For centuries, yoga has been celebrated as one of the most efficient methods of spiritual release, in all parts of the world. Yoga has been proven to promote both mental and physical strength. It is also a great way to work out and gets in tune with your body. With all these benefits, it is no shock that yoga has become so popular. Due to Yoga’s increasing popularity, more entrepreneurs are entering into the industry to create a name for themselves and generate revenue.
Starting a yoga business takes more than your ability to pull off great yoga poses. It requires a lot of research and dedication to finding your footing. However, with a little a bit of hard work, commitment and dedication, you will succeed eventually. Before getting started, you should ask yourself some questions. Here are some tips to help you understand what yoga is all about and how you can begin your business.
WHAT IS YOGA?
Gotten from the Sanskrit word “yuj,” Yoga is often interpreted as “to the yoke,” “to bind,” “union,” or “a method of discipline.” Yoga is ancient Indian practice which combines body movement with meditation and exercises. One of the earliest expository texts on Yoga is the “Yoga Sutra” written several years ago. The “Yoga Sutra,” a 2,000-year-old treatise text on philosophy by the Indian sage Patanjali, is a guidebook that provides guidance on how to take total control of your body and emotions. The text also provides an insight on spiritual growth, providing the framework upon which all yoga practices today are based. There is no written record of the inventor of Yoga, but ancient Indian texts have continued to shed light on the technique of yoga. The term “yoga” has gone through a rebirth in current culture, exchanging the loincloth for leggings. Recently, many people who seek enlightenment, have jumped on the yoga bandwagon, attracted by donation-only sessions, and inexpensive classes. Unlike stretching or fitness, yoga is more than a form of exercise. Yoga makes not only your body but also your mind, flexible. A male yoga practitioner is called a yogi, and a female yoga practitioner is called a yogini.
HOW DO I GET STARTED?
Yoga is a thriving venture, with entrepreneurs getting into the business and an increasing number of customers daily. To turn the business into a viable source of income, you should be willing to follow sometime tested business principles.
- Yoga Certification: In other to set up a yoga business, your first step should be to obtain training and certification as an instructor from a reputable authority. Certification can be gotten from a Yoga Alliance affiliated institution. Yoga Alliance is the institution that presides over the national standards of Yoga. A certification from the alliance will boost customers’ confidence in your brand.
- A Business Plan: After acquiring a certification, the next step should be to draft a business plan. Find out how much working capital you need to start up the business and run it until few months from the business’ inception. Your business plan should also include the cost of your yoga sessions and other rates. Provision should also be made for your rents, staff payments, and other expenses. Set goals and objectives for your business and plans to achieve such goals.
- Establish a client base: Before starting up your own yoga business, it is always best to attend an established yoga outlet. Not only will this help you gain experience in the craft, but you also get to build and socialize with a network of participants, before venturing into the business. However, without prior experience, you can also gain loyal customers by conducting and supporting events throughout the community. Treat your customers well, give them attention and attend to them cheerfully. They will tell people about you. You can also offer special classes, or free classes occasionally, by so doing people will get to know you; and if your services are good, they will come back for more Yoga lessons.
- Pick a type of Yoga: Instructors are always advised to pick a type of Yoga so as not to have a confused audience. You need to determine what type of yoga you are going to teach. Studies show that the success rate for Yoga studios with a particular type of yoga is considerably higher than those with variant yoga practices. Yoga involves thousands of cross-disciplinary forms with different physical and spiritual objectives. However, some are more popular and therefore more lucrative than others. Some popular types of yoga include; Vinyasa, Kundalini, Ashtanga and variants, like Hot yoga, which is essential for a better-looking body.
- Make your brand unique: Yoga’s popularity has continued to increase at an alarming rate. This increase has made it a viable industry. Every instructor’s pool of potential clients is becoming diluted as more schools, Instructors and programs enter the scene. As an instructor, you have to think outside the box and come up with ways to set your yoga business apart from other competitors in the market. One way to do this is, to take your practice out of the studio and integrate it with a fun activity. You can take your classes in fun parks where there is a cool natural breeze and a lot of quiet. Variety is sure to spice things up. Another way is to introduce little distinctions like yoga with pets, prenatal yoga and even flexible yoga hours for working moms.
