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The Business of

Teaching
Yoga

magazine special report

4.25

Editors Letter
Welcome to this special Business of
Teaching Yoga report, brought to
you from the team at OM Yoga &
Lifestyle magazine.
Inside, youll find valuable information
on how to piece together a profitable
and successful career in yoga teaching,
from starting out to opening your very
own studio.
Making the leap to a commercially
viable yoga instructor may not be easy, but its not impossible
either. Read on to find out how you can make that dream
a reality.
Whatever your plans owning a studio, running retreats, or
just getting qualified youll find something of interest in here.
Weve gathered together some of the yoga worlds leading
experts to give you insight and advice on all of the key areas.
This report will take you on a journey, from teacher training
right through to the yoga big leagues, where youll lead retreats
all over the world, and maybe even see your name in lights at
festivals and on magazine covers.
Theres plenty of practical information inside from marketing
your business and making videos, to organising workshops and
continuing professional development.
Be prepared. Yoga teaching can be a truly rewarding career,
but a challenging one too, so its good to know what youre
getting yourself into. Read on and go and make those
dreams a reality.

Contents
So You Want To Be A Yoga Teacher?
8 Beyond the comfort zone

Finding your place as a yoga teacher

10 Being in unity

The story behind Unity Partner Yoga and its


creator Sevanti

12 Do it your way

Stay true to your passion and vision and everything


will work out fine

14 What makes a great teacher?

Sometimes its the simple things that matter the most

16 Double act

life and business are more fun with a partner by


your side

Teacher training & accreditation


20 To be someone

Teaching yoga full time

22 Teacher training checklist

What to look for in a yoga teacher training course

24 Ready & willing

How do you know if you are ready for teacher training?

26 Pop the question

Key considerations for a teacher training course

28 Never turn a child away

Be creative when thinking about money

32

Martin D. Clark
Editor
martin@ommagazine.com
www.ommagazine.com

facebook.com/ommagazine
twitter.com/omyogamagazine

The Publisher accepts no responsibility in respect of advertisements appearing


in the magazine and the opinions expressed in editorial material or otherwise
do not neccessarily represent the views of the Publisher. The Publisher cannot
accept liability for any loss arising from the later appearance or non publication
of any advertisement. Information about products and services featured within the
editorial content does not imply an endorsement by OM Magazine. OM Magazine
is not intended to replace the professional medical care, advice, diagnosis or
treatment of a doctor, qualified therapist, nutritionist or dietician. Always consult
your doctor before undertaking any exercise programme.
Every effort is made to ensure that all advertising is derived from reputable
sources. OM Magazine cannot, however, accept responsibility for transactions
betweeen readers and advertisers

4
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20

Building your business


32 Bridging the gap

how to become an expert teacher in a short time

34 The business of yoga

starting out on your yoga business journey

36 Continuous professional development


The need to keep learning your craft

38 Find your feet with a franchise

the benefits of buying into a franchise

39 Here is the news

simple tips for effective newsletters

Dont sweat the small stuff

42 Insurance for yoga professionals

its important to make sure youre protected

44 Loving my yoga life

sharing your passion for yoga via teacher training

46 50 top tips for new yoga teachers


all you need to know to get started

48 You need friends

dynamic threesome offer sweaty yoga teacher training

The next level

52 Workshop workout

how to organise a yoga workshop

62

54 Precision engineering

the simple desire to make teachers

56 Get InteractIve

The importance of teachers websites and online videos

58 Dont be afraid of Facebook

how to use social media for your yoga business

60 The retreats business

14
38

66

how to organise yoga retreats

Your own yoga studio


64 Location, location

searching for the right yoga premises

66 Yoga in motion

a guide to creating top quality yoga video content

68 Seasons greetings

think seasonality when youre running a studio

70 Serving the community

pursuing the cycle of success on planet yoga

72 Living my dharma

turning your passion into profit

75 Studio finances

the financial dos of studio ownership

Hit the big time

78 Find your niche

not all successful yogis are working in the


teaching business

82 Fierce grace

blazing a trail in hot yoga

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So you want to be

a yoga teacher?
Live, love and breathe yoga?
Then step onto your mat and kickstart your new career

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BEYOND

the comfort zone

Finding your place as a yoga teacher. By Nina Sebastiane

raduating from yoga


teacher training can be one
of the most rewarding life
experiences you can have most of us come to it later in
life (the average age of a yoga graddie is 38)
so its not surprising that when you finally
get the certificate in your bendy fingers its
been a long time coming.
Some schools and accredited courses
offer the opportunity to teach a real class
before graduation or even a little after if
you have a continuing mentor programme
attached to the school. Making the leap
from teaching asanas to your fellow
students to teaching a group of strangers
can be nerve wracking. Just when you think
youve covered every possible illness or
condition in your A&P sessions (anatomy
and physiology) someone with a triple
heart by-pass walks in. The important
thing to realise is there will always be
outliers - situations that take you outside

your comfort zone. There will be times


when things come up that you wont have
encountered before. Knowing when to say
I dont know the answer to that one, but I
know someone who does is very important.
Having a phone a friend option is great. If
your school offers you post-grad support,
this will give you the added confidence that
you have collectively hundreds of years of
teaching experience at your fingertips.

Practice, practice

Preparation and practice are key to


overcoming your nerves at the start of class.
At FHY Teacher Training we have graduated
dozens and dozens of trainees, and there
is one magic ingredient that shines through
with the best trainees. The trainees who
have a strong and regular practice are the
ones who consistently do best throughout
the course. Its obvious when you think
about it, but in the words of K. Pattabhi Jois,
Do your yoga and all is coming. Once you

know the asanas inside out, your practice


transcends to another level, to a place
where its not your conscious mind simply
doing the postures but your subconscious
autonomic state taking over. All of a sudden
you find yourself having taught a 75-minute
class without even realising it.
Our most inspirational teachers deliver
their class almost effortlessly. We all
remember our favourite yoga teachers,
the ones that make the experience not
just about the postures but allow your
parasympathetic response to take over - so
youre no longer in fight or flight but rather
in a rest and recuperative mode, which is
where the real yoga happens.
Another tip we offer to our trainees is to
experience your own class. With iPhones and
recordable mobile devices you can record,
then take your own class. Its one of the best
ways to iron out any hiccups before they
become habits. My background was as a TV
and radio broadcaster and voice over artist.

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So you want to be a yoga teacher?


Using your vocal range to motivate or to
relax at certain points in class is an important
tool. Take time to listen to your voice and
those of your most inspiring teachers. You
will notice they use their full vocal range
without becoming sing songy or cliched.

Mind your language

As well as how you say it, think about what


you say. Focus on the positive rather than
the negative when describing how to do

a posture. Try to avoid dont do this and


dont do that and the excessive use of
superlatives such as today I would like you
to or if possible please would/could/
should you... Instead, consider using
direct vocabulary that will allow the yogi to
mentally visualise the instruction within the
body area you are describing. For example:
lift your heart to the heavens, send the
breath to your abdomen, lengthen your
tailbone to the floor. Your classes will
become more focused and your instructions
more effective.
Some days as a teacher you will walk into
the studio and the buzz of energy from your
students will be tangible. So much so it will
carry you through a session and even if you
felt exhausted at the start of the class you
will be buzzing by Savasana. Other times it
may feel like the energy is low and you will
really have to work hard to alter the mood
and get everyone working in harmony. A
trick I like to use when the room feels heavy
is to begin with a simple breathing exercise,
such as Nadi Shodana or a pranayama. It
allows the reset button to be pushed and
the group to quickly bring their attention
inward, letting go of their day and the
thought waves that hold us back from
mental liberation.

Before you know it, you will have found


your place as a teacher and youll feel
relaxed and as at home in front of 40
strangers as you do sitting in easy pose.
Once this is realised, the gift of sharing
yoga just gets better and better. So, in the
words of Guru Jois what are you waiting for?
Do your yoga and all is coming.

Nina Sebastiane is a yoga teacher and


founder of FHY Teacher Training & Feel Hot
Yoga Studios (feelhotyoga.co.uk)

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T 07789 152784
E info@insidemeditation.co.uk

U
Being in unity
MY STORY

The story behind Unity Partner Yoga


and its creator Sevanti

10

nity Partner Yoga creator Sevanti was interested in


movement, dance, nature, energy and healing from
a very young age. She only realised she had been
practicing what she later found out to be called yoga
in her young teens, later going on to train with Swami
Satchidananda in her early 20s.
She had previously completed a degree in Dance Theatre, but it
was after her yoga teacher training that she started to explore the
nature of organic movement, breath and meditation.
Practicing, learning and teaching around the world - from Greece to
Thailand, Sweden to Turkey - she accumulated more than a decade
of unique experiences in running retreats and managing holistic
holidays.
She had also trained in teaching massage and Reiki.
Gradually, with her extensive and diverse teaching experience, it
seemed natural to develop her own teaching diploma, a journey that
began a decade ago.
Sevanti wanted to share her experiences, wonderful teachers
and techniques with local students, in a thorough, professional, and
down-to-earth way.

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Teacher training course

During her time away in India, she had also spent years studying in
various ashrams and retreats, including the famous Osho Centre in
Pune, and many of those experiences found their way into her own
training programme.
These related elements and inspirations are now poured into
her professional syllabuses. Aspects of Biodanza training, years
of dancing 5Rythms, and her love for Sufi practices and other
meditational movement techniques, all become a part of what she
currently shares.
Her teaching diplomas have now been running for 12 years,
nurturing around 10 students per course each year from her own
Unity Studio in Brighton.
Opening this studio had long been a dream, but after finding the
right space - a light and spacious, nurturing and homely studio area
with its own courtyard garden, just 15 minutes walk from the seafront
- it was meant to be.
She has future plans to expand the studio with beautiful treatment
rooms, vegetarian food and an ethical shop. A wonderful like-minded
community of teachers and facilitators now share their classes,
trainings and treatments at Unity.
There are also plans for a rural retreat centre one day.

Living the dream

After traveling the world, and sharing her passion of yoga, dance and
bodywork and establishing her studio and training school in Brighton,
she has really been living the dream.
But there has been a lot of hard work behind it. Sevanti spent many
hours with her friend, Sarah Jenings, combining yoga postures into
partner work back in 2000. They are both passionate about partner
and group yoga, and how it can draw people together to go deeper
into their practice in a fun and sacred way.
It led to the establishment of Unity Partner Yoga in 2002.
She has taught this in various parts of the world, to diverse ages
and backgrounds, later creating a second diploma Unity Partner
Yoga Teacher Training, which is now in its third year.
It has taken many years of hard work, dedication, commitment
and strong determination, she says. Being a mother and running
Unity isnt always easy, and requires a lot of juggling and reassessing
what is most important.
And, if she were to offer any advice to newcomers, it would be to
follow your heart and stay grounded whilst believing that anything is
possible. Keep checking in with the most important values in your
life, ensuring that the outer manifestation of your passion and work
is in line with your changing personal needs.

