How to Re-start your Yoga Teaching in a Post-Pandemic World

Post Lockdown Teaching

As yoga studios reopen their doors, in-person classes start up again and the UK moves on from lockdowns, yoga teachers here in the UK are re-thinking how to deliver their yoga teaching.

There’s no doubt that the way we deliver yoga has changed. So how do we restructure our yoga teaching businesses (again) in a post-pandemic world?

What’s Changed?

It’s no secret that the past 18 months haven’t been the easiest for the yoga industry. An industry report stated that compound annual rate revenue is set to fall by 5.5% since 2016. “This overall fall in industry revenue can be attributed to a forecast decline of 27.7% in the current year, to £659.4 million, following the disruption to industry operations during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.”

But despite this fall in revenue, the need for yoga hasn’t diminished. In fact you could argue that the stress-reducing capacity of yoga is needed more than ever as we all recover from this global trauma.

But things haven’t been easy. Yoga teachers who were employed through yoga studios have suffered, with many studios have to close down. Yogarise, a London-based yoga studio business, with three studios before the pandemic have had to close their central London location. In a statement they said, “The pandemic has made us realise that we can no longer rely soley on our ‘bricks and mortar’ studios, that we need to diversify.”

Thinking Outside the Box

But this diversification has opened up doors to yoga teachers that weren’t open before. Virtual yoga classes through steaming apps have been incredibly popular, and have potentially changed the face of yoga teaching today.

When yoga studios shut their doors, many more yoga teachers have had to go it alone, and some of them have been pleasantly surprised at how much more control they’ve had.

The change of pace from frenetic travelling from studio to gym etc. was a welcome break for many – Jackie Ngu, yoga and yoga trapeze teacher, said in a previous interview  “I don’t want to go back to going from studio to studio. The large classes can feel very impersonal and the students often change from week to week. I really like being able to see the progression of my clients.”

Another unforeseen advantage was that many students invested in their own yoga equipment, meaning that they are much more likely to commit to a home practice, and potentially stick around for longer as students.

Return to In-Person Classes

However, for many teachers, teaching online just doesn’t cut it. And even if online teaching works for you as a teacher, you might have found that students are now keen to return to in-person classes.

Having shifted all our classes online, and then back to the studio, and then online again, teachers are sick of adapting, and just want to build a business that works for them. Whenever there’s a change, people change with it, and trying to get new students through the door when the pandemic is still going on, albeit in a less obtrusive way, is not easy.

Habits have shifted, and people have got more used to convenience. So how do we re-structure our yoga teaching offering to make everyone, including ourselves – happy?!

Specialising in what YOU love

Rather than focusing on the negatives, this time could be seen as a time for innovation in our industry. According to the business report quoted earlier, “Operators can also fend off competition by introducing novelty classes.” While novelty is perhaps not quite the word – trends like Doga, Yoga and Chocolate Tasting and Goat Yoga are more seen as novelty classes – there is certainly room for yoga teachers to think about their niche.

The YogaLondon 500-hour course has a constantly updating choice of CPDs in order to hone your yoga teaching and focus on what are passionate about in yoga. Affected by the pandemic, or teaching students who have suffered? The Yoga and Post-Traumatic Growth CPD delves into the psychology, physiology, neuroscience and anatomy of PTSD, giving practical ways to alleviate the condition.

Are you one of the many couples that had a lockdown baby? The Mother and Baby Yoga CPD will help you understand the physical and emotional shifts that a mother experiences and the impact that yoga and massage techniques can have on a baby’s development.

The best of both worlds

As well as specialising, the fact is we now have MORE, not less options as yoga teachers. The yoga industry responded incredibly quickly to the crisis, and this determination and tenacity will certainly come in handy in the months and years to come. Because so many of us HAD to diversify, it means that there are now many more options.

For many teachers, online teaching means that we have found a way to practice yoga ‘together apart’. This is a good thing, especially when the world doesn’t need lots of us travelling to yoga. So now we can provide students with a great yoga class without them having to leave their homes.

But in-person classes have an alchemy of their own. The subtle teaching of a good hands-on adjustment cannot be replicated. So for many of us, having a hybrid schedule of both in-person and online classes is the best of both worlds.

If it’s working for you, then don’t think you have to go back to the way things were.

Being part of the local community

As a yoga teacher myself, I’ve gone down the hybrid route that many of my colleagues are choosing. I teach daytime classes in person, and evening classes online. This means that those students who are leaving the house to go to work, can come home and stay at home to do yoga.

But I do think the importance of local yoga classes cannot be overstated. Being a yoga teacher in my local area means that I am part of the local community. Students walk or travel short distances to class, meaning that it doesn’t take a huge chunk out of their day.

And the magic of practising yoga together, and the spontaneity, connection and joy that comes from that, after so long without that connection, is priceless.

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