In the old times, those who wanted to study yoga had to seek out a teacher and beg them for yoga knowledge. The way my teacher, Gary Kraftsow, who studied with Sri Krishnamacharya, describes it, any potential serious student of yoga had to live near the teacher for a while and would receive assignments from the teacher. Only after you’ve proven that you have fully integrated the previous lesson could you ask for more. The teacher would then decide if you were ready for the next step.
Nowadays, the roles are reversed. In most cases, it is the teachers of yoga who have to find their own students and explain the value of yoga practices to the general population. That can be a challenge because most yoga teachers and yoga therapists are not fond of marketing themselves. They believe that their work should speak for itself and rely on word of mouth to spread the word about their services. In my experience, word of mouth does work over time, but only when your students, friends, and family who spread that word understand what it is that you do and how it is different from others.
For example, one of my private clients, who does sessions with me four times a week, sometimes mentions it to her friends. In the latest instance, her friend responded: “I don’t think that at your age it’s healthy to stand on your head four times a week.” My student, who had never attempted a headstand in the 15 years we’ve been working together, only laughed. People have all sorts of interesting perceptions about what yoga is and isn’t and even less understanding of what yoga therapy is and isn’t. It is up to us to educate them.
To be able to communicate our message of yoga effectively and authentically, we need to be clear for ourselves who we are as teachers, what is our unique approach to yoga, and what we are ultimately working toward.
What’s your vision of success in the yoga field? Is it teaching large gatherings at yoga festivals? Having a small practice of regular students? Working at a healthcare facility? Going fully digital?
What kind of students do you want to work with? Do you want to teach classes, workshops, private sessions, retreats, or something else?
How can you reach your potential students? What kind of messages do they respond to? How can you help them understand your approach to yoga?
And ultimately, what is fair to you? What would be a fair financial compensation for the effort, money, time, and energy you put into your yoga education, practice, and teaching? How do you figure that out?
These are the questions that any yoga teacher or yoga therapist needs to have clarity on, yet oftentimes, you simply do not have enough time or bandwidth to sit down and chart your yoga course. We would love to help you with that.
Starting next week, we will address the questions above and many others in our upcoming webinar series, Chart the Course for Your Yoga Business. In this series, you will hear from yoga professionals who either have formal education in business and marketing or have figured out effective strategies on their own and would like to share them with you.
You will be able to
- Participate in monthly live webinars
- Complete assignments to apply those lessons to your specific situation
- Discuss strategies with other teachers in work groups
- Implement the lessons you learn in your own life.
The first webinar will take place on Friday, September 15, at 2 pm ET / 11 am PT. We will tell you more about the content of the first webinar and the questions we will discuss next week.
Chart the Course for Your Yoga Business webinar series is free for Sequence Wiz members (learn more about Sequence Wiz membership). If you want to participate, sign into your Sequence Wiz account, go to the Sequence Wiz community, and join the Chart the Course for Your Yoga Business discussion group. Hope to see you there!