If the thought of hosting your first yoga workshop has come to mind lately, you may be wondering how to go about planning it and whether you even should.
Don’t allow yourself to become overwhelmed or discouraged though. Right now, I’m going to explain everything you need to know about creating a yoga workshop, breaking it down into easily understood sections.
If you’re ready to hone in on learning this new skill, don’t stop here—continue reading!
The Benefits of Hosting a Yoga Workshop
First of all, let’s talk about the reasons that workshops are beneficial. If you don’t have a “why” or motivator for doing something, you’re most likely not going to follow through.
One of the reasons yoga workshops are useful is because it allows you to break down specific concepts, poses, or themes.
If there’s an advanced pose you’ve mastered or if you’re an expert on the dosha types in Ayurvedic medicine, you can spend one or two hours teaching about it in a workshop, whereas, in a standard yoga class, these aren’t the focuses.
A second reason for hosting workshops is additional income. When you market your workshop well and have a high attendance, you can make more money from a workshop than you can from a standard class.
If you’re feeling burnt out from teaching so many public classes to pay the bills, this can lighten your load a bit or give you extra money for a vacation.
Lastly, planning and hosting a workshop will give you new skills and help you grow as a yoga teacher. It’s easy to get stuck in the grind of teaching public classes and recycling sequences.
Workshop-planning forces you to go out of the box and use your brain to learn something new. While your students will be learning a new topic, you’ll be learning a new way to teach!
Checklist of Workshop Prep
Now that you have some reasons to drive you to learn how to create a workshop, let’s make sure you’re ready. Here are a few questions to ask yourself before you start planning a yoga workshop:
- Is there a specific concept that my students want to learn that I’m an expert at?
- Do I have a specialty niche that I already talk about outside of classes?
- Would I be able to think on my feet if something were to go wrong at the workshop?
- Do I have a successful marketing plan?
- Is there a topic I’m truly passionate about sharing?
- Am I determined to make additional income?
Hopefully, you said “yes” to at least five out of six of these questions. If you said “no” to number four, do not worry, for we’ll be talking about this in a bit!
Choosing a Topic to Teach
Deciding what to teach is important because it should be interesting for both you and your students. Take a moment to think about what your students ask about most when they’re at your classes.
If there’s something they’ve asked that you felt you didn’t have enough time to demonstrate or explain, this could possibly be a good idea for a workshop.
It could be an advanced yoga pose, a yoga philosophy concept, a way to use yoga to combat a health ailment or even a yoga fusion class that incorporates another art, interest or hobby such as dance, animals, hula hooping or acrobatics.
Creativity is excellent as long as it is something that you’re passionate about and your students will also be curious.
Popular Yoga Workshop Ideas
Choosing a popular topic is a good start because you’ll have an easier time bringing people in. Just be sure you aren’t hosting a workshop with the same topic as another teacher in the area on the same day!
That being said, even if a local studio hosts an inversion workshop one month, it doesn’t mean people won’t come to yours the next month.
In fact, the people that couldn’t attend the other workshop will be grateful they won’t have to wait long or commute far to find another inversion workshop. Here’s a list of some popular yoga workshop topics:
- Chakra System
- Acro Yoga
- Arm Balances
- Intro to Yoga
- Business of Yoga
- Ecstatic Dance
- Crystal Healing
Note that the links are to articles that we’ve written about these topics, for those that want to learn more.
How to Structure a Workshop
Creating an outline can be very helpful to organize your workshop, so you know how you generally want to start, progress, and end it. Of course, things happen.
Sometimes you discover your students need more time to learn something, and you might not get to everything you wanted to explain by the end of the workshop.
Don’t stress out if the workshop doesn’t go exactly according to plan though. Most likely it won’t, and that’s okay. However, having a game plan will help you be more prepared and confident in your teaching, rather than going in and completely winging it.
Feel free to create your own outline as it feels right to you, but here’s an example to give you an idea of how yoga workshops often pan out:
Introduction: Say a little about yourself as a teacher, what inspired you to create the workshop and what it will entail.
Warm-up/Intro topic: If the workshop is physical, this is when you should guide warm up poses and breathing. If the workshop is about knowledge, share the history of the topic.
Substance: If the workshop is physical, this is the time to prepare the body for the peak pose or if it’s a calmer class, demonstrate the poses you’re teaching the students. If the workshop is about knowledge, discuss the details of the topic. This should be the bulk of the workshop.
Exploration/Q&A: now is the time for the students to try the poses on their own, practice a peak pose or ask you questions about the knowledge you’ve shared.
