Pop-Up Yoga Classes: The New Direction for Yoga Teachers

Pop-Up Yoga Classes: The New Direction for Yoga Teachers

During my career as a yoga instructor, I've covered a lot of ground.  First I worked for other studios, gyms, community centers, retirement centers, schools and so on.  This usually involves weekly class commitments and low pay.  However, it's rewarding and you learn an incredible amount of priceless knowledge working with so many different bodies.  

Next, I worked at a "stay spa" teaching 27 weekly yoga/meditation/pranayama classes to people who were dropping in for a few days to get away. This paid a little better and was also great experience, but I quickly burned out.  

Eventually, I opened my own studio.  Yes, it's fulfilling and joyous to cultivate community and create safe a safe container for others to practice.  However, it is also time-consuming and some days are better than others financially.

As yoga instructors, we are all entrepreneurs to some extent, responsible for promoting ourselves and finding the most compatible teaching opportunities.  

Working with so many teacher trainees, I realize that everyone has a different path and unique purpose. Whatever your path and purpose, I highly recommend that you consider pop-up yoga classes when designing your personal business model.  

I had a pop-up class at a winery today.  I had 28 people book ahead of time, and then we had walk-ins, totaling 33.  I only charged $10 per student. I used Schedulicity's super affordable scheduling software and it worked beautifully.  (I'm a huge fan! Don't miss those MindBody fees.)

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Restorative Heart Opener at Pop Up Yoga Class

The pop up yoga class was themed around heart-openers, which I felt was suitable for Sunday morning yoga.  I knew I needed to center the class before we got started because wineries bring large groups of friends and lots of chatter.  We opened up in this restorative heart-opener with a rolled blanket under the shoulders.  Soon after, we were flowing. 

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Blankets for Pop Up Yoga Class

Of course, getting the blankets to the pop-up class is another story.  Fortunately, I have my husband who handles that end of things. 

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Group Photo at Pop Up Yoga Class at Winery

Everyone had a blast!  Immediately after the class was over, groups of friends started patronizing the winery where the pop up yoga class was held.  I was able to gather some of the students for a group photo.

Why Pop Up Yoga Classes Work

There is a long list of reasons this business model works. First of all, you have no overheard.  You are using someone else's space for your pop up yoga class.  What do they get out of it?  Free business.  You are driving traffic into their business.  Check out all the people at the bar in the photo below. (Yes, I know, terrible photo.  I was facing the light.  But, every person in this space was there because of my pop up yoga class).

Business Generated for Winery from Pop Up Yoga Class

Pop up yoga classes also work because they are not offered on a weekly basis.  This means there is not an unlimited opportunity for people to attend.  This works to your advantage and you funnel all interested parties into one date.  So, create as much hype as you can.

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Screenshot of Facebook Event for Pop Up Yoga Class

You are likely pulling from both your own audience and audience of the location where the pop up yoga class will be held.  This means you will have cross promotion from your location partner in the pop up yoga class. This class had 332 people interested and there were 20+ shares.  Generating buzz definitely makes a difference. 

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The Winery's Social Media Promoting Pop Up Yoga Class

In sum, pop up yoga classes are fun and students love them.  You create an opportunity for your students to mix yoga with something else they love.  Maybe your pop up yoga class is at the museum (yoga + art) or the park (yoga + nature) or maybe it's even at zoo (yoga + animals).  Create the container.  Make it affordable and attainable.  You will get where you need to be on volume.  Focus on delivering a safe and fun class and the money will come.  Promote. Promote. Promote.  You can't lose with this business model.

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