It’s been almost four months since COVID-19 shut down our business.  As an owner of a wellness Yoga center, the pandemic posed a real threat to it during its closure. Now in Georgia, all Yoga centers are asked to operate at 25% capacity, which leaves many in a bind. The business cannot sustain itself, and I’m hearing of more and more Yoga businesses choosing to shut down.

This is a sad situation, but a situation worth discussing for those of you who are aspiring to become Yoga teachers or are already teachers who are looking to start your own businesses. Having been in business for over 15 years, I can tell you that business or entrepreneurship is not for sissies.  It takes tremendous passion with the willingness to take the bullet and loss that comes with owning a business.

The Move Toward Virtual Yoga

Current times are the worst in history, but I know that they are also a huge opportunity.  Yoga has become a commodity with a low barrier to entry.  Even moreso post-COVID-19, I’m seeing a surge of Yoga teachers who are jumping into virtual Yoga businesses, which are low-risk, low-cost and low-barrier.  

Because there are many of them flocking to the online world, this creates lots of competition.  This virtual surge will drive Yoga center prices further down and left to compete with one another for market share. It’ll ultimately saturate the market so much that I foresee it becoming a consumer-driven market.

There’s no win for the Yoga teachers this way.  This is the time to zig when everyone is zagging and focus on differentiating yourself in this crowded market space.

If you’re taking a shot at entrepreneurship, it requires so much more than the ability to teach.  You must become a well-rounded marketer, sales person, Yoga teacher and a true leader with strong vision and mission to serve your market.  Without a strong foundation and infrastructure for your business, you’ll always be left with scrambling for pocket change to make your business work.

On the brick and mortar business front, I believe it’s all about the survival of the fittest.  With the business expenses and current events the way they are, this will force many Yoga centers into closure.  But if those Yoga businesses are able to weather the storm, they will find themselves in prime spaces when the market opens again.

Becoming More Than a Yoga Teacher

I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that Yoga needs in-person services.  There are many opportunities for individual Yoga teachers to create a lucrative business for themselves. But, they must be clear on who they are serving and what their focus is.

Yoga is a lifelong practice, and as such, any Yoga teacher must be committed to learning.  Your ability to adapt to the changes and demands of the market will serve you well during these times.  But you must be clear on your “why” to define your passion.  Things will get tough, and if all you have to hold onto is being a Yoga teacher, it will leave you vulnerable for failure with very little to offer your clients.  

From social media to branding to marketing and digital sales, there is so much to learn.  It is easy to delegate to others, but you run the risk of your branding message becoming more vanilla.  There is lots of copying going on out there, with very little differentiating value propositions to offer the market.

If you have been on the fence about wanting to reinvent yourself or build a new career, becoming a Yoga Practitioner may be just what you need.  Think of what you enjoy.  Many love the practice of yoga but later find that they don’t enjoy teaching.  Some like the one-on-one private sessions or just want to focus on workshops.  

You may consider becoming an intrapreneur within an entrepreneur-founded business where you can adapt the methods and become part of the brand without the risks.  

Choose What You Love

That’s really the opportunity that I want to introduce you to.  Rather than flocking the market as just another Yoga teacher, how about you learn to become the best in the field by becoming a Yoga Practitioner who helps students heal in a meaningful way?

It’s one thing to serve an already saturated market and teach the body contortion techniques with limited understanding of anatomy.  It’s quite another to take on clients who have preexisting orthopedic, psychological, emotional or systemic diseases, conditions or traumas that need higher level “care.” Now is the time to switch from Yoga teacher to Yoga Practitioner.

Yoga is a powerful healing modality but is often stripped down to the physical practice of perpetuating injuries.  Why not set yourself apart and elevate yourself to become the best in the industry?  Becoming the best means there is less competition.  In a fast-paced world where quick fixes and easy certifications abound, hard work, attention to detail and commitment to excellence are becoming more rare to find.

Become more than a Yogi who can do the splits.  Become a Yoga Practitioner with the spiritual wisdom with intellectual knowledge who aims to artfully help clients heal in a meaningful way. With the current pandemic, it’s time to seek your authentic truths and live your core values in a meaningful way as opposed to living your life based on the expectations of others. 

Want to learn more about going from Yoga teacher to Yoga Practitioner?  Click HERE to register to join me in a special Yoga Mastery Workshop. I will take you through a five-day intensive workshop teaching you how to apply anatomy, body mechanics, stability, strength and flexibility into the powerful Yoga practice as medicine. And, you will learn how you can shift your mindset to create a highly lucrative career doing what you love. 

To learn more about the Alkaline Method, click HERE.

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