- Pick a location: The location of your yoga business is vital to the success of the business. When picking a location, choose a place with a lot of parking space and accessible road network. However, depending on your capital, the costs of starting up a yoga studio relies on rental rates in your area, or the price of real estate if you wish to buy a studio. If you are on a small budget, you can begin from a room, with a small reception desk. You can move when your clients increase. Just ensure wherever you pick out is conducive and safe for people to visit.
- Get an online presence: The importance of having an online presence for a modern day business cannot be overemphasized. This will help you draw attention to your business. You also get to have patronage from people far and near. Ensure the website is user-friendly, with a brief description of the kind of yoga you teach, your fees and contact details. Your website design should be captivating because, most times, people investigate your online presence before reaching out to you.
TYPES OF YOGA
Some common types of yoga include:
- Ashtanga yoga: This kind of yoga became popular in the 1970s, and it is based on ancient teachings. It has six established sequences of postures which rapidly link every movement to breath.
- Bikram yoga: With a series of 26 poses and sequence of two breathing exercises, the Bikram yoga is often held in rooms with temperatures of about 105 degrees and 40% humidity.
- Kripalu yoga: This kind of Yoga is about learning from the body. In a Kripalu yoga, practitioners are encouraged to look inwards and classes often begin with breathing exercises and gentle stretches, followed by lots of individual poses and relaxation.
- Hatha yoga: This kind of yoga is more about physical yoga postures. This kind of yoga usually gives practitioners an introduction to the basic yoga postures.
- Iyengar yoga: This type of yoga uses yoga equipment like; blankets, blocks, straps, bolsters and chairs to find the proper alignment for each pose.
- Yin: Yin yoga, also called Taoist yoga is a very meditative yoga practice. Yin yoga fosters the release of tension in key joints in the human body: joints like knees, hips, neck, ankles, shoulders and the whole back.
- Prenatal yoga: These are yoga postures specifically for pregnant women. Prenatal yoga is designed to help women through all stages of pregnancy as well as getting back to shape after pregnancy.
- Power yoga: Adapted from the traditional Ashtanga system in the 1980s, the power yoga is a very active and athletic style of yoga
- Sivananda: This kind of yoga is based on a five-point philosophy which believes that proper breathing, diet, relaxation, positive thinking and exercise, work together to form a healthy yogic lifestyle.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF YOGA
Yoga can do a lot for the human body. Studies suggest that yoga is an effective way to increase strength, flexibility, balance and physical activity. Some health benefits of yoga include:
- Yoga helps reduce anxiety in practitioners
- Yoga can also help people with arthritis, as it involves a lot of stretching.
- Yoga reduces stress and depression
- Yoga can help reduce sleep disorder
- Yoga helps maintain balance and overall body alignment
- Yoga is good for hypertensive patients
- Yoga helps reduce migraine
- Yoga improves mental health
- Postnatal yoga helps women bond with their babies among other things
- Yoga also reduces symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder
- Prenatal yoga helps pregnant women relax as it reduces anxieties towards childbirth
Despite all these benefits, Yoga has a few risks and side effects. They include:
- Beginners should be careful and avoid extreme yoga practices and poses, to avoid complications
- Yoga should never be used as a replacement for medical care. In fact, people with medical conditions should only practice yoga with the consent of doctor
- Pregnant women should also check with their doctors first, as they might be advised to avoid or modify some poses.
Finally, many yoga lovers are leaving the corporate world, to start up a yoga business; because of how popular yoga is becoming. They quit their jobs, get training and certification to pursue a career in yoga. Many yoga practitioners who quit their jobs to own a yoga studio, do so believing it is a dream come true. Every business has its joys and pitfalls. Starting a yoga business is not an exemption. It cannot always be rosy. This is why you should be sure of what you intend to do before you leap. So that no matter how exhausting or challenging things get, you would not be caught off guard.
Therefore, before you leave your career to follow this path, read and conduct adequate research, so you can find out how best to run and build a stable and profitable career in yoga. Be mindful that knowledge alone is not sufficient. You have to back it with passion. If you are passionate about your starting a yoga business, the tips listed above will point you in the right direction.