How to Generate Ideas for a Virtual Yoga Workshop
If going through a global pandemic taught us anything (as if it only taught us one thing), it’s that diversifying your offerings and exactly how you offer them is not only good for business, but good for reaching a diverse audience as well.
Hosting in-person yoga classes and events are excellent strategies to engage our local and extroverted folks. But if we only have in-person offerings, we are missing out on a large part of our potential clients. As we know, the online space has an incredibly far reach, can be more accessible to those without transportation or with scheduling limitations, has a smaller overhead cost (think Zoom subscription versus studio rent!), and can be an excellent option to draw in those who may feel intimidated by the social component of in-person events.
Some clients may find it overwhelming to account for travel time to and from an event or yoga class, may be stressed by having to remember their mat or water bottle or what-have-you, and may find it just plain depleting to expend energy making chit-chat with strangers, and we want to serve those people too. So, let’s dive in!
Tips for Idea Generation
There are plenty of workshops being offered online these days on everything from how to manage a mini farm in your backyard to how to write the next great American novel. Here are the top five ways to generate ideas for a workshop that fits you and your audience!
It may be intimidating to stare at a blank page and come up with an idea for the world’s greatest virtual workshop, but it is important to remember that you have incredible knowledge to share!
One of the best ways to get your neurons firing and to stretch your creative metaphorical muscles, is to attend online workshops yourself. You may choose to attend a free virtual event from your favorite yogi or pay to Zoom in to something that feels only remotely close to something you may choose to design yourself. Either way, exposure to what is currently out there is one of the best ways to spark your own ideas. We can’t sit in a dark room with only a pen and the pressure to produce. We have to go see the world for ourselves and let it inspire us.
This may be the most obvious, but least utilized option - Do your research! You can start by perusing the websites of local yoga studios or yogis you know from the online space and see what they are offering or have offered in the past. Looking at the work of those you admire is a great first step because if you are drawn to them or what they are offering the world, you just might gain some valuable insight into what you, yourself would like to create. The next best step in your research would be to do a general Google search that can range from something broad to something incredibly specific. You may start with something like, “Ideas for yoga workshops” and slowly find your way to fine-tuning an idea like “Workshops on the best prenatal yoga poses.” So get to researching, and see where it leads you.
Attend Professional Development
As yoga teachers and practitioners, we know the deep value of community and learning from others. The best teachers are lifelong learners themselves, so it makes sense to prioritize your own professional growth and attend professional development in your areas of interest. Yoga Alliance has some excellent online offerings that they provide for a discount to members. Another great way to learn about upcoming conferences or trainings, is to check back with the program where you completed your training and see what they recommend!
Consult your Very Own Stash of Knowledge
If you are a yoga teacher, you went through a substantial number of hours in teacher training at one point or another. The further we get into our practice and away from our training, the easier it is to forget the wealth of materials that we received during this process. It’s a great idea to go back to your roots and break out that binder, those books, assignments, or handouts! Chances are, going through your old training materials with fresh - and more experienced - eyes will offer you a revival of concepts you may have forgotten.
Poll your People
If you aren’t sure what to offer in a workshop, just ask! It’s easier than ever to tap the minds of others for their input, and people love to give it! Send an email to your list with a poll, post a story on Instagram or Facebook, or even make a post and ask for workshop ideas in the comments. You may start with an open-ended question like “What would you like to see in our next workshop offering?” You may also choose to narrow down your poll and offer a few choices that you have been considering or even pose a more direct question of, “This or That,” with your top two options for future workshops and let people choose which one they would be most likely to attend.
From Idea to Implementation - Don’t Forget to Practice
Once you’ve got your workshop idea down, the next best step before you host a formal offering is to simply try it out. Some ideas look great on paper or sound genius in our own minds, but in practice may feel clunky or not quite right in some way. It is necessary to work out the kinks not only for your own peace of mind and stress reduction, but to ensure that your audience is receiving the most refined and thoughtful product when it comes time for them to join.
You may try out your workshop on family and friends or offer it for free to long-standing clients, first-come-first-serve, or specifically invite those you know may have an interest in your topic. The first time you host, you are still in the fine-tuning phase. Ask your attendees for their honest feedback at the conclusion of the event. You can gain feedback either in a short discussion afterwards or even utilize an anonymous Google Form that you email to everyone at the conclusion of the event. The feedback of your attendees is exceptionally valuable to help you improve on what you have, scrap what didn’t work or what didn’t feel relevant or beneficial, and leave you with the best product possible for the real-deal event.
Still Feeling Stuck? Here are Some Ideas to Get Your Brain Going
Whether it’s an art class or a writing assignment, I always benefit from seeing examples. If you are still feeling at a loss for ideas or feel like you’ve exhausted all of the above options already, I want to leave you with some ideas that may get your creative juices flowing.
Feel free to snag, build on an idea, or let it take you somewhere completely different as you come up with your own idea for your workshop!
- How to Incorporate Mudras into your Home Practice
- Playing with Props: Using What you Have to Make Yoga at Home as Restorative as the Studio
- Guided Meditation for Stress and Burnout: A Workshop to Recenter and Restore
- Intention Setting: Guided Journaling for the New Year
- The Eight Limbs of Yoga in Everyday Life: How to Do Yoga No Matter Where you Are
- Yoga and Social Media: How to Reach and Engage your Dream Clients
- Yoga and Chronic Illness: The Best Asanas for Symptom Management
- The Benefits of Yoga in Schools: How to Bring Mindful Moments to the Classroom
It may be intimidating to stare at a blank page and come up with an idea for the world’s greatest virtual workshop, but it is important to remember that you have incredible knowledge to share! Give yourself permission to start small. If you are still feeling stuck, consider giving yourself permission to design a 30 minute mini-workshop before you dive into creating a 90-minute session as your first offering.
Now put pen to paper and see what great ideas are waiting to make themselves known!