Put Purpose in Every Class
Gone are the days when a yoga teacher could just waltz into the studio without a plan and haphazardly teach a class like nobody’s business. I remember when I first started teaching not having any clue as to what I was going to teach when I was on my way to class; I thought that whatever came to me in the moment would be like divine intervention. And, to be honest, sometimes it was. I would have the most brilliant sequencing combined with epic timing. But most of the time, it was 100% not brilliant. It was repetitive and the sequences were short so I wouldn’t forget them when I got to the second side. They were rarely creative and I’d often find myself scrambling to fill the hour.
Then, a few years into teaching, competition got fierce. I was no longer one of the ‘few’ yoga teachers in my community and standards were raised. Today, most yoga teachers live in a city where they have to constantly find ways to stand out (if you’re not sure how to do this, sign up for our Manifest Your Dharma program and I’ll teach you how to ensure your success as a teacher in your community!). There’s less forgiveness for our mistakes because students have the opportunity to forget you and find another teacher in no time flat! This is the cold, hard truth and is precisely why we as yoga teachers have to have a plan.
When I say ‘plan’, I mean it in two different ways. Today, it is necessary for yoga teachers to plan out their classes to ensure their teachings are fresh, organized and strategic. It is also necessary for yoga teachers to plan a vision for their career. This ultimate vision will help to dictate the quality of the classes offered. Some of the best yoga teachers I know have a clear purpose for their teachings and they attract the students who align with that purpose. This polarization is essential to a yoga teacher’s success; sure, being clear about your vision for your offering might turn off some of your students who are not interested in that particular niche. But that’s okay because what it will also do is turn on some of your students who are into your offering and not only will they continue to come back to your classes time and time again, they’ll become your cheerleaders and your advocates. They’ll sign up for everything you offer and tell all their friends about you. So how do you lock down your plan?
Step 1) Determine the WHY. Why are you teaching yoga? What is it that draws you to yoga instruction? Understanding your motivation for teaching will help you to get clear on your calling. And don’t answer this question in a way you think you ‘should’ or in a way that ‘looks good’. Be honest with yourself.
Step 2) Determine the WHO. Who is your target market? Who do you want to attract to your classes? Be specific, not vague. Focusing on a particular demographic will allow you to cater to their specific needs so they feel special in your classes!
Step 3) Lock down your goals. Write down your yoga career goals for 1, 3, and 10 years. Be aware that statistics show that people generally overestimate what they can accomplish in one year and underestimate what they can accomplish in 3 years. Take into account the WHY and the WHO when creating your goals. Then put your goals in a place where you’ll see them on at least a weekly basis. This will keep you accountable and ensure you stay on the path your heart desires.
All the best in rocking your yoga teacher plan! Remember, stay true to your plan and your dreams!