How to Get Yoga Classes Up and Running and Attract Clients

Operating a yoga studio comes with endless things to think about. There’s managing finances, training and retaining quality yoga teachers, marketing your business to attract clients - the list goes on. Another important thing to iron out of course, is how to create a class schedule that will be convenient for your studio and teachers, while also meeting the needs of (and attracting!) clients. 

Let’s dive in! 

Things to Think about When Creating a Schedule for Yoga Classes

It can be overwhelming to stare at a blank schedule and create a host of offerings from scratch. To help narrow down exactly where to start, there are several aspects to consider. 

Operating Hours

First and foremost, what hours do you plan to operate your yoga studio? Are these operating hours similar to the businesses around you? One major factor to consider is how to attract clients naturally by operating during convenient hours. You will get more foot traffic if your hours are similar to others in the area since people are more likely to be out and about patronizing the shops and businesses around you. If you’d like to be really accessible to walk-ins, consider offering a mat rental service so these spontaneous visitors can jump into a class! Last but most importantly, make sure that your studio hours are posted to Google, your website, and socials and are accurate. The fastest way to lose a customer is to confuse them, or inconvenience them with inaccurate information. 

Staff Availability and Hiring Needs

Another thing to consider when creating a class schedule for your yoga studio is your current staff availability, and potential hiring needs to fill any gaps. Is your current staff all available at 6:00 PM on Mondays, but no one is available at 10:00 AM on Saturdays? Once you narrow down popular times that you’d like to schedule classes, check in with your staff on coverage and begin recruiting staff to cover any time slots your current staff may not be able to cover. There’s no point in putting a new yoga class on the schedule if you don’t have anyone to teach it!

Local Events

It is essential to consider how your studio can be open during times when people are off work and out and about near your location. For example, consider your local school district’s scheduled breaks, federal holidays, and any popular events that occur in the city, such as parades, or restaurant weeks, you name it! When planning your regular class schedule, as well as special offerings such as workshops, make sure to think about how you can collaborate or join in on local events. For example, if the city hosts a bicentennial parade day, consider offering a special yoga flow class with 100 sun salutations! Start thinking about the community in which you operate and how best to tap into events that are already happening. 

The most successful studios are responsive to their staff and student’s needs, which are ever-changing, so it’s okay to need to change too! 

Popular Class Times of Studios Near You

It goes without saying that the phrase, “There’s no need to reinvent the wheel”, has stood the test of time for a reason. If there are other yoga studios in your area, attend a few classes to see which times are popular and consider offering something similar. The point is not to take away business from your competitors but to meet the demands of the community members who are already seeking a yoga class at a certain time. 

Poll Your People

If you’re truly unsure of what class times to offer, ask! Start with an email to your newsletter subscribers, a hard copy form on your front desk for walk-ins, or a poll on your social media channels. People will fill out questionnaires if they are invested or if you make it worth their while. Consider offering a free class pass for anyone who fills out a survey on dates and times that they would attend a yoga class at your studio. 

How to Get People in the Door

It’s one thing to put together a schedule of classes for your yoga studio, but how do you ensure that those classes are actually filled? Here are four great points to consider when determining how best to market your yoga classes. 

Hiring Quality Teachers

Hiring charismatic, professional, and well-trained yoga teachers is essential for any successful yoga studio. When hiring, make sure to ask the applicant to lead a 20 or 30-minute class as a portion of the interview so you can get a true sense of their teaching style. It’s important to also consider their level of training and hire those who have gone through professional programs to ensure your teachers have an adequate basic understanding of the tenets of yoga, appropriate modifications to offer for students of varying ability levels, and have adequate hours of training. You may also consider hiring teachers with different specialities, such as Yin yoga, Restorative yoga, and even Reiki, and then programming specific and varied classes to keep your students engaged with fresh options. It goes without saying that to attract and retain quality yoga teachers, you have to ensure that your studio is a great place to work with regard to professionalism, communication, and of course, compensation. 

Marketing and How to Get Clients into Classes

When you just open or offer a new timeslot, make sure to let your community know of the new offering(s). Consider doing a promotion to get more people in the door. For example, if your typical rate for a drop-in is $10 per person, offer clients to bring a friend to class and pay just $5 each. Another popular option is to offer the first class free or offer a trial rate, such as unlimited classes for $40 a month for your first month. Make it easy for clients to give your studio a try by making it as low-risk and high-reward to them as possible to give your studio a try. 

Text How to Get Yoga Classes Up and Running and Attract Clients

Target Specific Demographics with Specific Offerings

Specificity sells! In order to attract certain groups that may be interested in yoga, consider offering special classes or workshops that meet the specific needs and pain points of this demographic. For example, you may choose to partner with a local daycare or elementary school and offer a self-care promotion for new moms, like offering moms their first class for free or designing a “Mommy and Me” class for them once a week to attend with their kiddos and fellow moms. Another popular offering to consider is Puppy Yoga. Although not every studio is set up to be puppy friendly, you may consider hosting a workshop at an alternate location and partnering with a local shelter to provide puppies available for adoption. This is a fun event for attendees because it's, of course, a novelty, and it is great for the promotion of your studio because it is easily Instagrammable! The shelter that you partner with can share your studio details with their community, and your attendees will absolutely post pictures with the pups and tag you - that’s free marketing! 

Offer Special Discount Codes

Another great way to market your yoga class offerings is to pitch your studio to local businesses and corporations by offering to give a discount to their employees. You can also offer to do a corporate workshop for the company’s celebration of a milestone or partner with your local school district to offer a free class after school during teacher appreciation week. One unavoidable truth is that some people just won't try something new to them, like attending a yoga class, until it’s as convenient as possible. So make it easy for new clients to try out your class offerings by asking them to simply step into the break room or gym at their school! They may find that they really enjoy yoga and seek out your studio offerings in the future. 

Hopefully, these ideas on how to create a class schedule and promote your yoga studio have succeeded in getting your creative juices flowing! It’s important to remember that it is okay to start somewhere and pivot as needed. You may create what you believe to be the perfect class schedule and special offerings, and then notice your classes aren’t filling up as much as you had hoped. It’s okay to start, evaluate, and make changes as you go. 

The most successful studios are responsive to their staff and student’s needs, which are ever-changing, so it’s okay to need to change too! 

Emily Rose
Emily Rose is a school psychologist, yoga teacher, and writer for her mental wellness blog, She enjoys vinyasa, yin, and restorative yoga. In her home practice, she shares her yoga mat with her Aussiedoodle, Guinness, no matter how many times she tells him to “Please stay off mommy’s rectangle."

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