January is almost always the busiest month for yoga centers and teachers as students from all over the world get ready to carry out their New Year’s resolutions.
To help you be prepared, we’ve put together a checklist to ensure your center, and the instructors who represent it, are career ready.
1 . Have your center ready
Remember, you never get a second chance to make a first impression, and students who don’t make a good impression (or worse, are unhappy) are going to walk away quietly, rather than put up with the confrontation of letting you know your center is. a “slum”. Your center represents your business and your philosophy of yoga, so try to see it through the objective and critical eyes of a first-time student.
- Get rid of damaged, old or smelly mats and accessories.
- Give the center a good, deep cleaning. New year, new winds!
- If something is broken, fix it.
Some students frequent your establishment simply because they need to relax, so try to make it as comfortable as possible.
Finally, reinforce the importance of professionalism with your reception staff. Gossipy receptionists and not greeting students as they enter are examples of behaviors that do not build trust in your business.
two . Get your teachers ready
The other day I went to a new mid-morning yoga class in a city where most people have day jobs. I was the only student in the class so I was lucky and got a private Beginner Yoga session with a lovely yoga teacher. As I lay in Savasana, it dawned on me that I had never had this kind of attention, so personalized and professional since my teacher training.
While we teachers know about alignment, adjustments and assists, it’s something completely different to feel it with our bodies. Consider getting your teaching staff together for an hour or two, perhaps under the guise of a party, and have a group practice where half the class practices, while the others adjust and help, and then swap papers. Follow up with a feedback session over a meal to discuss what worked and what didn’t. If you are already having regular meetings, dedicate one of them to reiterate the yoga philosophy of the studio and give your teachers an overview of how they are expected to treat beginning students and those with contraindications.
3. Have your schedule ready
You know it’s going to be overloaded with beginning students, so make sure your January schedule reflects that. The trick is to do it without disappointing more advanced yogis who are already loyal students. Beginning students often don’t know much (or anything) about yoga, they just know they’re not happy, they want to be fitter, healthier, they need to relax, they want to make friends, they want answers to existential questions… you name it.
Every new student walks into your studio with a problem they want yoga to solve. Why not offer a series of free classes every Saturday in January that are mostly reading-based, with questions and answers to answer those newer questions? Introduce these new students to the philosophy, history, and purpose of yoga. Explain to them the importance of alignment and listening to their bodies.
Four . get ready
Last but not least, be prepared. As a yoga center owner or private teacher, you are the glue that holds everything together. You have to practice what you preach. If you want your teachers to be more accessible and set aside time before or after class for the influx of beginning students, you should start by doing it yourself. Take some time for your own practice. Head to a retreat or workshop for some self-care if the holidays have you stressed. If you’ve been putting off doing something on your to-do list, just get it done. You have to take care of yourself and replenish the energy that you are going to share with others, or it will end up running out. Ponder some of these ideas for making the busiest month of the year a success. Maybe you can get to a few more.