Given the popularity of yoga, most clubs are now offering yoga as part of their group exercise program. Few clubs, though, are realizing the extraordinary potential for creating new profit centers from yoga. Here are four great ways to get you started:
1. Go retail. Sell basic supplies: yoga mats, blocks, straps, blankets. Many people want their own props and will gladly pay for them. You also can sell additional yoga-related items that support your students’ practice, including yoga DVDs, CDs, books, bolsters, towels, mat bags, massage oils, essential oils, etc.
Many of the above items can be private labeled and branded with your club’s logo or message.
A yoga studio owner whose facility offered 100 yoga classes per week once told me that her studio made more money from retail sales than the actual classes.
2. Workshops, intensives and class series. Aside from regular yoga classes, you can offer workshops that focus on a specific aspect of yoga and offer students a deeper yoga experience than they normally get in classes. You can charge anywhere from $10 to $50 or more per person, per workshop, depending on the subject and length of the workshop. You can also promote yoga workshops to nonmembers as a way of bringing more people to your club.
Some popular topics include yoga philosophy and history, meditation, pranayama (breathing practices) inversions, backbends, restorative yoga, yoga for men only, prenatal and postnatal yoga, yoga for flexibility, yoga for back care, yoga for tight shoulders and partner yoga. The list goes on and on. You can ask your teachers for ideas, too. They most likely will have many ideas and be excited to help.
Intensives are like workshops, only longer—for a day, weekend or week. The subject matter and focus can be the same as for workshops or you can combine various subjects for a theme, such as wellness, flexibility, strength, weight loss, deepening your practice, etc. Obviously, you would charge more for intensives than for workshops because of the longer class times and instruction.
Class series also can have a special theme and focus, such as strength, abdominal work, balance, meditation, inversions, etc. These classes can be scheduled over a period of weeks and can command a special fee, as they are separate from regular classes.
To find out what workshops, intensives or class series your members would be most interested in attending, create a simple interest form that you can post on bulletin boards, leave at your front desk or have teachers run by students.
3. Retreats. Yoga retreats have become quite popular as they give students an opportunity to deepen their practice of yoga while enjoying the benefit of traveling to someplace beautiful and desirable. They usually combine intensive yoga practice with plenty of downtime to enjoy the venue. Think of a retreat as a yoga vacation. Retreats can be for a day, a weekend, a week or longer. They can be quite profitable, and students who attend them will love them.
4. Teacher trainings. Once you have a following of dedicated yoga practitioners, consider offering a yoga teacher training. These trainings can have three significant outcomes for your club. First, students who wanted to go deeper into their practice will be able to do so. Second, you will have a pool of yoga teachers from which to draw when students finish the program. And, finally, you will have an opportunity to gain fantastic profits.
Consider that the fee for an average teacher training program can range anywhere from $2,500 to $7,500 per student. If you have 20 students in a program that has a fee of $4,000 per student, that is $80,000 in revenue. Be sure to have highly experienced teachers running these programs. If you don’t have them on staff, you’ll want to bring them in from the outside.
Interestingly, once you start offering the above services, not only will you see new revenue from your yoga program, but you also will help your members connect to and deepen their experience of yoga.
Howard Allan VanEs is a yoga teacher, author and consultant located in San Francisco. VanEs has taught yoga for more than 14 years, is the author of five books and numerous CDs, and has an extensive background in marketing and advertising. He can be reached at [email protected], at 415-309-1290 or through his website at www.letsdoyoga.com.