Find out more about Sevantis Unity Studio & School


at: being-in-unity.com

Follow your
dreams...

See the sunrise


on your yoga
business ideas.
Teacher
Training
Professional
Development
Business
advice
Retreats
www.yogashalaibiza.com
www.yogateachertrainingibiza.com
info@yogashalaibiza.com

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11

So you want to be a yoga teacher?

MY STORY

Do it
your way
Stay true to your passion and vision and everything
will work out fine, says Louise Palmer-Masterton

y journey with yoga began


at 11, when one of my PE
teachers taught it to us
on rainy days. Even at that
early age, in that very first
class I sensed something in yoga that was
different to everything else I had experienced
to date. Simply being given permission to
step off the train had a massive impact on
me, and it is something that has stayed with
me ever since.
To this day I still remember the very
words my teacher said that first class
(I still use them).
I continued to practice all through my
teens and twenties, and yoga was something
I always came back to. I worked in some
pretty out there fields over the years and
yoga was the thing that kept me on track. I
spent my early days partying and travelling, I
was involved in the very early rave scene, and
the precursor to that the warehouse party
scene in London in the mid eighties. I worked
as a club dj, in radio and TV and visual arts.
I have played music at some of the biggest
clubs and festivals in the world, along with
all the trappings that comes with that kind
of life flashy cars, hotels and restaurants.
But I remember practicing yoga in many hotel
rooms, finding enough space (just) to roll out
my mat.
I did not choose the yoga career, rather it
chose me. Over the years my yoga practices
became more and more important and
also attracted more and more attention. I
had become tired of travelling, and more
interested in staying put and doing my yoga.
In time friends and family were asking me to
teach them, and the whole thing snowballed
from that. I got trained, and started some
classes and the whole Camyoga movement
grew. It came simply from love of practice.
The whole trajectory of the way my
classes grew, from an initial passion to rapid
growth, has also underpinned the business
development talks I do now. When something
rolls like this, it is unmistakably right. Get in
the flow.
What have I learned along the way?
Stay true to your passion and vision, and
everything will work out just fine. Listen only
to what your instinct tells you. Oh and dont
believe that life is too short. Life is long,
and within one life you can have many lives.
Above all do what you want to do.

Louise Palmer-Masterson is the founder of


Camyoga (camyoga.co.uk)

12

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What makes a

great
teacher?

Sometimes its the simple things


that matter the most. By Jean Danford

o find out what makes a great


yoga teacher it may be easier to
start with what makes a bad one.
I remember attending one
seminar where a teacher, clad
in a shiny white Lycra (it was a long time
ago), proceeded to demonstrate the hardest
postures. They were perfectly executed but
it put me off yoga for a long time. I felt this
was something I would never achieve. It had the
exact opposite effect of inspiring. There are many
different reasons why someone starts yoga, maybe
they want to improve their mobility, fitness and
strength. Some are sent by their GP for stress; some
come to be sociable and to be with like-minded
people. Whatever the motives, a good teacher
will help you to acknowledge your limitations and
show how to move with them and through them,
where possible, whether they are physical or
mental/emotional. If your teacher encourages
mindfulness and awareness, then it is key that
they too have those sensitivities.
So, what does make a great teacher? In my
opinion, it is one who has compassion, a sense of
humour and makes yoga fun and positive. They
should have a broad knowledge, be interesting
and entertaining, with humility and not perfect;
someone who has the ability to uplift and bring
balance, to offer wise guidance when needed,
and above all helps the student to make
sense of yoga and how it can become
part of their life.

14

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So you want to be a yoga teacher?

Qualities to avoid are: self obsession, ego, and over


enthusiasm. No one wants to turn up for class and feel that
rather than being taught, they have somehow had yoga inflicted
upon them by a bossy show off.

Yoga Academy faculty includes:


Simon Low (Principal), Gill Lloyd, Gary Carter,
Julie Gudmestad, Sue Delf, Eija Tervonen

Yama and Niyama

Of course, if we look to Patanjali for a model, we have all the


guidance we need. Yama and Niyama should always be present
in the studio and embodied in the way the teacher teaches.
Ahimsa: working safely and not causing injury or harm.
Offering modifications and variations to support you in your
practice, without hurting yourself
Satya: speaking the truth and teaching with honesty
Asteya: running your class in a principal of fair fees, keeping
good time
Aparigahara: not hogging the limelight but giving generously
to your students, sharing knowledge and energy without envy
Brhamacharya: respecting others and conducting your class
and relationships with students, in a non abusive way
Saucha: make the space as pleasant and clean as possible
(and that includes yourself)
Tapas: be consistent and committed
Santosa: help your students to accept themselves, empower
them to find contentment in their yoga
Svadhyaya: practice self-study and self-awareness and
encourage others to do so.
Isvara pranidhana: let the light of the universal spirit inspire
your teaching; help others to find it too

A good teacher will help you to


acknowledge your limitations
and show how to move with
them and through them
Sometimes a teacher comes along who inspires through their
uniqueness, through their creativity. They are able to present
things in a new and interesting way. We cant always say why
their classes are exciting or inspiring, they just are. These
people come across as a force of nature; they may offer a
completely different way of thinking, and they make a lasting
impression. But often it is the simple qualities calm, warm,
caring, approachable - that count just as much. So look around
you: its not always the famous yoga authors, or the most
popular yogi in town that are the inspiration; a really great yoga
teacher might be in a village hall near you right now.

2-YEAR TEACHER
TRAINING COURSE
(BWY Accreditation,
Yoga Alliance 200-Hour Certified)
Starts 14 November 2014
at Commonwork,
near Sevenoaks, Kent, UK

ONGOING TEACHER
TRAINING
study immersions on specific
topics available independently or
as part of training towards Yoga
Alliance 500-hour certification.
Upcoming immersions:
2430 November 2014
50-hour study immersion
at Commonwork,
nr Sevenoaks, Kent, UK
2431 January 2015
50-hour study immersion
at Samahita Retreat,
Koh Samui, Thailand

YIN & YANG YOGA


TEACHER TRAINING
AND STUDY IMMERSION
(Yoga Alliance 200-Hour Certified)
14 February 14 March 2015
at Samahita Retreat,
Koh Samui, Thailand

Jean Danford is the creator of Real Yoga: realyoga.co.uk

www.theyogaacademy.org
info@theyogaacademy.org
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So you want to be a yoga teacher?

OUR STORY

Double act

Life and business are more fun when


you've got a partner by your side
Sarah Oakley (left) and
Elinor Evans (right)

verything about my old city job


was stressful; from the daily
commute to the mundane reality
of office life. My stress levels were
through the roof; I rarely saw my
husband and I was always exhausted.
Fast-forward a few years - and two children
later - I eventually found the courage to quit
my job and train as a yoga teacher.
And so a whole new life manifested.
Meeting my now Yoga Gro business partner,
Sarah Oakley, was the next fantastic step
forward. Her positive and calm nature
balances out my hundred miles an hour,
all-or-nothing personality. We both love yoga
and had children the same age so we clicked
straight away.
During our pregnancies, we both struggled
to access pregnancy yoga classes in our
area. There was little choice and the available
classes didnt always feel like a consistent
workout. A business idea was born.

Sarah and I are so lucky


to have both a great
friendship and a great
working relationship
We founded Yoga Gro to offer a rigorous,
yet flexible, approach to yoga teacher
training. We wanted to empower our
teachers, many of them mums too, to
provide a non-judgmental and supportive
space for women at such a special time in
their lives. We also developed a range of
training options including online courses so
our students can study at their own pace,
and face-to-face workshops so they get the
chance to hone their teaching skills.
Since we started (in 2012) weve both
added to our families and expanded our
offering to include pregnancy, postnatal and
fertility yoga teacher training. Our students
come from all over the world, India, Thailand,
USA and Russia, plus we have a thriving
and supportive community of UK teachers.
We get a huge buzz from supporting our
students on their teaching journey and
seeing their careers blossom.
Sarah and I are so lucky to have both
a great friendship and a great working
relationship, which is the bedrock of our
business. We support each other, spur each
other on with our own practice and are
constantly striving to develop what we offer
our students. We both feel truly blessed.

Elinor Evans and Sarah Oakley run Yoga Gro,


a teacher training school in Hertfordshire
specialising in fertility, pregnancy, postnatal
and mum & baby yoga (yogagro.com)

16

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Teacher training

& accreditation
It all starts here: get yourself qualified
to teach before you take on the world

18

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19

To be

SOMEONE
Teaching yoga full time
(To Be Someone).
By Bruce Mackay
To be someone must be a wonderful thing
A famous footballer or a rock singer
Or a big film star
Yes I think I would like that
I always loved that song growing up. Its an
obscure song by The Jam, or if you are a
little younger, perhaps the name Paul Weller
is more familiar.
It seems to capture the absolute
wonderment of youth. The sense that
everything is possible, with no limitations,
no boundaries and the wild abandonment to
just go for it.
When I first sat down to write this article
I had prepared a list of tangible steps you
could follow to help prepare you for teaching
yoga full-time. Looking at such things as
Supply and Demand, Price, Quality, Time
Triangle, Unique Selling Points and so on.
But when all is said and done, in the final
analysis, all of that is perhaps just a bit too
clinical. So instead, let me start with the
greatest obstacle to making the change
YOU! The honest truth is that there is never a perfect time to make
change. There will always be more reasons to not do something than
to do it.
Friends and family will tell you to not be silly, that teaching yoga is
great as a hobby, a nice little earner, but not a real job! It wont bring
you security, or pay the bills. What if people suddenly stop coming
to your classes or that the yoga boom is just a fad that fades away
and passes? a little like your will to live by this point. You become so
paralysed by fear that the only action is surely NO action. Better the
devil you know right?
I remember David Swenson once saying, If you want to change
then you have to make changes.

