Yoga Teachers - Work hard and smart, not hard and dumb

Dear Yoga Teachers,

As yoga teachers, we stress about our numbers—the number of people that show up to our classes, especially is teaching yoga is our main source of income.  But even if it’s not, we can’t teach if there’s no one there.  We can’t continue to teach if it costs us more in time and money than what we earn.  It’s not sustainable.

So, how to we resolve this problem?

One method that I see a lot of teachers using in order to increase their numbers has, in the long run, the exact opposite effect of what ultimately the goal is, to have a sustainable long term situation.

What I see is teachers who, let’s say have a primary practice of vinyasa yoga.  They notice their numbers are not ideal, so they try to open more classes, more opportunities to teach, right?  Then when that doesn’t work, they will do a training (sometimes not even) and decide to teach kids yoga.  So then they find or create an opportunity to teach kids.  Results are mediocre, so they decide to teach prenatal.  Then maybe they’ll do a training in Yin and then teach Yin Yoga…. and on and on and they don’t know why it’s not working.

Why are they so skilled, working so hard and still struggling?

What do you think the answer is?

………(a pause for reflection)……….

My answer is this:

They are working hard, but not working smart.

Working smart means that we optimize the relation between time, energy and money.

Business sustainability happens when we spend as little time, energy, and money as possible for the largest gain.

Teaching 16 classes a week that are not full to the max is not working smart.

Instead of putting in the effort and energy that it takes to teach 16 classes a week that are not packed, it’s smarter time, energy, and money-wise to reduce the number of classes and work your ass off to fill those classes to the max.  Still working hard, but now working smarter.

Instead of going broad, as in having the ability to teach more styles more often, think about going deep.

Think about specializing.  Think about being an expert in one thing.

Wrap your mind around this idea and explore your creativity as to how you might make this happen.  What changes would you have to make?  What would you have to start?  Stop?  What would you have to see differently?

Working smarter instead of working hard helps us create a foundation for sustainability instead of burnout.  That’s what we want, isn’t it?

In the comments below, share your ideas with me about how you can work smarter and I’ll give you my feedback. 

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