Creative Ways Yoga Studios Are Using Online Classes to Retain Clients
By Lauren McAlister
Your studio has faced the uncertainty of closing, reopening, and possibly, closing again. Through the ups and downs of this pandemic, teaching online classes have allowed you to continue your services and keep your studio community motivated.
Recently, though, you may have noticed your virtual yoga classes don’t have quite the same client appeal—or high attendance—they once did. Perhaps it’s lack of motivation, screen fatigue, or increasing family responsibilities (distance learning, anyone?)—whatever the reason, you may find you’re having to work harder to keep students engaged on screen.
And even if a live stream lull isn’t the case for your studio, there’s always room to get creative with your yoga classes. Here’s how yoga studios are doing just that:
Add express options
'Tis the season for increasingly full schedules. With kids back to school (even from home), more activities back on the books, and possibly less time spent at home, your clients may be looking for shorter class options to fit into their daily routines.
Consider replacing one or a few of your 45-minute or hour-long yoga classes with a few 15-minute Vinyasa flows or 30-minute Yoga Sculpt classes throughout the week. With express classes, you can keep even the busiest clients flowing from home—including those who need a work break to reenergize for the rest of their day.
Cater to families
For those with kiddos still at home, it’s an especially challenging time. Help both parents and children alike with yoga offerings catered specifically to families. Again, keep classes relatively short—20-30 minutes—to keep even those with short attention spans engaged. Consider theming classes to create a game-like experience and most importantly, have fun. Try out a yoga dance party with upbeat music or adding in kid-friendly props like hula hoops to use in between poses to keep them entertained. Since kids are naturally little daredevils, host an at-home practice full of inversions like headstands and handstands. For younger kids, create sequences with poses named after animals like frog pose, puppy pose, and cat/cow pose to mix things up. Schedule yoga classes around lunch or early afternoon to break up or end the day on a positive note.
Another idea: Zooga Yoga in Culver City, California has created a teacher training specifically for parents. The program is designed to “teach kids yoga mindfulness” and to encourage families to practice during distance-learning.
Offer guided meditation or breathwork classes
46% of consumers say their mental health is worse now than before COVID-19. The good news is yoga businesses are particularly well-positioned to make a difference.
You already know the positive effects of yoga, breath, and meditation are endless. So, why not incorporate all three into your service offering regularly? You’ve got yoga classes covered—now, consider adding guided meditation or breathwork classes to your schedule, too. These offerings can be short and sweet or more intensive, virtual workshops. Help your clients start off their workdays cool, calm, and collected by offering a 10-minute morning meditation—or help them wind down after a stressful day with a 20-minute Yoga Nidra class.
Host a virtual sound bath
Now more than ever, your students will love the deep sound healing benefits to help process the many emotions they might be feeling during this trying time. Hosting a virtual sound bath is a great way to help your clients reinvigorate and quell any stress that may come along with a grueling combo of distance learning and working from home.
Bring in an expert to host the sound bath and if it’s successful, consider adding it on a weekly or monthly cadence. Want to explain the benefits of a sound bath to your yoga students? Send them this blog post.
Invite guest instructors
With virtual, you have the opportunity to connect with yogis and yoga experts from all over. Take advantage by inviting guest instructors to teach at your studio virtually. Depending on your budget, this might include a series of celebrity yoga teachers or influencers. Promote these classes heavily with email marketing and social media and ask your guests to do the same.
Providing virtual offerings for your yoga community will continue to help your business—and your clients—get through this uncertain time. Whether you choose to incorporate one, or all, of the ideas above, your creativity will continue to motivate your students and keep them coming back to their mats. These days, fitness—and especially yoga—is needed now more than ever.