It really is that simple

Are you prepared to be like the Fool in the Tarot and to step off the
precipice into the unknown? If you have the courage to do that then
great adventures await you - endless possibilities, untapped creativity
and the wonder of not knowing what the next day holds for you, let
alone the next 30 years.
Is that scary? Of course, but your teaching, both internal
and external will explode beyond belief and you will start to feel

20

completely and utterly alive. Having said all of that let us look at a
couple of points I think will help you most on a practical level.
When you shift from teaching a few classes to full-time as a career
choice then you are moving from teaching as a HOBBY to teaching
as a BUSINESS. As such, if you are going to survive, then you must
operate like any other business and the purpose of a business is to
make profit. This is perhaps the main hurdle that most yoga teachers
face and although it is often perceived to be an external factor, i.e.
what will my students think if I drive a BMW, it really is all about your
own inner demons. The judgement is coming from you.
Remember all the spiritual teachings talk about abundance in every
area of your life. It is the attachment to material things that is the
pitfall, not having them.
By all means run your business with yogic ethics and transparency
but if you are to survive doing solely what you love - teaching yoga,
then you must be able to pay your rent, feed yourself, clothe yourself,
travel, look after your family, pay your taxes etc.
Also like any other business, you need to hold some funds in
reserve for a rainy day. Remember, assuming you are working solo
and not running a studio, you DO NOT GET PAID if you are
not teaching.

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Teacher training & accreditation


Therefore the very first thing you need to do before switching is to
consider how much you want to earn each month in order to live the
lifestyle that you desire. Notice I say want and not can live off. There
is absolutely no judgement here and you must be brutally honest with
yourself. You could for example tell yourself that you could get by
on a few hundred pound a week if you downgrade to a one bedroom
apartment, sell your car, take no holidays and have one meal a
day. The likely outcome is that you will wake up one-day resenting
teaching yoga and blaming the students.
As you are looking at your required income, you should also
research the yoga scene in the area you are going to teach. How
many classes are running, what styles of yoga, how busy are these
classes (yes, go along and take a class), how much do they charge?

I remember David Swenson once saying,


If you want to change then you have
to make changes
From this you can deduce some averages, i.e. the average class
has 10 students each paying an average of 10 per class. You can
now use those calculations together with your required income figure
to start to understand how many classes per week you will need to
teach and at what price and with what attendance level in order to
meet your income needs. This brings you nicely on to the second
point which is What is unique about your classes? This is critical in
understanding both yourself and why students come to your classes.
This may be the style of yoga you teach, the price you charge, the
location or even just your personality.
In all my years of teaching and running yoga studios, I have to
say that most people come to what is convenient for them. i.e. the
location or timing of the class.

All good stories need an ending

These are really just a few starting points and we could literally fill an
entire magazine with what comes, but that is for another time.
However all good stories need an ending and for ours let us return
and find out what happened to our young hero from the song at the
start. Well, he does grow up to find fame and fortune only to discover
that nothing lasts forever. Eventually he comes tumbling down,
succumbing to the less desirable aspects of success and
is left lamenting:

Didnt we have an nice time


Oh wasnt it such a fine time
I never was quite sure if he is making a statement or asking the
question and I guess ultimately it doesnt matter. In the end he has
come full circle. Back at the beginning where he once again reflects:

To be someone must be a wonderful thing.


Perhaps it really was all about the Journey! Green Tea anyone?
Bruce has been teaching yoga for 16 years and is founder of The
Yoga Shop UK, Union Yoga Charity, Yoga Alliance UK, Harmony
Publishing, Wonderful Organisation, Chill Out Baba and other creative
ventures. He finished writing this article at 35,000 feet in a plane
on the way to a remote beach in Asia (yes the dream is possible)
and loves talking creative ideas around yoga and business. You can
contact Bruce: brucecmackay@icloud.com

www.ommagazine.com

21

Teacher training & accreditation

Teacher
training
checklist

AdityA yogA
School
RyS200 & RyS500
FOUNDATION &
ADVANCED
VINYASA FLOW
TEACHER TRAINING
with AlESSANdRA
PEcoREllA, Syt

oNgoiNg couRSES iN loNdoN


StARt oct/Nov 2014

What to look for in a yoga teacher training course.


By Katy Appleton
For many people, yoga teacher training is the beginning of a whole new
career, so know what youre getting into. Here are six crucial things to
consider before you put pen to paper.

Be inspired

The most important thing is to find a teacher that inspires you. Some people
choose a course that works for their lifestyle, or has the right dates, however,
it is essential to be inspired when learning. Get to know your teacher first,
take some classes with them, to know that its the right fit for you.

Course content

Make sure you understand what the course content will be. Will it work back in
your local community; will you be able to earn a living from it? Its all very well
learning a dynamic style but that might not serve your own community. Do
some research to know whats going to be well received back home or where
you hope to teach.

Elements of Classical and Modern Yoga,


devotional and scientific approach all come
together in this course to offer you a highly
experiential, cutting edge program.
Learn how to Integrate the full spectrum
of ancient techniques of Yoga into our
contemporary living.
Develop your own Teaching Style in a
stimulating environment as a way of
Expressing your Creative Self.
Enjoy a fantastic Sangha (teaching study
community), the support network of fellow
Yogis and Mentors.
www.AdityAyogASchool.co.uk
AlESSANdRA@AdityAyogASchool.co.uk

Course structure

Understand how the course structure will affect your day-to-day way of
life. Just be sure what you are committing to when you sign up. How will the
course fit around your life?

Student numbers

Its a good idea to find out how many other students there will be on the
course. Whats the number of teachers and assistants to trainees? People need
to be seen, heard and supported to create safe teachers that uphold integrity.

Skillset

Get specific about youll walk away with, in terms of qualifications, at the
end of the course. Is the course accredited? Who by? Some places are very
particular about this, so do your research. Who and what will you be able to
teach afterwards?

Support

Whats the support like outside the training days? At appleyoga we have
an online community with discussion forums specifically for training, where
teachers and students can ask questions and get answers fast.

Katy Appleton is the founder of appleyoga.com

22

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Teacher training & accreditation

appleyoga

ACADEMY

with katy appleton & incredible guest teachers


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LONDON

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WORLD WIDE RETREATS

provides the highest quality tuition


beginner, intermediate, pregnancy & birth prep
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60hr, wk training retreats,
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& Katy Appleton
Assistantship Program
Yoga & Meditation CPDs
Yoga & Neuroscience CPDs

pre & postnatal & baby yoga


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inspirational & intelligent courses, that are easy
to learn & teach

95hrs, 8 days, Feb-Mar & Aug - Sept 2015 dates online


Ready to teach full spectrum pre, postnatal & baby yoga
with breath, relaxation, sound, contemplation & asana
Postnatal module combines yoga with Pilates to
empower new mothers
Extra modules in Doula & Birth Preparation Trainings

Meet Katy and the appleyoga team


Stand G15 @ the Yoga Show
I cant put into words the life
changing effect these courses
have had on my mind body
and soul!
Phillipa Woodgate

The passion and dedication


that has gone into these
training programs are
mind-blowing.
Deepa Shah

www.appleyoga.com info@appleyoga.com
Telephone +44 (0)845 643 7027
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23

Ready
& wil ing
How do you know if you are ready for teacher training?
Julie Hanson explores the top questions asked by prospective students
Am I good enough?

The true meaning of this question: I am


frightened of threats and hazards and I need
to feel secure, certainty and avoid pain.
The answer to this is no one ever feels
good enough. But being good enough
isnt the question.
Ask yourself these questions:
n Do I have a regular practice?
n Do I have a passion for yoga?
n Do I talk about yoga a lot to my family
and friends?
n Am I always telling people to go along to a
yoga class?
If you answered yes to two or more of the
above, then the answer is yes you are good
enough for teacher training. Where there is
no risk there is no gain.

24

The goal to get you there:


experience the moment.

The goal to get you there:


create roots, foundation and stability.

How much time will it take out


of my already busy life ?

How long do you have to


be doing yoga before doing
teacher training?

The true meaning of this question:


I need a change. I am bored with my life but
I dont need more routines; I need variety.
What you are really thinking:
n Iam stressed
n Iam busy
n Ihave a lot of family commitments
n Ineed to change my life
Perhaps you need to find more time for you,
and a teacher training course will show you
how. Most good yoga courses will create a
change in you and your life and teach you
new ways to look at all things.

The true meaning of this question: I am


ready to feel unique and important and to be
respected, now.
What you are really thinking:
n Iwant to start now - is that possible?
n Should I be a bit fitter before coming onto
the course, is that important?
n Ihave made the decision and want to get
on with it
We usually say no to less than one year of
practice. However if you focus on starting
from today, strive for regular committed

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Teacher training & accreditation


practice. Be true to yourself and practice
patience then you will start to feel special with
the new high standards you have created.
The goal to get you there:
practice patience and notice when your
standards are too high.

How many other people will be


attending the course; what type
of people are they ?

True meaning of this question: Will I feel


like I belong and be a part of the group?
What you are really thinking:
n Will the other people like me?
n Are there too many on the course; will I get
enough attention for my needs?
n Will there be a feeling of unity and warmth
in the group?
Ask if you can visit this years teacher
training or ask to talk to a previous student
about the course.
The goal to get you there: to be loved for
who you are and where you are at.

Is there a lot of homework?

True meaning of this question: I have


enough to do and dont need any more

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pressure but I would love to develop new


skills and learn things.
What you are really thinking:
n Idont want to feel inadequate and drained
n Ido want to focus on my personal growth
but also avoid more demands
on my personal time
n Idont want to feel intruded upon
Usually, reading is a big part of the
homework. Ask if you can have the reading
list and start now. Enquire how many written
papers there will be within the year and if
there is a test and assessment at the end.
Again, ask to speak to one of the current crop
of students and ask them. Get the facts.
The goal to get you there:
to pursue your own growth and enjoy
the connection with others to learn from
them too.

What you are really thinking:


n Iwant to contribute to my community and
make a difference
n Iwould like to be a good example to
others and leave my mark on the world
n Iwould like to learn so I can teach others;
I have a mission
Everybodys life is incomplete without the
sense that ones making a contribution. If you
have a passion for yoga and want to stay
healthy, be an outstanding role model, have
enthusiasm and energy for life, why not share
it with others and get paid for doing it.
The goal to get you there: to find the
balance between taking care of yourself
and others.

Julie Hanson, Seasonal Yoga Teacher Training


(seasonalyoga.co.uk)

Will I be able to cope with the level


of practice expected, to be good
enough to help others?
True meaning of this question: will I be
good enough at the end of the course to
help and give support to others and create a
business out of that?

