Too many choices are debilitating, especially when it comes to the yoga business world. When you define your ideal yoga student – it takes the guessing out of everything, from choosing a logo and colours to confirming your class calendar.
First let’s clarify what you want to teach and offer because simply put – you want to be teaching and doing what you love.
Part 1: Define Your Yoga Teaching Style
What style of yoga do you love to practice and teach?
Maybe you already know your yoga style. If not – get out a piece of paper and write down 1-5 styles of yoga that you love to do or teach or that you would be interested in learning more about. Here is a small list to get you thinking.
- Hot Yoga
- Yoga for Athletes
- Gentle Yoga
- Chair Yoga
- Yoga for Beginners
- Partner Yoga
- Private Classes
- Prenatal Yoga
- Core Strengthening
- Children’s Yoga
- Yoga for Seniors
- SUP yoga
- Yoga for Men
Are there more than 5 on your list? Can you narrow it down to 1-2 now?
If not a key question to consider is this:
Am I trying to cater to all students by teaching a larger variety of yoga classes and styles?
My own yoga teaching style has evolved over the years. About six years ago, you could find me teaching a lot of hot/vigorous classes. The students that liked the challenge (and heat) were there and most often my classes were full. The average age range of my students then was about 25-35.
Today my classes are not hot and I teach a more gentle flow. It is because I am teaching what I love and crave in my own practice.
As we all know, students gravitate to the yoga teacher that suits their style. When teachers really clarify what they love to teach – class sizes go up.
Feeling Like the Yoga Market is Saturated?
If you are trying to teach all styles to get all of the students you can – consider this. In January of 2016 Yoga Alliance and Yoga Journal released “The 2016 Yoga in America Study” which shows us that more and more people are finding yoga. This study tells us that 28% of Americans have done yoga at some point in their life. And from 2012 to 2016 – there was an 80% increase of people practicing yoga. That is a huge increase!
So if you are worried that the yoga market is saturated with teachers – remind yourself of this. There are enough students and enough soon-to-be students to be picky about who and what you are teaching.
Action Step: Sit with this list and dig around a bit. What books do you gravitate towards buying on yoga? Restorative or core? What classes do you love attending? On your existing schedule – what classes are leaving you feeling more energized and what ones are draining you? Is there a course that is calling you?
Part 2: Define Your Ideal Yoga Student
Through working with people on website development I began to see that the questions I asked brought up a lot of anxiety. There were endless choices and decisions.
That was when I listened to a podcast by John Lee Dumas of EOFire.com. He was speaking about defining an avatar so that the decisions were all made with the podcast listener in mind. The general theme that I gathered from my research further on this topic was:
It isn’t about you. It is about your customer – (podcast listener/blog reader/yoga student).
In the consulting world I began to see how this was helping my clients to choose:
- Website colours
- Newsletter options
- Logos and business cards
- Social media sharing
- Services offered
- What to write about in an article/blog
- Calendar times
Take this into the yoga world and use me as an example. My ideal class, (which is Hips & Shoulders Yoga at this time), allows me to share therapeutic yoga postures and breath practices.
Students who attend this class generally want to gain more mobility and have less tension and pain in their hips and shoulders. Who are they as individuals though?
My playlist, my newsletters, the class time and how I assist students are all based on my work around defining who my students are.
There is something I must tell you before we go further. As soon as you begin to define your ideal yoga student it is very natural to feel like you are leaving out a vast portion of the population. For starters – you need to define if this person is a male or female. This cuts out half the population. It doesn’t mean that if you define your ideal student as a man that you won’t have women attending your class or vice versa.
Keep in mind that there is an abundance of yoga students and that when you define who your students are and how you can serve them – you are going to see larger class sizes.
I have come up with a worksheet to help you with this process. Click here to view it.
When this person starts to sound like a fictional character out of a book then you know you are on the right track. Feel free to also use students you already know for inspiration. Choose the ones that you are excited to see in your class and the traits that make them so amazing.
To go further into this process – book a consultation appointment with me.