The ONLY 2 Ways to Grow Your Yoga Business

by Yoga Teachers College Founder & Master Trainer, Lucas Rockwood

Part #1 of 7- Double Your Yoga Income

grow your yoga business

I’m going to help you increase your income and your impact so that yoga can become your career (not just a job), but before we start, one quick piece of advice.

Just reading this isn’t enough. Mindset is important, but it’s only about 20 percent of your success. You’ll need to read, internalize, and then put these tools into action in order to transform your business.

The knowledge I’ll share with you is not available anywhere else. Literally, no one is teaching this, but I want to make it clear that this is not a “get rich quick” plan, there are no tricks or magic whatsoever. Instead, I’m going to share with you tried-and-true strategies that allow you to teach less, earn more, and make a huge impact in your community.

Ok, let’s get started…

Think back to the moment when you decided to become a teacher… perhaps the day you were accepted into your first teacher training course.

Can you remember the feeling?

If you’re like most teachers, the question of “How much will I earn?” was probably last on your list. You loved practicing and had experienced so many positive benefits in your life that you just wanted to share yoga with the world. Am I right?

So from that day until today—what changed?

In terms of yoga, nothing. Yoga continues to be absolutely incredible. You know that, I know that, our students know that. What changed, the whole reason you’re reading this right now, is because you matured in terms of business.

When I use the term “mature,” I’m not referring to age. Some people grow up business-wise at age 14, others grow up at age 73, and some people never grow up (shame).

Most of us mature when life forces us too, when being broke and burned out from teaching all over town becomes too painful, and we know there must be a better way.

That’s what happened to me, and I’m guessing you’re in a similar situation. In my case, I was teaching 18-21 classes per week all over town, I had over $60,000 in personal debt, and burnout was haunting me every day. I loved my job and my life, but I knew I had months (not years) before something had to give.

At the time, I had no education or other job skills, so I was either going to make it with yoga, or not at all.

Everyone has a different “white light from the sky” moment when business suddenly becomes a priority.

I have one client who had to take care of her elderly mom, another who broke her ankle and couldn’t teach like she used to, and another client who had a kid and realized her “go with the flow” days were over.

In many ways, I, too, have my kids to thank for my coming of age.

In my heart, I’m a quintessential yoga bum. Give me a free day, I’ll spend half of it practicing yoga, the rest making super geeky health food and watching yoga videos. That’s just who I am.

But then I got married, and with kids, this yoga bum grew up really fast when there were mouths to feed and tuition to pay. I loved my life then, and I love it now—but things are different, and it was time for me to grow.

Since you’re reading this, I’m guessing you’re at that same place. It’s your time too, right?

There are only two ways to grow your yoga business.

The first thing I learned, business-wise, is that brand names, fancy logos, and artsy photography has nothing to do with growing a yoga business. This is a unique world we live in, and while beautiful and fun, those things don’t matter.

Let me explain…

In the business of yoga teaching, there are only two real assets: you and your community. “You” means your body, your brain, your voice, your specialization, and your effectiveness. “Your community” is the people who care about “you” and listen when you speak, write, and teach.

If you want to grow your business, you must focus 100% of your time on those two things: you and your community. Everything else is an afterthought. Expensive wooden floors at the yoga studio, dancing rainbows on your website, fancy eco-yoga mats… all that is just window dressing.

Grow yourself and grow your community, and you’ll not just double your business, you’ll transform your entire world view.

#1. Work on Yourself – You are your own best asset when it comes to yoga teaching. This means your knowledge, your ability to communicate (verbally and written), your confidence, your level of mental and physical fitness, and your understanding of your clientele. Working on “you” means staying a student for life and always growing so your teaching stays inspired.

Here’s How: Choose one personal area to focus on that would improve your skills and abilities. Perhaps you suffer with public speaking, or maybe your anatomy knowledge is really limited, or maybe your accounting is a disaster. The work on “you” should always be something that enables you to better serve your students. This is where the real transformation happens.

#2. Grow Your Community – Your “community” is everyone who knows, likes, and trusts you. They are the people who like to hear from you, and follow what you’re doing. For yoga teachers and studio owners, your community is your database. My first “database” was two sheets of papers with the names and email addresses of my students on it. From that, I started my business.

Today, I’d encourage you to focus on three main ways to build your database: email list, Facebook, and Instagram. If you can get mobile telephone numbers, that is great too. The bigger your database, the bigger your business. It’s that simple.

If you don’t have an email management system, get one. Start with MailChimp.com. It’s free for up to 12,000 contacts. Next, start a business page on Facebook for your yoga teaching or yoga business (not a personal page). Finally, start an Instagram account that is separate from your personal account. Last step? Grow those three databases, and watch your business explode with growth.

SIDE NOTE: My Story

In 2003, when I decided to become a yoga teacher, I didn’t have enough money for a teacher training, so I got a teaching job first to save up (strange, but true). At that time, I had $14,000 in debt, and by the time I opened my first studio two and a half years later, I was nearly $60,000 in debt. I didn’t have a college degree, a rich uncle, or anything else (though I wish I did!). This course is about you and your business, not me, but I do want you to understand where I came from. Nothing. You can do it.

Check out part two of this series: Your Yoga Pricing System Sucks (Here’s How to Fix It)