25

Teacher training & accreditation

Pop the
question

Key considerations for a teacher training


course. By Anne-Marie Newland

oga teacher training is such an important step. This


means you need to find a course that will cover both
personal and professional targets for you, like tick
boxes to help you achieve your aspirations and career
choices. Here are just a few of the questions my
students have asked or told me about before signing up.
What school should I choose?
Listen to your gut. A good experience is worth its weight in gold; a
bad one will teach you other lessons though.
I want to teach yoga but not theory, meditation, or philosophy?
That's not possible if you want to call yourself an authentic
yoga teacher.
I am over 50 or have a disability. Is it too late?
No way. Its never too late. The oldest I have trained was 70 and
she now has a new life - and probably added another 20 years to it.
Please see yourself as a shining light to all.
Ive been practicing for years but my body is very tight.
Does this rule me out?
If your tightness is in the mind that would be a challenge, but the
body will always yield once it is guided through softness.
How many people should there be on a course?
I think 30 is too many. I like students to get to know each other as a
family. Large groups encourage small groups to fracture off from the
main community. At my school 20 is tops, 16 is even better.
What if I dont like the primary course trainer?
That will be tough for you both, so meet them first, talk on the
phone, look at their track record and listen to your gut reaction. Are
they warm and welcoming? Is the yoga joyous? No? Then run away.
What if the course teachers wont tell me their credentials or
what if Im not allowed to take a trial class first?
Alarm bells. This is probably a warning sign. Listen to your gut.
A good course does not mean its going to be easy. It will challenge
you but not make you unhappy unless you thought it was about the
piece of paper, or qualification, at the end. Youll need to open your
mind and your heart, but this is easy when you feel you are on the
right track and with the right guide.

Anne-Marie Newland, Sun Power Yoga Teacher Training


(sun-power-yoga.co.uk)

26

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We are neither dogmatic nor dismissive of the
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yoga@sun-power-yoga.co.uk
Tel: +44 (0)7730 680 221

Teacher training & accreditation

MY STORY

NEVER
turn a child away
W

Jo Manuel, founder of Special Yoga,


says it's important to be creative
when thinking about money

hen I founded Special


Yoga 10 years ago I
wanted to make yoga
available to everyone
not just those who

could afford it.


Our mission is to serve as many children
with special needs as possible; we believe all
children are perfect, or special, and all
are welcome.
When I started this work, parents who
could pay gave me money and those that
couldnt pay gave me what they could.
For a few years we were a registered
charity. Now, Special Yoga Ltd is what I call
a 'charitable business'.
We serve our children with a fixed fee per
session but if families cannot meet it (the fee
is low compared to private physiotherapy
or other therapies), the children still come.

I have never turned a child away and I


never will.
Over the years, the business of yoga has
changed and with the advent of extensive
offerings of retreats, yoga holidays and
workshops, as well as daily classes, it seems
that there are more opportunities to earn.
Now, one of our primary income streams
to support our beloved children is our
extensive teacher training portfolio, both in
the UK and overseas. This is also where I
earn my living.

Changing times

Before Special Yoga existed I worked as an


independent yoga teacher and practitioner.
I deliberately chose not to work in health
clubs, so I created a space in my home and
rented a local church hall for my classes. I
didnt earn much but I always earned enough.

Our mission is to serve as many children with special


needs as possible; we believe all children are perfect,
or special, and all are welcome.

In those days (the early nineties) there were


not as many teachers around, so it wasn't
hard to fill my classes. In fact, I had to turn
people away.
Then I was invited to teach in schools,
which brought a little more income, plus
some private clients, although my heart has
always been with the children.
In all those years, there have been
times when money has flowed more freely
than at other times.
When I look back, I know that so much
of that had to do with my own fear of lack
at any given moment, and how deeply and
strongly I maintained my own practice.
Ultimately, that is the key. I see so many
teachers nowadays who are teaching so
many classes that they no longer have time
for their own practice. And when we lose this
then our minds have more room to worry and then money can become a concern.

Jo Manuel is the founder of Special Yoga Ltd


(specialyoga.org.uk)

elhotyoga

love hot yoga, teach hot yoga


FHY_TT_LOGO.pdf

CM

MY

CY

CMY

28

16/09/2012

20:14

fhy

teacher training diploma

Studios Workshops Teacher Training

www.feelhotyoga.co.uk

yoga alliance uk
registered yoga school

500

500

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Building

your business
With that new yoga teaching certificate under your belt
you'll be raring to go. Here's how to get started

30

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31

Bridging the

GAP

So youve finished your training course and have


emerged blinking into the bright world of yoga
teaching, brandishing your certificate and many good
intentions. The question is: how do you become an
expert, experienced yoga teacher in a short time?
Jane Clapham chatted to Dru Yoga teachers from
across the world and offers her top five tips to greatness

32

www.ommagazine.com

Understand the
psychological transition
Its quite a change going from being
a yoga student to a teacher with
authority and (perceived) power.
Managing the energy of a class, being an
example of health and spirituality to your
students, having to appear confident even
when you dont feel it these can all be quite
stressful adaptations to manage. So be kind
to yourself and know that this transformation
may take a while and get some support!

Connect with your peers


Finding a community, even a small
one, can make all the difference
when youre setting out as a yoga
teacher as it can be a lonely job.
Keep in touch with your peers in person,
or via Facebook groups. In the Facebook
yoga teachers group that I run, student and
experienced teachers regularly share tips
on adapting classes for students with
unusual health conditions or new research
about the benefits of yoga. Some meet up
monthly for chai and a chat about how to
improve their classes. Many teachers
find it helpful to feel connected and
supported through that time of transition
from student to teacher.

www.ommagazine.com

Get a mentor
Many of the Dru Yoga teachers I
speak with mention how helpful they
find working with experienced yoga
teachers. Some shadow their more
experienced counterparts and get advice
on lesson planning or dealing with difficult
students. See if you can become an assistant
to an experienced teacher in your area, so that
youre helping them as well as getting advice.
Other graduates arrange regular one-to-one
sessions with their course tutors to update
their teaching skills and work energetically on
their new role of being a teacher.

Join your yoga schools


professional network
Ask your yoga school about joining
their postgraduate organisation.
Most yoga schools worth their salt
have resources available to help you become
an effective teacher. You should be able to
access marketing materials such as leaflets
and posters, business cards and get advice
about promoting your classes via websites,
blogs and social media. Schools like Dru Yoga
have discounted professional insurance,
business plans, information about music
licenses, lesson plans, record keeping advice
as well as survival tips for new teachers.

Building your business

Be kind to yourself
and know that this
transformation may
take a while and get
some support.

Get great at marketing


Your yoga training course has
probably focused on your final
assessment but to make a living
as a yoga teacher you need to
become good at promoting yourself. Youll
need to be very organised in creating a
business structure that works for you, and
youll have to decide whether yoga teaching
will become your career or whether youll
need to supplement it by doing other work.
Be realistic about your financial needs
what your income needs to be, and how
youll achieve it. There are some great
websites around that give great advice
theyogipreneur.com and yogitimes.com
are good ones. Good luck and enjoy the
ride to greatness.

More information about Dru Yoga can be


found at: druyoga.com

33

TheBUSINESS
of yoga

Starting out on your yoga business journey. By Sally Parkes

he business of yoga is, in


a way, a contradiction in
terms, because yoga is not
a business. Yoga is yoga,
and business is business.
However, for yoga to reach the masses as
it has done over the last decade or so
business and yoga have had to become
mutually intertwined. As a result, the yoga
industry is now a huge growth market that
is getting people flexing and stretching all
over the world.
This is great news for our health and
wellbeing in general and offers many
opportunities for new yoga teachers with

Once youve got a


few classes on your
weekly schedule how do
you then keep students
coming to your class?
34

regards to applying for work and building


up private classes. But once youve got a
few classes on your weekly schedule how
do you then keep students coming to your
class? And how do you maintain this
valuable client base?

A word on ethics

The first thing to consider is ethics. If you are


working in a yoga studio and are employed
by that studio, the yogis that attend your
class are essentially the studios clients - not
yours. Obviously, clients can go where they
please and if they choose to attend your
events that are held elsewhere then so be it.
But you should never actively seek to take
the client away from the studio where you
currently teach them. This is unethical and
therefore un-yogic.
However, if you are setting up private
classes of your own, hiring a venue, doing
your own marketing, then the clients that
come to you have the potential to become

part of a very valuable client base. This is an


excellent starting place for your business,
especially if you are considering running
workshops and retreats. Once you begin
planning your own classes, the main thing
to consider is, of course, how to get clients.
This is fairly straightforward and does not
have to be costly.
There are a number of tools available to
help you build your own website for free and
get business cards printed for free. There are
also many websites out there where you can
list your classes for free.
There are plenty of other ways to get
known within your community as the local go
to yoga teacher. Here are a few ideas to get
you going:
n G
ive free taster classes at local fetes and
charity events
n O
ffer to write an article for your local
newspaper and then use that experience
to apply to write for bigger and more
esteemed publications

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Building your business


n S
et up a referral scheme with your local
physiotherapist or sports therapist

Your client base

The next thing to think about is how to keep


these clients. Again, there are a few general
rules of business that can be applied here.
They include:
n A
lways make your client feel valued
n T
hank each potential client for their
initial inquiry
n W
rite to each client individually as
opposed to sending out automated
emails when your schedule allows it
n R
eturn phone call inquiries as soon as
you can
n C
all your students by their name and
thank them for attending your class
n G
ive positive feedback to the individual
when youre teaching them
n E
very so often, close the class by offering
something simple such as a homemade
cup cake, a yoga sequence hand-out or
an article youve written that you want to
share with the group.
All these small touches help to make the
client part of your yoga community. This
can be further reinforced by writing monthly
newsletters, holding a pot-luck dinner every
few months or at special (or for some people,

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difficult) times such as Christmas, or holding


a free outdoor class in the park when the
sun shines. Such events can then be logged
in a private Facebook group if you want to
include social media - but do ensure you
have your groups permission to take and use
photos first.

Stay positive

Clearly, theres a lot to consider when


running a yoga business and no-one gets
it right first time, so dont be too hard
on yourself if things are slow to take off.
Work on your business as you would do
your yoga practice, little-by-little and with

earnest commitment. Just keep plodding


on, stay focused and practice your yoga.
Always ensure that before conveying a
particular message to your yoga client, be
it be by email, face-to-face or in the studio,
your message is a positive one. Make your
interactions positive and it will help to create
a long standing and loyal client base that has
been built on positive energy. That is the sign
of a really successful yoga business.

