use the new business hype! Typically, people know that you're going through a teacher training process so naturally people ask about it and stay interested. Once you're teaching classes, it quietens down. Use this starting out time to get people to subscribe, like, follow, comment and connect with your social media accounts

  • Don't tailor your class content for one/two people in the room. I remember I bought some new props to help people with their wrists, I was excited, I was working with the people in the room, this felt great as a teacher. Well, it didn't go down how I wanted it to, every single person who wanted support with their wrists was not there there that week due to unforeseen circumstances. Make a note of it and plan that class the following month. This has happened a couple of times to me - Sod's Law.

  • When picking a business process, for example how people book a class, think a year ahead and decide whether that method will become hard to manage and/or tiring.

  • Your mailing list is your best friend - as far as I'm concerned social media eventually sucks (refer to the first bullet) - so get people on one as soon as humanly possible. I sell most of my Yoga Nidra spaces through my mailing list before it has even hit the general public. I don't send out many emails through it so when people do get one they open it immediately.

  • Really really really think about the systems you are using whether that's for booking people, sending out newsletters or hosting your website. Generally, less products are better for you (not always the cheapest though). I've added systems to mine as I have gone and I am sitting here right now planning on how to move it all into one ecosystem. My booking system, mailing list and website are all with different companies. If I had researched this better with long term planning in mind, I would have purchased a bigger Wix package and held it all there.

  • Your customers are your guide when it comes to business decisions. Once you have a dedicated customer, they're easy to keep so trust their guidance when you're putting feelers out. This does not apply to everyone. Keep your circle small. Consider the people who are there every week, are positive, are showing up when they're in a shitty mood and pay on time. These are the people you want to listen to because they're typically there because of you! Do not listen to that person who's been to 6 million other teachers and have all the knowledge.

I feel like I've been doing this for a while now. I have slowly grown my business year by year and these are some of the reflections I have. They're not many points but they're the few things, beyond the obvious ones that you'll see on loads of blogs/articles about teaching yoga, that would really have helped Sam Turner Yoga on day one.

Speak soon


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