There are some studio owners who feel that teachers are simply an exchangeable part in the business of offering yoga classes. They come and they go. I think this is an incorrect assessment, and a missed opportunity. When a yoga student has found the right teacher for them they can become unbelievably loyal, a lasting devotee of that teacher and the studio. This continued membership is exactly what yoga studios need to succeed.
So what is it about the teacher that resonates with yoga students? The variables are probably endless but for starters, how about the tone of his or her voice? Is it strident or flowy? Or what about the teacher’s approach to the yoga practice? Is it rigid and formulaic? Does it have a more spiritual bent? Does he or she teach the same class over and over, playing the same music, or mix it up, new class and new music all the time? These are just a few of the differences between two teachers who teach exactly the same class on the schedule!
While there are some instructors who do have bigger followings, the nuances of their teaching style and personality can’t be described as the ideal because quite simply, there is someone for everyone. One student likes one teacher, her best friend prefers someone else. Thankfully this is the case because otherwise there would be only one style of yoga taught at one level by a teacher who was exactly like all the rest. So we celebrate our teachers’ differences even though this makes it more difficult on Studio owners to design and fill their yoga class schedule.
So how do you find the right yoga instructors for your studio? The most effective and commonly used method is word of mouth referrals by students and other teachers. This is ideal. Think about it. Unlike most other professions, you can actually go and take the teachers class and see exactly who you would be hiring before you even have an interview! There are other ways of finding instructors as well. Try networking at yoga conferences, advertising in different yoga media like Yogi Times online, or even just posting on your blog or Facebook page. Any way that you can put one more feeler out into the yoga community the more likely you are to find your match.
Once you have a list of teachers available, take their classes. If you need to just sit in and audit the class, fine. Do it. Some studio owners will hire teachers site unseen without ever having experienced the teacher or class. I think this is crazy. As a studio owner your responsibility is to advertise the class. How are you going to do this if you haven’t experienced it? Saying it’s a level 2-3 vinyasa flow isn’t enough. Think of the variations in style! Think of the incredible advertising descriptives you miss out on if this is all you offer as information. What’s more, sometimes teacher’s biographys, usually written by the teacher, can be misleading or just create a different vibe than what you want for your studio. Remember, a great teacher does not necessarily make a great writer. You may need to edit and punch up the prose.
Once you hire your new yoga instructor(s) you’ll need to keep track of all their details along with all the other instructors you have on staff. This can be an overwhelming task if you’re not extremely organized. Fortunately, My Best Studio Management Software does the hard work for you. It keeps all the personal details and teacher’s schedule on file. Salary is kept safely accessible only to the management personnel you identify. Biographies are easily entered and updated by you so you don’t have to wait for a programmer. All this at your finger tips. It makes life simple.
Education, clear vision and a willingness to make the right choices is the path to happy studio doors swinging wildly! If you have an experience to share, maybe something that worked or didn’t work for your studio, please send me a note.Jeff@Mybeststudio.com