Sally Parkes runs 200-hour and 80-hour


pregnancy yoga teacher training. For
upcoming CPD days on The Business of
Yoga visit: www.sallyparkesyoga.com

35

CONTINUOUS PROFESSIONAL

The need to keep learning your craft. By Simon Low

ngoing professional
development is a must for
all teachers, whatever the
subject shared in education,
and it is especially important
in the teaching of yoga. Education
methodology and ethical practices are
constantly subject to research and revision,
and yoga although many thousands
of years old, and with a rich tradition of
teachings is an ever-evolving art and
science with cross-disciplinary connections.
Never before has there been so much new
research information available to students
and teachers as there is today to support
and stimulate the personal experience and
enquiry of each individual practitioners
yoga journey. Integrating the latest findings
in yoga and related research (such as in the
fields of connective tissue, neuroplasticity,
dissection, posture, trauma and myo-fascial
continuities, to name just a few) inevitably
requires staying abreast of the research and
its teaching.

Life journey

Any teacher-training course is a first step


on a long and fascinating path, which lasts
a lifetime, just as each individual yoga

36

students lifelong journey of discovery,


discipline and development. To be most
informed and effective as teachers it is our
duty unto the students who invest their
time and money to attend our classes,
workshops or retreats, to keep relearning
our craft. With a subject so vast and varied
as yoga, and with millions of unique bodies
and beings to share yoga with, it will take
each of us a lifetime of ongoing study
to attain the knowledge and experience

Yoga is an ever-evolving
art and science with
cross-disciplinary
connections
enabling us to offer appropriate teachings
to each of these individuals, especially in
the group class format. Moreover, yogas
therapeutic applications, which most
teachers eventually find to be the most
rewarding experience for themselves and
their students, can take many years of
diligent study to obtain the skills for.
From our earliest classes taught we will be
presented with numerous students requiring
appropriate modifications and alternatives
for an inclusive and effective experience in

our classes, and this area alone requires


regular ongoing study and practice. The
common ailments and injuries which
accompany students to your classes
often require different and skilful responses
from the teacher, and no initial teacher
training course can cover all of these
possibilities; only experience and ongoing
learning will enable authentic confidence
and healing results.

Ongoing study

Increasingly I recognise both the keen


interest of the student in, and the benefit to
their wellbeing through, yogas application in
anatomically sound and informed teaching.
While the late and great BKS Iyengar, and a
few others, are known for their tremendous
focus on anatomically informed teaching,
not all approaches to asana in particular
and yoga in general are infused with such
critical information and guidance. Teachers
who have not been duly educated in
anatomy and physiology will quite possibly
be less safe and effective in the physical
application of yogas teachings.
Yet ongoing training, refinement and
revision of foundational training is not only
required in the anatomical field. Ongoing

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Building your business

SALLY PARKES YOGA

TEACHER TRAINING
COURSES
2014 & 2015

DEVELOPMENT
study of the psychology, physiology,
philosophy and spirituality of yoga are
equally necessary for safe, informed and
effective teaching. As our personal practice,
experience and understanding increase, we
mature as human beings, as teachers and as
therapeutically orientated practitioners.

A fresh lens

Often we need to repeat trainings to


embody and imbibe theory into practical
understanding and application, rather
than simply keep on adding new layers
of information. Practical application is
ultimately the key element of the craft
of teaching yoga, and everybody needs
support and guidance to this end. The
ancient yogis insisted on the need for a
teacher or guru to guide ones journey, and
while this may well be appropriate for many,
it is the education of our inner teacher that
is of most importance. This, as all above,
requires a lifetime of study and experience if
our journey is to be an authentic reflection
of the subject we have chosen to teach.
Continuous professional development also
keeps us in contact with other like-minded
teachers and sources of information, can
help us move out of the inevitable ruts and

routines and keeps us aware of where our


current understandings might be outdated
and possibly no longer relevant. We can gain
new perspectives, a fresh lens to see our
students and revitalised self-confidence,
passion and purpose for the very process
of teaching itself, let alone for the vast
spectrum of teachings that collectively are
the unity that is yoga.
I belief that Vyasa expressed all this in the
teaching he inserted into his translation of the
Yoga Sutra at III.6 (yogena yogo jnatavyo, etc.):

Only through yoga, yoga is known


Only through yoga, yoga progresses
One who is patient with yoga and maintains
continuous study and practice
Enjoys the fruits for a long time
Simon Low, principal of The Yoga Academy,
and co-founder and the original director of
yoga at Triyoga in London. Visit: simonlow.
com and theyogaacademy.org

This course is run with professionalism,


warmth, commitment and enthusiasm
- T. Johnson, Author & Coach

200 Hour Hatha &


Vinyasa Yoga Teacher
Training
Spain & London
(Autumn 2014 & 2015
Courses Available)

80 Hour Pregnancy
Yoga Teacher
Training
UK & Dubai
(Autumn 2014 & 2015
Courses Available)

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WWW.SALLYPARKESYOGA.COM

Building your business

FIND
YOUR
FEET
WITH A

FRANCHISE

38

Hotpod Yoga founders


Max Henderson and Nick
Higgins highlight the
benefits of buying
into a franchise

oga franchises can be a quick


and easy way to get your
business motoring, although
they come at a cost. However,
if you are thinking of opening
your own studio, that can still be modest.
So what is a franchise? Basically, it means
buying into an established, successful and
proven business model or brand.
Hotpod yoga (HPY) - which offers hot yoga
vinyasa classes in inflatable pop up pods now has multiple hot yoga studios across
the country and abroad.
The company plans to have 25 new
franchises by this time next year.
New openings include Manchester,
Nottinghamshire and Milton Keynes, to add
to existing sites in Swansea and Solihull. West
Wales, Exeter, Amsterdam and Johannesburg
are also coming up.
And the concept really works, says cofounder Max Henderson. All the franchisees
are extremely happy and many new openings
are in the pipeline, he says.
He says its an eye-catching way to enter
the local yoga market. Theres a real buzz
and a huge amount of press on HPY, and all
that excitement is shared with franchisees.
Business partner and co-founder Nick
Higgins says its also a low risk way to enter
the yoga studio scene - the upfront cost is
just a fraction of the cost of a normal hot
yoga studio.
The pod is moveable and there are
numerous ways to maximise value from it.
If one location doesnt work, youre able to
move to another one, with no long-term
leases or overheads to burden you, he says.
This includes running hot yoga sessions
for corporates at banks and offices, as well
as other locations, even private classes in
peoples homes.
And, in true yogic style, theres plenty of
freedom to work things your own way, with
franchisees able to stamp their own mark on
their business.
Most importantly, franchisees have the
business infrastructure, strategic support
and network to call on on an ongoing basis,
says Higgins.

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Building your business

Here is
the news

Be exhilarated by surfing,
skiing, snowboarding,
hiking, diving, exploring:
energised by yoga and
invigorated by delicious
vitality foods.

Simple tips for effective newsletters

ewsletters are an excellent way to reach your target audience and


keep things current and ticking over. Be aware, however, that writing an
ineffective newsletter is worse than not writing one at all, and - as with
everything business-related - it is advisable follow some basic guidelines.

Here are some important things to consider:


n Make it look professional by using a newsletter template. I use Mail Chimp as it is cheap
and easy to use.
n Make it positive and do not rant about things that have annoyed you. No one wants to
read a newsletter rant.
n Do not talk about yourself all the way through. Before sending, count how many times
you have written I and you. If I outweighs you then you need to switch the balance
before sending.
n Only use photos that you either have the rights to, or that you have permission to use.
n Offer something for free. This can be a sequence youve posted on YouTube, a discount
code for a yoga clothing company you may have partnered with, a healthy recipe, a
competition to win a yoga mat, or a private lesson with you.
n Then thank the reader for reading and for being part of your yoga community.
n A
 nd, finally: be sure to offer an option for people to easily unsubscribe.

By Sally Parkes (sallyparkesyoga.com)

Yoga holidays and retreats


designed to be as active or
as relaxed as you want so
you can enjoy every minute
of your precious time off.

Coming soon
Yoga retreats in the
UK countryside
Detox Yogi, WellbeingYogi
& AyurvedicYogi

Or
Winter sun 2015
Goa, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Bali
Come and see us at the
Om Yoga show Stand A17!
See our website for prices
and details today

www.adventureyogi.com
or call 07929 168237

Dont sweat

the small stuff


Pay attention to the paperwork if you want to thrive.
Remember: the devil is in the detail

40

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www.ommagazine.com

41

Learn to Teach
Kids Yoga!
3-DAY KIDS YOGA
TEACHER TRAINING

Upcoming Trainings
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Zagreb, Croatia: Nov. 14-16
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Changing the World,


One Kid at a Time!

www.rainbowkidsyoga.net
info@rainbowkidsyoga.net
.

INSURANCE
for yoga professionals

You might not want to think about it, but its important
to make sure youre protected. By Claire Squire

here is always much to think


about when setting up a
new business, and it can be
tempting to get carried away
with whatever for you are the
most exciting elements. However, time and
attention are also needed for the more
grounded disciplines of business, financial
elements, risk management and insurance.
The complexities of insurance can often
be daunting and thus potentially off putting.
Practitioners should always seek professional
advice on what cover they need at every

Thirty years ago it


wasnt considered
very much within
many areas, including
Yoga Teaching
42

stage of their business development, to


ensure that they are getting the right cover
for their own particular circumstances.
However, whilst there will not be scope
within this brief article to go into depth,
it will examine and hopefully demystify,
some of the main insurance elements to
be considered when setting up a new yoga
teaching practice.

Cover for you

First and foremost you will require


Professional Indemnity insurance cover to
protect yourself against clients or others
who may choose to make a complaint or
claim against you. This is insurance for you
as the yoga professional. Good quality cover
will include Medical Malpractice and Public
Liability cover as standard, but you should
also check what else is included, i.e. breach
of confidentiality, financial loss, criminal and

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Don't sweat the small stuff


tax defence, loss of reputation, cover for
Good Samaritan acts etc. Does the policy
include products cover, should you choose
to sell items to your clients? Will the policy
cover you for temporary trips abroad, should
you choose to offer a yoga retreat in a
warmer climate? What other benefits are
included within the policy i.e. legal or other
helpline advice. If your new business is your
only source of income, you may also wish
to consider personal sickness or accident
cover, together with some form of Business
Expenses protection that would cover your
regular business expenses in the event that
you are incapacitated.

