Let me state upfront: This is all about YOU. My intention in sharing this “business of yoga” jazz is to simply offer you what’s worked for me. Period. It is not to say what I’m doing will work for you, or is even right for you.
In many ways I consider how I’m sharing these yoga biz tips to be similar to how I teach yoga to my private yoga students and corporate yoga clients…I’m just offering guidance through the process/class of yoga postures. It’s up to you to dig deep and listen to YOU.
So here goes. The following 5 yoga biz tips come straight from my heart. These are simply lessons I’ve personally learned along the way as I built abellaYoga (a mobile yoga business serving Washington, DC, Alexandria and Arlington, VA) from scratch.
1) Be your own best ambassador. Tell everyone you know what you’re doing, what type of people you want to teach (i.e. athletes, , moms, seniors, office employees, kids, corporate executives, etc.) The point is whatever speaks to you “speak about it”. Go beyond facebook. Meet with people face-to-face. Make notes to follow-up with people you met last month. Thank people for listening and don’t expect anything in return. This is all known as “networking” and it takes time and patience. For those who have been following me on the Yoga Sutra path, reference my blog post covering sutra 1.13
2) Decide where you will teach once you figure out who you want to teach (see tip #1). Get creative. There is plenty of space available to teach yoga. A yoga studio is an obvious choice as are your local gym and community center. Think outside of the yoga box…grassy fields, theaters, museums, office buildings. Explore potential “free” spaces. To this day, I have yet to pay for space to teach my classes.
3) Do what you do best and outsource the rest. Not a numbers person? Hire an accountant — he’s one of my key advisors :) Not very creative? Barter for website services and a logo. This list could go on and on. Clearly the point is, focus on teaching and whatever else it is you love. Pass the other “stuff” to those who like to deal with the “stuff”. Writing this reminds me of Dharana, sutra 3.1: Dharana is the binding of the mind to one place, object or idea. Again, stay focused on what you do best and outsource the rest.
4) Teach during your peak energy time. This was huge for me. As yoga teachers, we need to show up awake, alive and ready to inspire. How can you do that if you’re teaching tomorrow bright & early, yet you just went to bed because 20 minutes ago you left teaching a 9pm class at your local yoga studio? Listen..If you’re a morning person aim to teach yoga in the mornings through the afternoon. If you’re a night owl, then teach classes late day/evening. Again, listen to YOU.
5) Practice, practice, practice! I can’t say this enough. Don’t sacrifice your personal yoga practice for teaching yoga. Inspire yourself via your own yoga practice. Burn through your doubts. Hello tapas! (See sutra 2.1 for Tapas details) It’s through your time on the mat you’ll find your creative expression as a teacher. No practice = no expression. It’s that simple. As Pattabhi Jois said “practice and all is coming.”
Done. Some of the above may be helpful or none of it may work for you. Take what you want, leave the rest. Most importantly, follow your heart. PS: Here’s “The Business of Yoga (part 1)” if you missed it.
abellaYoga has been gratefully teaching yoga full-time in Washington, DC, Alexandria and Arlington, VA since 2006. Thankful for experiences gained in the telecom/tech corporate world, this ex-marketing, yoga-chick is happy to share all she knows about yoga with all.