Whether you’re a new yoga teacher or not, we all go through these slow times. So what gives? How do you retain yoga students and keep them coming back?
Be you. Rock who you are. Teach what you practice.
Your students will know when what you’re serving comes straight from the heart. If you’re a naturally goofy person don’t be afraid to crack a few jokes and keep it lighthearted. Are you really into philosophy? Share that with your students. Don’t worry if not everyone in the room gets you. Your tribe will find you and they will appreciate you.
People like to know what to expect. That’s why we read reviews before going to restaurants and hotels. So, if one week your class is a slow vinyasa flow, but the next it’s fast paced that could be confusing.
Decide in advance what you want your class to feel like. Have a beginning of class ritual and a Savasana ritual. Consider this a part of your personal “brand” as a yoga teacher. Maybe you burn some sage every time so when students walk in, they can expect to hear light instrumental music and smell sage as they put down their mats.
When you keep your Savasana ritual the same each class, students are able to relax right into it—almost like a Pavlovian response. They hear a certain song start to play and they know it’s time to chill. Creating a certain atmosphere in the room especially for the beginning and ending of class can be really grounding not only for your students, but also for you. Keeping that consistency is key to creating a brand.
Another aspect to staying consistent, is actually being there. One of the draw backs to becoming a yoga teacher for many is the freedom to travel. But when you do leave frequently, your students stop coming to class.
Every time you leave town, when you come back you have to rebuild your class. If you are planning to travel, let your students know the week before. Let them know who is subbing for you and why they should come take their class. Tell them about your sub’s style. And most importantly, tell them when you’ll be back.
Ask your students names (and remember them). Use their name when you can, it makes them feel special and shows you care. Ask them about their goals, why they came to yoga, ask them about any injuries they might have. This personalizes the experience.
Knowing more about your students allows you to better assist them. When you meet a new student, talk to them after class to see how they feel. Talking to your students will teach you a lot about what’s working and what isn’t. Ask them what kinds of poses they’re interested in learning and take the time to sequence them into your classes.
Connect with you students on social media. Post about your classes. Sometimes all they need is a little reminder that your class is coming up to motivate them to come to class. The hardest part is getting there. Some of your students will not need a reminder to come to class—it’s a habit for them. But for others, that little extra reminder is necessary for them to stay on track.
If you don’t use social media, that’s totally okay too. Send your students a monthly newsletter with updates on what upcoming workshops you have coming up, retreats, community events, and your class schedule. Add value to your newsletter by linking your most recent blog post, healthy recipes, a great playlist, or anything authentic to you! Your students look up to you. They want to connect with you as their teacher.