Cover for your business

If you are purchasing or renting premises,


you will need to look at cover for contents,
buildings insurance (owners) or tenants
improvements if you are renting and have
made any alterations. Cover for items taken
away from the premises such as mobile
equipment and laptops or loss of profits
arising from damage to your premise should
also be considered. Employers Liability
insurance is a legal requirement if you have
anyone working for you, even if this is only in
a voluntary capacity.
For larger businesses including corporate
entities with multi therapist clinics, businesses
selling health products or other commercial
ventures, there are various other special
insurance packages available. It may be that
you are looking to set up with a number of
other professionals, yoga or otherwise, in
which case you may require some form of
corporate insurance policy in place rather
than relying solely on your own individual
professional indemnity insurances.

Common pitfalls

Insurance is based upon good faith with the


expectation that the insured will advise the
insurer of any material fact that is relevant
to the situation, thereby enabling the insurer
to assess the risk. Most pitfalls are due to
an individuals lack of knowledge, or not
letting insurers know of any material facts or
changes relevant to the risks being insured.
For example, if you start working from home,
perhaps with a home office or running a
weekly meditation group there, you need to
advise your home insurer about this if they
were not previously informed. Many home
insurance providers do not cover for working
from home and they may choose to refuse a
claim, even an unrelated one, if they discover
you have been working from home and they
were unaware of this.
Another common pitfall is under-insuring,

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either deliberate i.e. taking out cover for


business contents for less than its value, or
in error i.e. forgetting to advise the insurance
provider of new equipment and updating your
sums insured. Insurers may proportionately
reduce claims pay outs in the event of
underinsurance.

Complaints

How you handle a complaint may be the


difference between having a happy client
and a potential claim. Many complaints arise
within the first few sessions with a new client,
and often result from misunderstandings,
miscommunication, inadequate advice given
at the outset, failing to manage a clients
expectations or inappropriate behaviour.
Remember to keep your boundaries,
show good listening and communication
skills: never claim or imply you are able to
cure a condition and manage the clients
expectations regarding your services,
including cost and explain both the possible
positive and possible negative effects of
the practice. Remember also to keep good
records (for at least seven years, preferably
indefinitely) of who attended any classes or
one-to-one session, what was covered and if
there was any specific advice that was given.
These records are your first line of defence if
a claim is made against you.

What if a claim is
made against you?

Connecting students with their true nature


The seasonal teacher training program
offers 3 options for training:
100 hour Stage 1 Yoga practioner programme,
6 modules over 6 months
200 hour Stage 2 teacher programme,
12 modules over 1 year
300 hour stage 3 advanced teacher
assistantship programme over
12, 3 day modules
This course is for everyone, whether you wish to teach yoga or
simply go deeper on your yoga journey.

A year of Self discovery


The teachers:

Julie Hanson, Sue Woodd, Marit Akintewe

LONDON
Cobham
Starts January 2015

GLASGOW

Insurance is a bit like a seat belt in a car.


Thirty years ago it wasnt considered very
much within many areas, including yoga
teaching. Today it is it has become the norm,
part of your professionalism and, whilst
you wear it hoping youll never need it, if an
accident occurs, you will be very glad to
have a good quality protection in place.
Should you find yourself in a claims
situation, dont panic. Contact your broker:
they should be able to give advice on how
best to deal with the situation. Never admit
liability or promise to pay, this prejudices
your insurers position, and may mean that
your insurance becomes nullified. There are
a list of common claims dos and donts
on the Balens website however if in doubt
ask. We all make mistakes, it is part of being
human, but with good quality support you
can be reassured that you will not be paying
the price of that mistake yourself: you can
then reflect, learn and move on.

Testimonial:
The course really helped me regain control of my life,
I now feel much less stressed and I love sharing what
I have learned with my students. (Kerri, Glasgow)

You can find further information on the


Balens website (balens.co.uk) including a
glossary of terms and more information on
the different types of insurance

For further information contact:


seasonalteachers@gmail.com
www.seasonalyoga.co.uk www.seasonalyoga.org
or phone 07966 875208

Chi & Co
Starts January 2015

PRESTON
The Mandala
Starts March 2015

FINLAND, HELSINKI
Wellness & Balance
Starts March 2015

PALMA MALLORCA, SPAIN


Zunray
Starts March 2016

200 hours, over 1 year

Don't sweat the small stuff

MY STORY

Loving my
yoga life
I feel totally passionate
about what I do. I live and
breathe yoga in every single
aspect of my life and share
that with everyone

44

Mahala Wall shares her


passion for yoga via
her own teacher
training course

began my yoga journey over 10 years


ago, when I was living in Australia, when
I found my first taste of yoga in the
form of Bikram. From then on I was in
love: first with Bikram, then exploring
Ashtanga, then all the other yoga experiences
I could get on my return to London.
As soon as I completed my obligatory two
years yoga practice I signed up to train first
on a 200 hour teacher training course, that
ran every weekend in Leicester.
I still felt I was at the very beginning and
there was so much more to explore so I
headed for India and spent a month living
at the Sivananda Ashram in Madurai to
experience the full yogic lifestyle. This was a
fantastic turning point for me and I met some
amazing people. Later that year I opened
my first studio in Clapham - MahalaYoga. It
was a small studio but it was perfect. Our
classes were packed out from the first week.
After five years, I was inspired to start my
own yoga training school to create the sort
of training that I felt was very much missing in
the industry in London. We are just about to
complete our second year of teacher training
with amazing results; it has delivered more
than I could ever have imagined.
I decided to take the course away from the
big venues and bring it into my own home,
hence the group is always intimate with no
more than five students at any time. Each
and every student receives exactly whats
needed on every level of the training, be that
asana practice or voice coaching, theres no
rock left unturned.
We push our trainees to the heights and
depths of where they can go to find their own
unique teaching style. This also enables us to
offer lots of flexible options for training. We
can really work the training around the lives
and schedules of the student. In addition, each
student gets the chance to assist either myself
or another teacher in our London classes.
We also take lots of retreats across the UK
and abroad each year so there are plenty of
opportunities to travel within the training too.
I feel totally passionate about what I do. I
live and breathe yoga in every single aspect
of my life and share that with everyone,
whether they are yogis or not, and the
students continue to inspire me to do what I
am doing in new and wonderful ways.
Visit yogaclapham.com

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Building the business

HOW TO BE A

YOGA ROCKSTAR
COMING
SOON
Pre-order at:
ommagazine.com
Available
Dec 2014
If you love OM
magazine you will
love this book

THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO MAKING


A LIVING TEACHING YOGA
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45

Don't sweat the small stuff

You need

Dynamic threesome
offer sweaty yoga
teacher training

FRIENDS B

Photo: Oliver Fokerd (www.oliverfokerd.com)

usiness is so much more fun


when you're not going it alone.
Now, three friends have teamed
up to offer an Indian yoga
teacher training experience with
a difference.
Steve Bracken (mandalahealth.net) has
run sweat lodges for the past 15 years in
places like Mexico and Guatemala. He later
started a Mayan-style sweat lodge in the UK.
Now, he has teamed up with two other
experts to offer the sweat lodge experience
in Goa, India, as part of a yoga teacher
training course with a difference.
Participants get to experience not
only nding a greater understanding of
themselves through yoga but also through
the life changing ceremony of a sweat lodge.
"A sweat lodge creates a powerful
emotional and physical detox of the body
and mind, says Bracken.
He believes that a lot of our pain stems
from the false stories we tell ourselves as well
as physical trauma and repetitive strain.
"The lodge can help in the process of
seeing through and releasing these false
stories," he adds.
Bracken is joined in his latest venture by
Helen Noakes (helennoakes.net) who will be
teaching the art of Scaravelli-inspired yoga,
incorporating her knowledge of Chavutti
foot massage.
The third member of the team is Rupert
Johnson, a yoga expert and qigong teacher
with a deep knowledge of sound, which
he uses to create healing resonances
through chanting.

48

A sweat lodge creates a


powerful emotional and
physical detox of the
body and mind
Noakes calls the group the 'juicy
threesome'. All three teachers have spent the
past 20 years travelling and living in India and
have been close friends for the past 15 years.
They each wanted to do something that
brought all their knowledge and experience
together under one course.
As a juicy threesome, we are experts in
our respective elds and we have a wealth of
knowledge between us to offer, says Noakes.

www.ommagazine.com

The next

level

Now you're up and running it may be time to expand


your horizons and start thinking about retreats,
workshops and other new ideas

50

www.ommagazine.com

www.ommagazine.com

51

WORKSHOP

workout

How to organise a yoga workshop. By Alexander Filmer-Lorch

ith a universal
teaching approach,
organising and
presenting a workshop
is all about putting the
philosophical idea of external considering
into action. That is, you plan the workshop
from the point of view of your potential
clients, taking into consideration their level
of knowledge, needs and requirements, and
what will be most conducive to furthering
their understanding and yoga practice.

Key considerations

Who is your potential audience?


How you promote your workshop will
depend on the audience you want to attract
as well as what they want to learn. Is it
aimed at teachers, your existing clients, or
people you dont know?
What else is out there?
Workshops are ideal for getting your name

52

out to a wider audience, and other yoga


teachers know that too. To get an idea of
what everybody else is up to, a bit of market
research is paramount. Emphasis should be
placed on the newest trends and cuttingedge knowledge underpinning developments
in your field of expertise. However, always
be true to the level of knowledge you have
acquired and can teach from personal
experience and with ease.

To decide the price


of your workshop you
first need to know your
fixed costs
What will make your offering unique?
The very first impression could determine
whether people sign up to your workshop or
to one with a stronger attraction. It needs to
have a title with impact and be eye-catching.
Your theme, its contemporary nature, or

any other unique selling point that you


want to promote needs to top that of your
competitors. And dont forget to highlight
the value, practicality and applicability in
everyday life that people will get out of your
teaching.
How much will you charge?
As your market research will have confirmed,
every area has a going rate for threehour sessions, half days (five hours) to
full days (seven hours), or even intensives
of two days. To decide the price of your
workshop you first need to know your
fixed costs, including venue hire, flyers and
postcards, adverts or any other costs for
promotion, postage, travel, handouts, and
light refreshments like water, tea and fruit.
Knowing your costs means you know the
minimum attendance needed to break even.
If this is five people you should aim for a
minimum of 10 to make a reasonable profit.
Dont forget you will have to pay tax on

www.ommagazine.com

The next level


your profit. Lots of people like an early bird
option (for example 40 instead of 50),
which you should offer up to six weeks prior
to the workshop. Offer your regular students
a discount if they bring a friend. And dont
forget that full payment always has to be
made in advance.
Putting things into action
Timing and location is everything and, if
you want to hold your workshop at one of
the top venues, you might have to book
it months in advance. Be aware you will
have to sign a contract, and possibly pay a
deposit, usually three months prior to the
workshop. This is the time to negotiate how
much the venue will promote your workshop.
Aim for a display of your logo or portrait
of yourself and some blurb about your
workshop on their website, as well as being
listed on their schedule with a link to your

Top tips

n Keep all receipts and invoices


n D
ont touch the deposits until
after the workshop
n I
nclude a cancellation policy on
your registration form and get
people to date and sign it
n O
ffer a certificate of attendance:
it gives your students a sense
of achievement

website. Ask for a good placement of your


flyers and postcards in reception.
Additionally, your workshop should be
posted on the venues Facebook page and
Twitter account, and you could offer to write
a post about the theme for their blog. Of
course, you will also utilise your own social
networking facilities such as your website,
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin and
blog to promote your event. Remember,
the most effective promotion is personal
recommendation and word of mouth, so get
all your friends and students involved. Last
but not least, make sure the venue offers
all the props you require on the day, for
example, a flipchart or projector, and that
it is in easy reach of public transport and
parking facilities.

