Take Care of Yoga Business With a Release of Liability
October 11, 2022
woman on yoga mat participates in yoga teacher training yoga course
Professional Development: Yoga Teacher Training Options
October 18, 2022

It’s a tale as old as time.

You have planned your yoga class, prepped a beautiful sequence, come early to get everything set up for your students and then class time rolls around, and it is crickets.

I get it, this is nightmare fuel for new and seasoned yoga teachers alike, but all is not lost if you find that no one shows up to your class.

In fact, that time can be a really useful and productive time if you use it wisely.

If you find yourself with an unexpected hour to yourself here are 6 things you can do if no one shows up to your class.

What to Do If No One Shows Up to Your Yoga Class

Don’t Take it Personally

This is definitely the first, and most important thing that you’ll want to do is not take it personally. If this isn’t something that happens to you often, chalk it up to a fluke or recognize that sometimes this happens, and people don’t come to class. You are not a bad teacher, you shouldn’t be embarrassed and this doesn't mean that people don’t like you or your yoga classes.

Even the most experienced teachers sometimes have an empty room, and this is a chance to learn from it, or potentially get an unexpected hour back to yourself. If you do find yourself feeling a certain way about no one showing up, dig deeper into that. What is causing those feelings, and look at all of the wins that you have had recently and try your best to recognize that this is just a blip on the radar and don’t hold onto it.

Utilize This Time for Something Else

It may not seem like it at the moment, but this may be a blessing in disguise.

If there is something that you’ve been wanting to work on you could use this time to do it. 

If you are already in the studio, set up  and ready to go, why not use this time to film some social media content, or record a short flow for Youtube. 

You could even use this time to plan more classes, or grab another instructor and take turns practicing your hands on adjustments, or cueing.

Think of this hour as a working hour that you can use to build your business, following, or teaching skills.

Think of this time as yogi office hours where you can dive in and tackle that thing you’ve been meaning to do for a while but could never find the time, and utilize the studio space as best you can.

Engage in Intentional Play

In the same vein of using this time for something else, you could use this time to fill up your own cup.

When was the last time you rolled out your mat, and just engaged in your own practice.

This is often called intentional play, where you are purposefully taking time to unwind, move your body and have fun on the mat.

You can’t pour from an empty cup, and keeping your love of yoga alive is essential to preventing burnout, and keeping your ideas fresh for your classes and students.

Try a new pose, explore movement in your body and do whatever feels good to you on the mat.

A yoga teacher practices her solo play time during what was supposed to be her full yoga class.

Look for the Learning Element 

Anytime something doesn't go according to plan, you’ll want to look for the learning. If you are finding that your classes are often small or empty, look at what you are teaching objectively.

Is this time slot, one that is hard for people to make?

Maybe this particular class doesn't fit the time of day that you are offering it. For example, power vinyasa classes usually perform well right before and after the work day, as well as the lunch hour where restorative and yoga nidra tend to perform better on the evenings and weekends.

Look at what you are teaching, when you’re teaching it, and potential barriers for your students that may get in the way of attending class.  

Do your best not to be hard on yourself, and just look at the facts. What can you do to improve attendance, and make it easy for people to make class?

Talk to Your Studio Owner and Plan for the Future

If you are teaching at a yoga studio, or have an owner or boss that you work with, consider asking them for a quick meeting to brainstorm ideas for improving your yoga class attendance.

 You can ask them if there is anything they can think of that may help increase numbers in your class, and bring a few ideas to the table as well.

Maybe you consider trying a different style of class, or change the time of the class up, or think outside of the box, or pick up a few classes as a sub and plug your regular class.

Come to this conversation with a collaborative energy, and try to put your heads together on how you can avoid empty classes in the future.

You may also want to ask your studio owner what the payment policy is for no-show classes. If there isn’t clear communication in place around this yet, consider asking them to clarify the policy.

Level Up Your Marketing

As much as we all wish a great class would fill itself without any marketing, that just isn’t how it works today.

Even really well-known teachers still need to market their classes and spread the word. 

Ask your students to spread the word, consider offering a bring-a-friend week, put up flyers in your local coffee shop, or even do some pop-ups with local businesses to generate buzz around your teaching. 

If no one shows up to your class, you can use that time to look at your marketing and brainstorm ideas on how to spread the word.

Remember, from time to time this will happen!

You will have yoga classes where no one shows up. This does not mean you are a bad teacher, don’t take it personally and try your best to utilize that time to level up your teaching, marketing or even just take care of yourself.

Look at it as an unexpected opportunity to dive deep, and do something you’ve been putting off for a while, and springboard your next big thing.

Kelly Smith
Kelly is the founder of Yoga For You, and the host of the Mindful in Minutes podcast. She is an E-RYT 500, YACEP, and a location independent yoga and meditation teacher. She spends her days traveling globally offering trainings in restorative yoga, meditation, yoga nidra, writing blogs for beYogi, and recording meditations from her closet.