As part of our partnership with you, we have put together a list of 28 tips to increase the energy, safety and success of your practice. Over the course of the next year we will provide a more detailed discussion of each. We encourage your feedback, so please feel free to leave your thoughts on the list or any of your own tips in the comments sections below the list.
Business Planning and Marketing:
- Determine your current skill and certification level and in what type of yoga/ therapy practice it allows you to engage. Determine what additional training will allow you to develop your studio for a broader group. Keep in mind the importance of ongoing training and classes for your continuing education requirements and to stay current on practice do‘s and don’ts.
- If you have other fitness certifications you may wish to combine them into a unique practice.
- Determine the number of hours you want to practice yoga therapy or yoga fitness.
- Develop a business plan, marketing activities or goals, review it with a friend and monitor your monthly progress.
- identify underserved populations , new facilities, or venues, both conventional (fitness club, business wellness) and unconventional spas, retreat centers, senior centers, assisted living or other locations for underwserved populations.
- Determine how far you can afford to drive to clubs and other venues.
- Determine if your home is a suitable place for yoga therapy or group instruction.
- In all cases make sure that you have business and personal insurance in place to protect you, your practitioners/ clients and the venue in which you are practicing.
For safe and healthy practices:
- Make sure the class is properly described and scheduled (for yoga therapists make sure the goals of the session are agreed on before the session)
- Make sure the space is large enough for the maximum number of participants to stretch in every direction
- Make sure the practice surface is clean and appropriately surfaced and safe for yoga practice
- Make sure the temperature is warm enough for the practice, but not airless.
- Make sure any props are cleaned as often as possible.
- Reduce the light to add to mood, but not so low that practitioners cannot see each other.
- Minimize any unnecessary noise in the area (for yoga therapy assure that there is privacy)
- Make sure everyone has signed waivers, if they do not have ones on file at the venue (for therapists, you should have a waver and an intake form
- Be explicit in telling people what props they will need and how to orient their mats to you and what they need to do if they have to leave early and how to use towels or their own props to keep well used props out of direct contact with their skin..
- Describe the type of class/ practice and ask for injuries or tender areas of the body – - indicate modifications; ask about your touching them for alignment
- Describe any etiquette issues (proper dress including warm clothes, turn off phones, conversations during or after session)
- Evaluate the mood and energy in the class and modify as needed to match the participants.
- Give them permission to stop and rest if they need to and to stay on their own mat and not compete with themselves or others. Check in from time to time to see how they are doing and constantly observe them for any modifications needed.
- Provide a warm up for the practice and a flow that allows a warm up to more advanced positioned.
- Provide a cool down period.
- Give them time to rest in a warm and comfortable position at the end of the practice.
- Encourage them to rehydrate; describe how you think the practice will affect their mental state and body.
- End the practice with reverence for everyone there and their time.
- Make sure props are properly picked up and put away. If they are your props or you are in charge of them make sure they are cleaned before being put away. If they are yours, make sure you count them and stow them in the trunk of your car and remove afterwards if it is hot where you live
- Discuss with participants how the class can be improved. For Therapists, set an intention and goals for the next session; summarize if appropriate.