What next?

You now have come to the end of your


first workshop, and, of course, it was a big
success and an inspirational experience for
all students. It is at this point you should
offer all new students a voucher for one of
your classes, invite them to sign up to yourC
mailing list, and inform them about your next
M
upcoming workshop which will offer a new
exciting theme that is well worth exploring. Y
CM

Alexander Filmer-Lorch, director, Inside


MY
Meditation, yoga teacher, lecturer, therapist,
CY
author of the meditation guide Inside
Meditation (insidemeditation.co.uk)
CMY
K

www.ommagazine.com

53

The next level

MY STORY

Precision
Engineering

Susan Church founded


Residential Yoga Teacher
Training Spain (RYTTS)
and Pilates Teacher
Training Institute (PTTI)
out of one simple desire:
to make teachers

usan Church was the owner of a


successful yoga and Pilates studio
in Dublin, Ireland, for many years;
she also hosted yoga and Pilates
retreats in France and Spain.
That decade-plus of experience made her
a committed and trusted yoga and Pilates
educator. It also made her aware of the
skills that divide a good teacher from a
great one; and a mediocre teacher from a
successful one.
Inspired by the anatomical precision of
Pilates, Church set up PTTI first, providing
top quality Pilates training to health
professionals in Ireland and beyond. Her UK
business partner, Paul Scallan, a chartered
physiotherapist, is currently rolling out this
Pilates training in various regions in England
and Wales.

The courses rely heavily


on teaching methodology
and anatomy
Next, after selling her studio, RYTTS began
in earnest. All RYTTS and PTTI courses
are evidence-based, says Church. They
simplify without dumbing down; they aim to
impart the nuts and bolts of yoga and Pilates
teaching. We have no desire in just providing
how to do yoga and Pilates courses. There
are enough of those around. We want to
make you the best, safest, most supportive,
successful, facilitator of one or both of these
two wonderful disciplines.
The courses rely heavily on teaching
methodology and anatomy, giving students
the knowledge, skills and confidence to be
safe, blissed-out, qualified yoga and
Pilates teachers.
The joy of seeing you thrive, and your
students learn, is our first priority, says
Church. Our 20 years yoga practice, plus
master qualifications in both Pilates and
yoga, affords us expert insight, including
super movement modifications, providing
plenty of a-ha moments. And put quite
simply, when you have this, you have
students. Lots, and lots of students.

54

www.ommagazine.com

www.yoga4autism.org | 075360 88179


training@yoga4autism.com | david@yoga4autism.com

Its time to move OM


The boring stuff

In 2015, the OM Yoga Show together with the


The business of teaching yoga conference
will be held at Alexandra Palace

@ Alexandra Palace

Alexandra Palace Way, London, N22 7AY

The next level

Get

INTERACTIVE
The importance of teachers'
websites and online videos

hile studio time and


face-to-face contact
with your students is of
paramount importance,
an online presence
is inextricably interwoven with growing
your following and staying connected to
your community.
This means building an interactive
website with social media connectivity
and providing instructional online video
content. A studio website should not only
capture your branding, but also provide an
online space thats aesthetically pleasing,
easy to navigate, and displays all pertinent
information to clients. Remember: your
website is a digital reflection of you and
your studio.
Social media is another powerful tool, not

only to share information, but to interact


with your community outside of studio hours.
Again, the key to leveraging both effectively
(website and social media sites, like
Facebook) is to engage with your following
by sharing images, links to articles, and
status updates.
Creating a static page or site is no longer
enough. With hectic schedules, in-person
instruction between teacher and student is
not always an option, so online video content
is your way of connecting with students, near
and far. It enables you to bring your unique
practice to any individual with an internet
connection and a desire to practice, anytime.
Choose a service that gives you the proper
outlet for your unique content and reinforces
your brand, style, and price. StudioLiveTV,
for example, is a streaming service that

Social media is another powerful tool, not only


to share information, but to interact with your
community outside of studio hours
56

specialises in hosting and marketing yoga


videos. In addition to working with you to
build video functionality into your website,
it offers both production and postproduction services.
Heidi Sormaz, a yoga instructor and owner
of Fresh Yoga in the USA, used StudioLiveTV
to reinforce her local presence via the
internet. She took her studio online and
was able to maintain connection with her
in-studio population and forge new client
relationships with individuals such as doctors
on-call at all hours, students who have never
attended a class due to schedule constraints,
and men who were intimidated to try
yoga publicly.
StudioLiveTV provided the equipment,
cameras, automation, portal, and technical
support Somaz required to make it happen.
The business of online yoga is the frontier
for new studio growth, and vital to sustaining
a connection and engaging with both your
in-studio students and those who take
classes remotely via your streaming platform.

www.ommagazine.com

2015 TEACHER TRAINING | PRACTICE, LEARN, TEACH

We are a center of excellence for Yoga Teacher Training in London offering


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teachers and pediatric professionals to deliver Yoga as a therapeutic tool in
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teachertraining@specialyoga.org.uk | 0208 968 1900

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Integral Yoga 200 Hour, Basic Level with Rev. Padma Priya, Siva Stephan
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Yoga and Mindfulness for Children and Children with SN


Special Yoga for Special Children with Jo Manuel
Special Yoga for Special Children, Intermediate with Jo Manuel
Enchanted Wonders with Ayala Homossany
Teaching Yoga and Mindfulness to Children with Jo Manuel
Special Yoga and Mindfulness for Children and Young People
with Autism and ADHD with Jo Manuel

Yoga and Mindfulness for Teenagers and Adults


Teaching Yoga and Mindfulness to Teenagers with Veronika Kloucek
Mindfulness with Yoga for Youth with Behavioural Challenges
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Yoga for Adults with Special Needs with Richard Kravetz

Specialised courses
Gentle Yoga with Rev. Padma Priya
Pranayama and Meditation Immersion with Shri Shiva Shankar
Mantra, Bhanda and Mudra Immersion with Shri Shiva Shankar

Dont be
afraid of
FACEBOOK
How to use social media for your yoga business.
By Alessandra Pecorella

s a practitioner of nearly
three decades, I have
witnessed the evolution
of yoga in the West from
something local and isolated
to a global phenomenon. The international
yoga community seems to be growing
exponentially and todays technological
advancement has made it possible for us
to stay more connected, at least, virtually.
Facebook is todays virtual meeting point for
many communities - and the yoga community
is no exception. Social media tools make
for very versatile virtual communities, used

by groups of people to share or exchange


information and ideas. They can be used to
reach all kinds of audiences, small or large,
from just a few people to millions. Facebook,
probably the biggest and best known of
them all, is accessible to almost anybody
on the planet as long as they own a smart
phone, tablet or a computer. And there are
plenty of benefits to using it to reach out
to your yoga community. As a studio owner,
or a teacher, you can create a unique Page
that allows you to post content, create
events, adverts and even follows trends
on your page.

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The next level


Here are some of the benefits:

Cost: it is available at little or no cost.


Simplicity: it is relatively easy to use and
does not require any special skills; pretty
much anyone can upload content on
social media.
Communication: it allows for a virtual live
dialogue amongst participants and members
of the community. Members can also join a
conversation at a later stage and still engage
in the same conversation.
Content: this can be altered almost
instantaneously by comments or editing.
Its important not to be afraid of using
social media to promote your business.
Social interaction establishes the basis for
human society, therefore Facebook can be
considered a tool to facilitate this dialogue
and communication. It is a powerful tool for
self-expression that allows us to instantly
reach the collective and to inspire others.
For example, a healthy eating post could
trigger others to follow a better diet and eat
more nutritious food.
But Facebook also needs to be used with

Facebook is todays
virtual meeting point for
many communities - and
the yoga community is
no exception

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intelligence and awareness.


That means asking yourself a few
questions before pressing the send button:
How can we influence each other in
a positive way?
Is the content of my post
non-competitive
Is it going to encourage others rather
than make them feel inadequate?
By posting positive content, inspirational
quotes, maintaining integrity, by adopting a
non-competitive and non-aggressive attitude
towards our peers we are using Facebook for
the collective good. Self promotion needs to
be kept to a minimum as you reach out to
your audience.
Yes, we can still value human relationships
and close interpersonal contact over sitting
in front of a computer, but theres no denying
the power and reach of online social media
tools like Facebook. We are not yet capable
of being in multiple places at once but,
thanks to Facebook, we now have a means to
feel part of the whole rather than an isolated
component. So, until I see you next time in
person. Ill see you on Facebook.

Alessandra Pecorella (alessandrayoga.com) is


a Vinyasa Flow yoga teacher at Aditya Yoga
School (adityayogaschool.co.uk)

The retreats

BUSINESS
How to organise great
yoga retreats.
By Michelle King

Stage 1: Before getting started

Have a strong yoga practice


After you have trained as a yoga teacher
and started teaching, make sure that you
continue a regular practice. This is very
important when teaching on a retreat
because if you dont know the students who
come along, then you will need to be very
connected to yourself, your yoga practice
and how it feels in poses, to be able to
share this experience with others and
adapt accordingly.
Have at least two years experience
teaching at least six classes a week
As a yoga teacher, it's a huge responsibility
to run your own retreat and take on holding
the space for a number of people who you
may never have met, and dont know their
backgrounds. They may also all be of mixed
ability, which can be very challenging. The
classes may be longer than a normal class,
and you have a captive audience, and so you
can really take them on their yoga journey.
In order to do this it is useful to build up
your collection of great quotes, music play
lists, yoga philosophy knowledge, meditation
techniques, and asana adjustment
knowledge. It is also a great idea to have
been teaching workshops that last two
hours or more so that this material could be
transferred into a retreat scenario. If you feel
very confident that you have built up a strong
foundation in these areas, then you are ready
to run your own retreat.

