You are a passionate yoga teacher with an overabundance of group classes in studios and gyms. You’re ready to expand as an instructor and introduce what you love to a new audience. Perhaps you’d like to start setting your own rates.
Sound familiar? Teaching yoga to employees can be rewarding both to the practitioners and to you.
Research has shown that employees who practice yoga are more productive, can manage stressful situations more effectively, and seem to call off less frequently. Workplace yoga can also create bonding between employees. If you are on the same path as I am, here are some guidelines that I continue to follow in my teaching corporate yoga journey:
1. Intention, Intention, Intention.
Why do you want to teach yoga in a corporate setting? Write down five personal intentions for wanting to lead workplace yoga.
2. Don’t be bashful.
Talk to everyone that you know who works for a company. Remind them that you teach yoga, and see if this is something that might be of interest in their place of work. Often times friends and family will lead you unexpectedly in the right direction.
3. Locate the decision maker.
Be persistent, yet respectful and brief. Speak clearly and confidently, letting them know your teaching experience, as well as the benefits of having employees do yoga. If you are contacting them via email, include a professional flyer with all of that information as well as your picture and qualifications.
4. Why yoga?
Research at least five reasons of how yoga will benefit employees and the company. Office yoga increases productivity. It eases stress. Employees may learn fancy tricks to show off at the company Christmas party. You get the idea....
5. Know your rates.
Sometimes companies will pay you to teach, so have your hourly rate prepared. Be willing to negotiate, but also take into account what your time is worth. You may have to block out two hours or more of your day just to teach a one-hour class due to travel time, set up, and clean up.
If employees are paying, what would you like each person to pay? I’ve created packages in 5-week and 10-week class increments. This keeps people motivated and committed, and they get a bit of a deal by purchasing classes in bulk. Provide a free meet-and-greet with interested parties so that people can ask questions and get to know you. You can even offer the first class for free.
6. Always be gracious.
You may encounter yoga virgins. Be helpful, responsible, professional, and offer modifications. During my free meet-and-greet, people confided that they were concerned about injury, as they had “a bad experience in a yoga studio and never went back.” One of the beautiful things about office yoga is that you are able to cater to their unique needs.
7. Variety is the spice of life.
Corporate yoga students are a mix of first-timers, casual yogis who sometimes attend public classes, as well as seasoned practitioners. Consider offering a Level 1 and Level 2 class if the company shows interest in having you more than once per week. If that is not possible, offer modifications all the time. But you already do that, right?
8. Give Props.
I spent my own money to buy twenty yoga blocks for my first corporate yoga class. This showed I was prepared and that I cared about the people I was going to be teaching. I made the money that I spent on the blocks back within the first week of teaching.
9. Remember this is an office.
People get pulled into last minute meetings, they break their arm over the weekend, or they go on vacation. They get Tuesday Yoga confused with Taco Tuesday. Create a way for students to RSVP, whether it is through email, text, or an online resource. That way you will know if you have enough people to hold class or not.
10. Show your heart.
Learn everyone’s names and offer to stay around for questions after class. Laugh! It is you, with your knowledge and honesty that will allow you to invade their cubicle farm.
What has your experience been like teaching yoga to employees?