Secrets of Successful Yoga Studios

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Secrets of Successful Yoga Studios

yoga classesBy Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

What are the secrets of successful Yoga studios? What will happen if you are a competent, talented, and compassionate Yoga teacher, without enough dedicated students? Here is a simple answer: Don’t quit your “day job” and don’t open a studio of your own. Sorry to be so blunt, but you need time to grow your following.

When, or if, you develop a following as an independent contractor, then and only then, think about opening a Yoga center. This is not meant to be harsh, but there are enough Yoga centers with poor business skills to go around, and you don’t need to lose every penny you saved without developing sound business plans. Observe successful Yoga studios and learn how they became what they are.

Therefore, please take time to develop a business plan with goals and estimated time frames. Unfortunately, I have seen too many studios open with a “one month plan.” Can you imagine opening an ashram without a telephone, getting caught up in zoning board complications, or just hoping for the best? One poorly organized studio makes all Yoga teachers look bad, and leaves the public thinking every Yoga studio is like that.

How do you feel when you go to a deli for the 20th time and the counter help tries to avoid you? Do you feel like going back again, when, half the time, they get your order wrong? Where am I going with this?

Every studio should have an appointed person for customer service and public relations. Yoga instructors should know all of their students’ names “by heart.” If you ignore your students, there is no reason for them to stay. They will feel unwelcome and unworthy. One of the worst ways to handle a student / teacher relationship is to ignore a student.

Be careful of perceptions that make you feel like you are better than your students. Remember that your students pay you to teach Yoga. You should treat them like your best friends. How many of your friends are paying for your meals, car, mortgage, or your vacations? Your students are “number one.”

Doing the “little extras,” keeps students in your classes. When a student has a question, it is your job to give an informed answer; and if you do not have one, consult with a senior teacher or your mentor. If you are not a “people person,” do not become a Yoga instructor.

Make sure that the person who answers your phone loves people. You can’t keep a studio open with a grumpy receptionist. The receptionist is the initial “gate keeper” of a studio, and for students, that gate should be held open with a wide smile.

Successful Yoga studios should be havens for students to find what they seek, without putting up with inferior service. They face far too much of it, outside the Yoga class. You should know the needs of your students and promise only what you can deliver.

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9 Comments

  1. Amy Bott September 16, 2012 at 10:46 am

    Well said! Thank you for your knowledge and honesty.

  2. Dr R K S Rathore September 17, 2012 at 12:07 am

    Thank you for providing us tips to be a good yoga teacher. All said and done, in India, almost all cities and towns have Yoga clubs providing free Yoga lessons to the interested persons round the year in community parks.

    At times we wonder on commercialization of Yogic Art of Living.

    • Umang Goel September 21, 2012 at 7:20 pm

      Dr. Rathore,

      It is wonderful that people get free yoga lessons. I do it too from time to time for charitable causes.

      It is also wonderful that passionate experts can actually devote their time, energy and desire to spread the beauty of yoga by making teaching a living, just like any other profession. I have been a part of Corporate America for 20 + years, but when I got laid off, teaching yoga as a profession proved to be miraculous to say the least. Yes it provides roof on my family’s head, and food at our table. My students keep me blessed, and they tell me how when they pay they are motivated to come to take full use of their money 🙂

      Thanks,
      Umang Goel

  3. Ioana September 17, 2012 at 3:12 am

    Thank you very much Paul for all your tips. I feel like you are reading my mind because every time I have doubts about something, here comes your news letter with the answer!
    I really look forward to receiving your letters every week.
    Thank you again and…..namaste!

  4. Jillin Francis September 17, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    Thank you and well stated. All of the articles are enjoyable and provide timely inspiration.

  5. Umang Goel September 21, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    It was incidental that got an email and I opened it up because I was curious to read about “secrets of a successful yoga studios”. As I read though this article, I was left wondering, how my creation, Wellness Haven, has been successful 🙂

    Yes this is a one-person show – me. I dared to open my yoga studio because I had been teaching lunch time yoga sessions at my company, in people’s garages, and in communities where people invited me. I When I opened up my 1500 sq ft studio, I knew that it would pay for itself. When I was laid off from corporate America after 21 years in the IT world, I was glad – now I could devote fully to my passions. I have never looked back. No I did not have a “proper business” plan and I did not have a receptionist or anyone else. People love my service and I have made my passion a living. I am learning as I am going and it has been a blast. Hard work? Absolutely! but very enjoyable and blissful. Yes, I will be teaching future yogis who want to be studio owners on exactly how to do it 🙂

    Thanks,
    Umang Goel

  6. R. K. S. Rathore September 27, 2012 at 1:36 am

    Dear Sir,
    I am inspired by your comments.
    Namaskar!

  7. […] Secrets of Successful Yoga Studios  […]

  8. marrywilson247 May 6, 2017 at 11:44 am

    Informative article for those who are thinking about opening a yoga studio.

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