At home yoga
Helping students to help themselves
I heard the very amusing Graham Norton on his Saturday morning radio show saying how funny it is that the image of 2020 from years ago was of people wearing Star Trek suits, with everything automated; going to work in a pair of hover boots. In reality, he is a vegetarian, going to work on his bike. It seems everything is going back to nature rather than back to the Future.
Although we may still be enjoying walks in the park instead of holidays in spaceships, advances in digital technology and automation have given birth to a culture of ‘self service’ which we have come to rely on. Who would have imagined you’d be checking through your own shopping, booking and printing off your own airline tickets or even scanning yourself through security and passport control! Life is becoming a regular DIY!
As the corona pandemic made it necessary to limit human to human contact, our reliance on these systems has increased. Many industries have had to adapt to these seismic cultural shifts and the fitness industry is no different.
A prime example of this shift to self service fitness can be seen in company F.45’s success hiring out spin bikes. The bikes are delivered straight to the customer’s door, allowing individuals to join classes worldwide from the luxury of their home, any time they want, with their personal choice of teacher.
Likewise, Yoga with Adrienne, a hugely watched YouTube Yogi (5.7 million subscribers), has amassed a dedicated following with her short but effective, do-anywhere any-time, home yoga flows. Classes like these allow people to schedule classes flexibly around busy lives, but also provide a safe space for trial and error, especially for those who might have felt to embarrassed to be a beginner in a physical yoga class.
The penny has finally dropped. People are taking control of designing their own fitness and yoga programs, realizing that self preservation and maintaining energy is up to them.
With the pressure of work and family compounded by the expectations of others, social media and a digital culture of instant accessibility, time is a limited commodity. The general public are finding it more and more difficult to find a two hour time slot to go to the gym. If you want to stay fit and healthy, you have to work out how it’s going to fit into your life and your timing.
Where does that leave us, the providers?
Unless you’re going to start making weekly or even daily videos, then market them for free, how can we get into this market?
I think one of the solutions is to realize we have a responsibility, particular in yoga teaching, to encourage people and show them how to have a home practice.
Support home practice
A bit like Graham Norton going back to nature, Yoga is also coming back to its roots.
Yoga is all about self practice but people don’t always know how so one of our most important jobs is to show them.
Easily accessible knowledge received from teachers like us can show individuals how they can bring yoga into their lives permanently and enjoy the benefits, no matter who they are and whatever age they are.
There is a huge surge towards community-based clubs, classes and gatherings. By making your class as a group aware that you are giving them more than just a quick one hour fix, they feel they are part of something. By catering for their needs and values we are becoming more important in their lives.
Giving your students handouts or doing a once-a-season retreat day where are you show them how to bring the do-it-yourself season into their life at home can be a great way to add value to your classes and create a sense of commitment, motivation and belonging to your classes. With less people passing through and more people committing to regular updates from you, they can bring it into their lives properly.
Make time for tea.
Creating time to interact with each other over a cup of tea and a seasonal snack or initiating other social events with your class can support a community feeling, bonding your class and giving you, the business owner, something unique.
Give and you shall receive.
Give them more! A simple home yoga flow drawing or an outline at the beginning of the season, guidelines of how to bring seasonal living into the home in a handout, and they will want a seasonal afternoon retreat with all the guidelines on how to live the season at home. You will likely become a very popular teacher, with an increasing bigger community, because you value the people in it!