Embracing Change and Getting Innovative
Gone are the days when yoga instructors would graduate from a teacher training program and hunt for a local studio that would hire them to teach a few classes a week if they were lucky. This is what we all did when I began teaching in the early 2000’s. To me at that time, there was no other option if I was going to try and ‘make it’ as a yoga teacher in my town. So I did precisely this, I worked my butt off, subbed classes like crazy until my boss gave me more classes to teach, and then finally, I was able to quit my day job and pay the bills with yoga.
The pandemic has forced yoga instructors to get creative and find different avenues of ‘making it’. And I honestly can’t see us going back to the old paradigm anytime soon. The landscape of yoga instruction has drastically shifted. And, perhaps, it was time.
What do we do now? I think this incredible year of challenges has brought light to what a select few brilliant yoga instructors out there have known all along: Yoga instructors are entrepreneurs. It’s time, whether we’re ready or not, to take control and responsibility for our business. We need to get creative, we need to build connections, and we need to be innovative. And, we need to do it now or else we will be left in the dust.
So, what does yoga-innovation look like? The main area we’re seeing instructors get creative and develop unique business structures is on virtual platforms. We’re seeing everything from drop-in classes, to pre-registered 8 week workshops, holistic lifestyle coaching, online retreats, and promises of full body and mind transformation.
The key to success here I think is really using the online world as a way to specialize. Because your audience is broad (you potentially have access to people ALL OVER THE WORLD), you can hone in on your specific skills and specialize your unique offering. So rather than simply promoting a ‘$15 drop-in flow yoga class’, you could separate yourself from the thousands of other instructors online doing the same thing and offer a ‘women’s only calming yoga practice for anxiety relief’.
Tap into your unused skills! Do you have a degree in something interesting? Did you grow up in a family where certain knowledge was emphasized? My parents were foresters so I know way more about trees than I’d sometimes like to admit so leading classes in beautiful forests comes naturally to me. Above everything else, get creative. Take some time out to sit down and ask yourself what you really want to get out of your career.
Now is the time to take the reins and be the one in charge. This is YOUR business.
And of course, if you need support, just let me know. I’m here to help; that’s what I do! I encourage you to see this transformation and shift in the way our society operates as an opportunity to get clear, rather than a burden to bear. You got this.