Cool Down/Savasana: If a physical practice, incorporate some restorative poses here to counter the activity. Whether a physical- or knowledge-based workshop, it’s best to end the class with savasana to relax the body and mind, allowing your students to absorb the information they learned today and prevent overwhelm.
Closing: Finish the workshop by thanking everyone for coming, and if you have handouts or announcements, be sure to share them before everyone leaves.
Selecting the Best Location
Depending on your workshop idea, options where you live, and your budget, the best location for you will differ. Here is a list of some possible locations:
- Your house/backyard
- Local yoga studio (Usually has an affordable fee and helps you market the class)
- Dance studio
- Quiet park
- Event space business (Some places make a business out of renting out their space for events)
Be sure to keep in mind the amount of space you’ll need. You don’t want everyone to be squished together, but you also don’t want to rent high for a large studio if you’re only allowing a max of 8 people.
Find the middle ground. Also, decide if you want the location to already have props, or if you don’t mind bringing your own for everyone.
If you don’t have the props already, it may be worth renting a yoga studio space with props. Lastly, figure out the parking situation.
People appreciate convenient, easy parking and it can make a difference between them attending another one of your workshops, or looking elsewhere. No one wants to walk 5 blocks to get to an event if they don’t have to.
Marketing to Bring in Students
Marketing your workshop through email is one of the most effective ways to bring in students. If you haven’t already, be sure to collect emails from students who enjoy your yoga classes, so they’ll be up-to-date on your workshop offerings.
If you have a website, create a signup form for yogis to give you their email in exchange for a newsletter. Other online tools that are useful for marketing are Facebook events and Eventbrite.
Simply put the event information into the appropriate boxes, and attract local yogis to your event.
Find any local businesses with community boards to put up flyers. If you’re teaching at a studio, ask them if you could hang some flyers there.
It’s also a good idea to have business cards wherever you go, so if you talk to a stranger that is interested, you can write the workshop info on the back of your card. This gives them a reminder for the event, and your information to follow your social media and website.
Organizing a Payment System
There are two main questions you want to ask yourself about payment. “How much do I want to charge?” and “How do I prefer to receive payment?”. Below, I have explained the thought process for each in two different sections.
How Much to Charge
While this is a personal choice, it’s still important to set a price that reflects your true value. If you have been teaching yoga for years, but this is your first workshop, maybe you don’t feel comfortable charging the same amount as a teacher who regularly teaches workshops.
However, don’t charge the same as a teacher who just started teaching a few months ago either! Think about how much you feel you are worth receiving financially for your experience and skill.
Another factor to think about is time. How long is the workshop?
Surely, if you’re teaching a three-hour workshop, you’re going to charge more than if it was an hour and a half. Ask yourself how much is your time worth, and include that into the charge.
Lastly, keep in mind the money you spent to create and put on the workshop. Are you providing props?
This can sometimes be as much as $60, so include that into the charge. If only a couple people show up, you don’t want their payments to solely go to paying the rent.
How to Receive Payment
Nowadays there are many ways to receive payments from your student, and it’s up to you to decide if you have a preference and if you want to provide options or set one way of receiving money. Here are four suggested options for payment:
If your payment method is more casual, and someone didn’t pre-pay or doesn’t have cash, using a phone app such as Square, Venmo, or PayPal is an easy way for a student to send you a payment.
Just be aware that a percentage will be taken out for the usage of the app.
Online Scheduling System
There are many online scheduling systems out there. Be sure to research them first to decide which is best for you. Two of them popular are MindBodyOnline and Acuity Scheduling.
If you do choose to offer cash as a payment option, be cautious. If someone RSVPs without pre-paying, they can easily decide to late cancel or not show up.
If you are using an online scheduling system, I recommend getting their card on file, so if they do a late cancel, you can charge a fee so you’re not negatively impacted.
Eventbrite or Meetup
Eventbrite and Meetup are useful sites for both marketing classes and selling tickets, so it makes it easy to do both in one place.
Just be sure that the websites are popular in your area before investing your time in creating event pages on there and keep in mind they take a percentage, just like the phone apps. After all, they’re offering you a service of convenience.
You Are Ready to Host
There you have it! That’s everything you need to know about creating and hosting your first workshop. It’s not as intimidating when you break it down, right?
Remember not to overwhelm yourself and take one step at a time. There is no need to create a workshop in a week. In fact, you should announce the workshop at least one month in advance!
This gives prospective students time to pre-pay, or at the very least keep it in mind, so that they don’t double-book plans. This also gives you time to check that you have done everything mentioned in this article.
With all that being said, best of luck on your new venture, and if you haven’t yet, shift your focus to a piece of paper and start brainstorming ideas right now!