Can Teaching Yoga be More Than Just…Teaching?
For most new yoga teachers, the focus is on developing skill as a teacher and building income from well-attended classes. Gradually, as you gain experience and build a reputation, this becomes easier. Your classes book up quicker, and you spend (slightly) less time worrying about how to get people through the door.
But if you do want to expand into other areas of business, or if the income you make from teaching just isn’t enough, there are lots of ways to branch out and build on your teaching practice.
If you want to keep your classes ticking over and you’re not interested in building a bigger business around your teaching, that’s fine. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. You don’t have to be interested in running a studio, or launching an agency to hire other teachers.
But if you do want to expand into other areas of business, or if the income you make from teaching just isn’t enough, there are lots of ways to branch out and build on your teaching practice. Here are a few ideas to get your creative energy flowing.
Collaborate with other teachers
Joining forces with other teachers is something you can do while you’re still a self-employed, solo teacher — and it allows you to spread your wings a little further, without having to actually start a more complex business.
Initially, you could ask other local yoga teachers if they’d like to collaborate and run a workshop or retreat with you. It’s a good way to learn more about what it’s like to work with other people, and fine-tune the administrative and creative processes that allow you to work together.
You might find that you really don’t like sharing your work with others, or compromising on details of classes or retreats. But you might discover that you love sharing the load — which can inspire you to move on to bigger things.
Launch an agency-style business
There are lots of yoga teachers out there now. And especially if you live in a city, they’re always looking for ways to teach more classes and do less admin. As an agency of sorts, you connect clients and teachers, and take a certain percentage of the fee.
There are loads of ways to organise a set-up like this, but the tried-and-tested method is that you screen teachers through interviews or auditions, and then add the best ones to your books. When you get a new client, you assign one of your teachers to that client. Rates are agreed in advance and clients pay you, then you pay the teachers.
Usually an agency will have a specific niche. For example, Stretching the City delivers corporate wellness sessions; and the Wellness Exchange donates a free class to a selected charity every time a business books a session with one of its teachers.
Open a studio
The idea of opening a yoga studio tends to divide teachers. Some shudder at the idea of managing a bricks-and-mortar space, while others have always dreamed of it. If you’re someone who loves the idea of creating a space for yoga and welcoming students there, then opening a studio might be worth putting on your business-expansion-to-do list.
It’s a good way to learn more about what it’s like to work with other people, and fine-tune the administrative and creative processes that allow you to work together.
Remember to put in the work before you sign the lease on a space to make sure you’ve got everything covered. Running a studio is notoriously challenging and it takes lots of planning, immense marketing efforts, and plenty of patience to make it work.
If running a physical studio isn’t your cup of tea, the internet might hold more exciting possibilities for the future of your business. New ideas for sharing yoga and meditation online are being launched every day; and it’s an exciting time for anyone with the creativity to tap into the huge online interest in yoga and wellness.
Could you teach online? Launch a video platform along the lines of Yogaglo? Do something new with yoga and social media? Become the new Headspace?
Connect with non-yoga businesses or organisations
The world is waking up to the power of yoga practice. Most of it is positive, although as with all huge movements, there are negative implications — such as the rise of self-esteem issues in relation to Instagram yoga, and issues of inclusivity.
If there’s an issue that’s always on your mind, it could be the starting point for reaching out into different communities.
If you’re worried about young people being affected by the images of ‘perfect’, gymnastics-style yoga postures on Instagram, could you launch a yoga programme in conjunction with a mental health organisation? If you’re worried about certain communities being excluded from yoga, could you connect with organisations to run classes or events that promote inclusivity?
Take a deep breath and start scribbling notes in your annual planner…
Because planning is key! Momoyoga has tools that can help with all of the ideas above:
- Streamline bookings for classes you’re running in collaboration with other teachers, so you don’t have to stress about who has to do what
- Add multiple teachers to your booking system to manage a multi-teacher, multi-location schedule with ease when you launch an agency
- Manage all studio bookings, payments, cancellations and refunds in one place so there are a few less things to worry about when you open your studio doors
- Handle memberships, payments and admin for online classes
- Also, the Momoyoga team is friendly and loves a chat. They’re great people to talk to when you’re on the verge of new, exciting projects.
- The ideas here are just that — ideas. Written down the intention of inspiring you to think bigger, and discover new ways to share your teaching practice with the world.