Yoga teachers aren’t necessarily known for “rollin in the dough.” Even before starting your journey as a yoga teacher, you are asked to invest a substantial amount of time, energy and money. Your 200 hour training is already a high-priced investment that you will spend the next year (or 5?) trying to pay off by bribing your friends and family to sign up for your classes in the neighborhood park. Been there, done that. I get it.
It takes time to build a business that actually generates an income and all along the way we are continuously tempted to invest in the next shiny thing that will help us to grow our confidence as a teacher and success as a business owner. Do I think it is absolutely necessary to continue to spend money in order to build your yoga business? Not exactly. It is perfectly possible to build a business without the things I mention below. However, do I believe these four things can be incredibly helpful for you as you work on building a thriving yoga business, attracting your ideal client, helping your community and extending your reach? Definitely.
1. More Training
A 200 hour certification leaves you with quite a bit to be desired. This is more of an “introduction” to teaching yoga and arguably, barely scratches the surface. Most new teachers walk out of their training incredibly inspired, but also wide-eyed thinking, “now what”? More training is a valuable investment, but only if it is done right. We all know those new teachers who are serial learners. They jump from training to training, searching for ways to build their confidence through more knowledge and more training. Was that you? The truth is, you simply need to jump in. The only way to find your voice and your place in the world of teaching yoga is to jump right into it and practice teaching. If you want to make the most out of the investment of more yoga teacher training, follow the three rules below.
- Are you truly ready for more training? Before registering for another training ask yourself if you are confident in leading a group or private yoga class on your own? If the answer is no, keep practicing. Wait at least 12 months of teaching experience before enrolling in another yoga teacher training program. With a little bit of teaching experience, you will have a better idea of who you are as a yoga teacher and what type of training will help you to improve as a teacher and serve your community.
- Enroll in a training that is related to your niche. To define your niche, ask yourself, “What problem do my classes solve?” “Who is attracted to my classes?” “Who do I love to serve?” Once you have defined your niche, determine what type of training might help you to serve your clients in a more rounded or deeper way.
- Look into complementary training. Additional training doesn’t need to be limited to another style of yoga training. It could be a complimentary training in reiki, acupressure, holistic nutrition, Ayurveda, or Thai massage. Or it could be specialized in a way that serves your niche.
2. Invest in Professional Yoga Photography.
Professional yoga photos are not necessary to build a successful yoga business. They will, however, help you along the way. When planned and used effectively, your professional yoga photos will help you to attract your ideal client. These photos will aid you in building an online presence that feels professional and helps others to take you seriously, especially when you are first starting out. Quality photos can be used to create high-quality marketing materials on social media, can streamline your branding on your website and more importantly, can help your ideal clients to truly “see” you. To learn more about this, check out my post, Eight tips for planning an authentic professional photo shoot for your yoga business.
3. Seek out coaching or mentorship.
For some reason, as helpers and healers, we have a hard time reaching out and asking for help. One of the best things I ever did for my business was to hire a coach. Paloma Neuman helped me get clear on my vision, narrow in on my niche and to take a huge leap in launching my first online programs. Without her coaching and accountability, I may still be sitting here with journals full of ideas that never came to fruition.
Sit down and get clear on what kind of help you are looking for. Where would you like to grow in your business? It could be simply finding your voice and the confidence to stand in front of a room of students. It could be to learn about ethical online marketing. It could be to receive help launching your new online program or membership. Get clear and then seek out a coach that fits not only these needs, but also your personality. Look for someone who you actually want to spend time with and who you will feel safe opening up to. Which coaching program do I recommend, you ask? Check out my private and collaborative coaching programs, Authentically You, a six-week coaching program guiding yoga teachers and wellness professionals on their journey of finding their unique voice, maximizing their impact online and on the mat.
4. Lights, Camera, Action and Sound!
Now that we are all teaching yoga online or outdoors, investing in a bit of equipment will help you to deliver a quality product for your students. The most important thing is that your yoga students can hear you and see you during your yoga session. No need for fancy yoga pants here!
Lighting. Let’s face it, no matter how many lights we turn on ( and lamps we turn on their sides) it is almost impossible to create quality lighting in our living rooms. If it is possible, face towards a window so you can get the natural light shining directly on your face and mat. If this isn’t possible, or you live in a place without a lot of sunshine, or teach at night, I would definitely recommend investing in a ring light. These lights can be moved around your yoga space to shine in all the right places and can be adjusted to different heights as well.
Next up, sound. I invested in a wireless microphone and small speaker for my outdoor yoga sessions at the beach and have used a Shidu microphone and headset for the past couple of years. It has been effective for teaching large groups outside in a busy park or on the beach, as well as smaller classes with large distances between students.
For recording yoga classes for Instagram Lives and YouTube videos, we opted for the RODE Wireless Go Microphone. It has an internal microphone, but I use the lapel mic, which works great. I have used this microphone for recording classes outdoors as well as indoors and it worked great. The sound was much clearer than without a microphone and I feel more connected and closer to my students, especially when leading meditations and yin yoga sessions.
As far as a camera, lucky for us, modern mobile phone cameras work great! Whenever possible, use your rear camera, as opposed to the frontal camera. I also invested in a tripod to help to establish a good camera angle for my students while teaching live ZOOM classes as well as recording content for Instagram and YouTube. The tripod keeps the camera steady during class without the fear it will fall off your makeshift tripod, (aka stack of books and leaning up against a houseplant) hehe.
So, there you have it! Four things that are worth investing in for your yoga business: Training, photography, coaching, light and sound equipment. Remember, the most important investment you can make is in yourself. It is because of YOU and your gifts that your students are showing up for class. So, go out there, be you, and share your magic!
I’d love to hear from you. What have you invested your time and money in to help you to grow your business?