Starting out as a brand new yoga teacher is both exciting and challenging. As you start teaching yoga, you need to learn a few business skills to attract students whilst also honing your skills as a teacher. These 10 essential tips for brand-new yoga teachers are a great framework to get you started.
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Essential Business Tips for New Yoga Teachers
Fresh out of Yoga Teacher Training, learning how to establish your yoga business is key. A little marketing savvy enables you to attract yoga students to your classes, build a suitable career and manage your finances. These skills contribute to a thriving and successful yoga teaching practice. So let’s get started with some top tips on the business of teaching yoga . . .
1) Get Started with a Beginners Course
Getting started with a beginner’s course is my number 1 tip for brand-new yoga teachers looking to set up a new class. Book a venue for your yoga course and start marketing it 6 weeks prior to the course starting. This gives you 6 weeks to focus purely on attracting new yoga students to your class. Then when the course begins, you can press pause on the marketing and refocus your attention on lesson planning and meeting your new students’ needs.
2) Focus on 1 class at a time
I know you’re excited! It’s easy to get carried away and commit yourself to lots of classes and fill up your timetable. But instead of filling a timetable focus on filling a class. If not your end up spreading yourself too thin, have getting overwhelmed trying to market lots of different classes and lesson plan then! Take it 1 class at a time. Build your new class to being consistently 80% full before adding a second class.
3) Market Research – Identify the Gap
Market research is key. As a brand new yoga teacher looking to establish your yoga classes research what types of classes and what types of students are currently being well served by the yoga classes in your local area. Then consider if this is reflective of the local yoga community. Soon you’ll see that there are huge demographics within every community that are not getting to practice yoga as the local classes don’t meet their needs or aren’t accessible. Are their any chair yoga classes; yoga in the day for retired folks or stay-at-home parents; what about gentle yoga classes or classes that focus more on mental health and meditation? What about beginners-only classes? Or men’s yoga classes? When you’ve found this ‘gap’ market your classes to serve these people.
4) Collect email addresses and phone numbers
Communication is everything! Start building your email list and what’s app groups for classes from day 1. Communicating 1:1 via email and what’s app with your students is great for customer service and encouraging future class bookings. If someone enquires about a class you want to be able to follow up with an invitation on email or whats app to book in for a free class trial. Then after the trial a one: one message to thank them for attending and an invitation to book for next week.
5) Invest in your Yoga Business
You’ve already invested a lot of time and money in your yoga teacher training journey and now is the time to invest in growing your yoga business. Establishing any new business takes investment. You need to invest time and patience in growing your classes, it doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a good year to build up a yoga class. Invest in a simple yet functional website, a booking system (yes even for 1 class), flyers and posters and your hall hire. It’s OK if at first, you aren’t covering your hall hire each week, do the work to keep marketing your classes and it will build. Investing in a yoga business mentor is one way to fast-track the growth of your yoga business.
Essential Teaching Tips for Brand New Yoga Teachers
Ready for Part Two of our 10 Essential Tips for Brand New Yoga Teachers? Now we’ve got a plan to establish your classes and start attracting new yoga students, it’s time to hone your yoga teacher skills with these essential tips for new yoga teachers.
1) Trust in Yoga – Overcoming Imposter Syndrome
It’s ok if at first, you don’t feel confident! Confidence comes from practice and listening to the feedback from your students. So whilst your confidence builds trust in yoga. Keep to the basics and yoga works. Simply giving your students one hour away from their phone, away from the busyness of life, the reminder to slow down their breathing and take a moment to experience the moment!
2) Keep Your Yoga Lesson Plans Simple
Don’t overcomplicate your yoga lessons. You might LOVE an exploratory creative movement practice yourself but these are much easier to do than to teach. Stick to 1-3 yoga poses in a sequence before repeating on the second side. Repeat poses. Leave pauses. Don’t rush. Give yourself and your students time to breathe and drop into the present. When you are designing your classes a useful rule of thumb is that a 30 min personal practice is about a 1-hour guided class for beginners and mixed-level classes.
3) Plan 1 Class / Month
If as a brand new yoga teacher you’rr finding planning yoga classes and yoga sequences is taking you a long time and stressing you out, try planning 1 class and sticking with it for a whole month. Each week you can focus on a different aspect, such as alignment in week 1 and the breath connection in week 2. This will take the pressure of you and also give your students the opportunity to learn and explore more of the poses you’ve chosen.
4) Learn Your Students Names
This is a non-negotiable for me. It is essential that you get good at names! Students want to feel seen and welcome. A friendly welcoming environment with a teacher you feel really cares about you is essential for student loyalty and community.
5) Be Audible, Smile & Make Eye Contact
At the end of the day it doesn’t matter if you fudge a flow, or get your lefts and rights confused, what matters is how your students feel. If your students can feel your warmth, welcome and passion then they’ll forgive you the rest!