It is a great idea to have


been teaching workshops
that last two hours or
more so that this material
could be transferred into
a retreat scenario
60

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The next level

Stage 2: Start creating


your retreat plan

Here are a few factors to consider


before you get started.
Where do you want to run your retreat?
Decision time. Where would you like to run
your first yoga retreat? In the UK, for a
weekend, or would you like to go to Europe,
or even further afield? Would you like to
hire a yoga retreat venue? Do you want to
run your own yoga retreats? You have a few
options here regarding the type of retreat
you create. For an easier option, you could
use an already established yoga retreat
centre, where they provide all the food and
structure and you provide the clients and
the teaching, or you could create your own
bespoke retreat. This is a lot harder, as this
is where different skill sets are needed, such
as marketing, finances to fund the retreat,
administration and lots of time.
What type of food do you want to eat?
If you are hiring a venue, they will have their
style of food, but if you are running your own
then you can decide.
What style of retreat would you like it
to be (for the serious yogi or for the
more relaxed yogi)?
This completely depends on you as a teacher
and your ethos about life, the universe and
everything. If you have a traditional yoga
outlook, then create a retreat setting that
lends itself to that. If you would like to create
a retreat that has a more relaxed vibe then
this is good too. With AdventureYogi we
wanted to create retreats where you can be
as active or relaxed as you like, so this is the
ethos we have.
Would you like to run it on your own or
with a colleague?
This again is completely up to you. It is nice
to work with a fellow yoga teacher but if you
prefer to work alone then this is the option
for you.
These are all very important initial factors
to consider when thinking about running a
retreat. Once you have decided on all the
above areas, then it's time to get the retreat
off the ground. Remember, if organising your
own retreat sounds daunting and hard work,
then there are options such as working as an
instructor for other yoga retreat companies
(such as AdventureYogi).

Michelle King is the managing director of


AdventureYogi (adventureyogi.com)

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61

Your own

yoga studio
It's the ultimate dream, but
opening your very own yoga
studio is a huge undertaking
and not for the faint-hearted

62

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63

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Your own yoga studio

Location

Train with...
Why train with...

LOCATION
Searching for the right premises: what to look for in
a potential studio space. By Louise Palmer-Masterton

amyoga have two locations. The


first is in Cambridge city centre,
but out of the pedestrianised
centre. It is in a very busy and
up and coming part of town,
very close to both residential properties,
and many well known Cambridge businesses.
It does not have its own parking, but has
proximity to inexpensive street parking. It is
close to the railway station. We have cycle
parking and parking for our staff. This space
has two studios of 25-30 mats.
Before we opened we screened all
attendees of our existing classes to see
how they travelled to class, and what they
considered important in a space. Car
parking was less important, with location
and teacher top of the list. Interestingly,
showers and changing space were also
considered unimportant.

Choose a space which


can easily provide a
studio big enough for
25+ mats
Our second location was quite different
in terms of its requirements. We needed a
second space to house our teacher training
school. As this attracts people mainly from
out of town car parking was important.
We also needed a bigger space to house
bigger workshops of 50+ people. We chose
a location in a well serviced village five miles
from Cambridge. Now this is no ordinary
village. It is very affluent, and is like a mini
town, with all the facilities from banks to
supermarkets and restaurants.
In this instance we were bringing people
in rather than relying on passing trade,
and it has worked perfectly. In fact, what
we have seen over time is a draw from the
surrounding area to the evening classes that
we run there. People living in the villages
around all gravitate to the centre because
of its good access and car parking.

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In summary, imagine your average client.


How do they travel and what do they do?
Then put your yoga studio on their path.
Make sure your spaces are big enough to
make money.
And finally, one thing we have found to
be crucially important at Camyoga is our
caf/breakout spaces. This is where the
community happens and it is so important
to how people feel in your space. Offerings
dont have to be complicated. Offer tea and
some snacks to buy, and invite your people
to come before and after class. This is what
your community will buy into and keep
coming back for.

Checklist

Here are my top three things to look for


when seeking a studio space:
Location
The single most important factor in
choosing a studio space is location. All too
often (for cost reasons) people choose
somewhere on an out of town industrial
estate, but this will generate far less footfall
than a central location so its a false
economy. Bite the bullet and go where your
people are.
Size of studios
Choose a space which can easily provide
a studio big enough for 25+ mats. Again,
all too often I see people with spaces you
can only fit 12 mats into. 12 attendees is the
number where classes will usually start to
make money for you.
Access
If your client base travels mostly by car,
proximity to car parking is important. If they
travel on foot or by bike then this matters
less. Screen your people. Ask them how they
travel to class.

By Louise Palmer-Masterton, Camyoga


(camyoga.co.uk)

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extensive online resources

druworldwide.com
( 0800 043 0046

Your own yoga studio

Yoga in

MOTION
A guide to creating top quality yoga video
content. By Ivn Torres

66

www.ommagazine.com

Your own yoga studio

t is not new to anyone that our society


is immersed in the audio-visual age.
Our day-to-day is bombarded by visual
and auditory stimuli from when we
have breakfast in front of a computer
until we set the alarm of our smartphone a
few minutes before going into the wonderful
world of dreams.
Gradually, movies, TV shows and music
videos have opened the doors to many
other types of video formats: corporate,
promotional, video-journalism, videoblogs, tutorials, online courses, video CVs,
videos for entertainment and even some
others of dubious taste. Factors such as
the Internet and its endless tools, or the
reduction of filming equipment costs, have
inevitably accelerated this transformation.
Almost everybody nowadays has an HD
camera on their smartphones. We are part
of a generation of potential videographers,
and the world of yoga, which is increasingly
global, is not immune to this radical
democratisation.

New options

Until recently, the relationship between


yoga and videos did not go far beyond
the production of medium/long length
didactic DVDs by any prestigious teacher.
This relationship now offers a much wider
range of possibilities. The DVD format is not
yet dead, but it is clear that there are other
more modern, efficient and economic ways,
resources and opportunities that could
be very productive and beneficial at many
different levels.
It is hard to imagine anyone buying a DVD
containing a five-minute tutorial with some
tips to improve our handstands. But no one
would be surprised if someone disburse
a small fee for a monthly subscription to
a website with a much broader content
of similar tutorials, or invest a bit of time
flipping through videos promoting the weekly
classes in a studio in London, a retreat in
Andaluca or a YTT in Mysore. The options
are endless. The real challenge is to attract
someone to spend a few minutes of their
busy day to watch your video until the end.

Flight to quality

Nowadays, no one doubts the importance


of a website for any business. And I suppose
no one doubts that the most appropriate
option when creating a website is to
commission the work to a web designer.
There is always the option of saving a few
pennies and look for a tutorial on Youtube,
but the consequences will probably not be
the most desirable.

www.ommagazine.com

However, I have observed that, of those


teachers who have decided to produce any
type of yoga video, many still prefer to ask
a friend to press the record button of their
digital camera. We have already mentioned
that nowadays almost everybody has a
camera in their pockets. The problem is that
many of them think that all they need to
know about a camera is how to press the
record button. Videomaking requires as much
preparation, experience and talent as a chef
requires to prepare a gourmet dish. It is not
enough to follow a recipe. You have to invest
a lot of time, effort and money in developing
an understanding and precision to enable
the creation of a technically and artistically
high quality work. And yet, there will always
exist the feeling that you could have
done much better.

It is hard to imagine
anyone buying a DVD
containing a five-minute
tutorial with some tips to
improve our handstands
Video essentials

Beyond the obvious importance of the


content (everything else is irrelevant if the
content is not interesting), or top quality
equipment, there are a few essential
elements that should never be ignored if one
finally opts for the unwise idea of saving a
few pennies. It would need another article to
dig deeply in this, but I will try to summarise
it in a few lines:

Beautiful images

We all feel inevitably drawn when something


beautiful appears before us. A video must
be beautiful, pleasant to our eyes. And a
beautiful video consists of beautiful images,

which, at the same time, consist of several


key aspects: composition, light, depth,
mise-en-scene, colours, textures. It is not just
about placing the camera in front of what we
want to shoot.

Dynamism

We cannot stop moving. It is a basic


requirement that we need to satisfy even
when we watch a video. However, too many
yoga videos consist of one static shot from
where we can see the teacher speaking
or practicing. Even during a filmed yoga
session, we may feel the need to change our
perspective and see in a close up a particular
part of the body while the teacher performs a
specific pose. Our brain needs the dynamism
of a perfectly orchestrated montage, and
this requires careful planning and precision
before, during and after the production,
where many factors, as the music we choose,
are involved.

What did you say?

Nothing is more annoying than the presence


of an unpleasant noise that we cannot get rid
of. If a teacher is advising us about a certain
pose, we seek to hear their words clearly, and
we do not want to feel distracted because
the camera's internal microphone also
recorded a disturbing hum, or because street
cars seem to be driving inside the same
studio where the teacher is speaking.
In the era of the screens, motion
images are the kings of communication.
And as kings, they can accomplish great
achievements. But one rarely gets to be a
king without previously passing through other
functions. In the same way that one does not
become a yoga teacher just by getting on
top of a yoga mat.

By Ivan Torres, Yoga Alliance UK


(yogaalliance.co.uk)

67

SEASONS GREETINGS

When youre running a yoga studio, think seasonality. By Louise Palmer-Masteron

recall our first Christmas at Camyoga.


It was two months after we opened
and, compared to the fantastic
busyness of the first two months, it
was like the Mary Celeste. Of course,
is was short lived and we were back to happy
days in January, but it is wise to plan for
this. In fact, over time, our business has
become less susceptible to fluctuations,
so here are some tried and tested tips for
managing any seasonal dips:
n D
o be creative and offer additional
purchase items at traditionally quieter
times (for example, for Christmas gifts
and other retail items, plan ahead and
get stocked up in November).
n 
Do fill your studios with other activities
in summer. We run residential trainings

68

during July and August.


n D
o focus your marketing ahead of
time. In December, generate sales for
January; in August, generate sales for
September. We do this via hard-to-resist
special offers.
n 
Do focus your marketing on educating
your clients that yoga is a year-round
activity. Put on special fun classes during
traditionally quieter times.
n 
Do reduce your offerings if your studio
gets quieter, do not delay in doing this.
Your clients may moan a little but you
can bring the classes back later. Keep
your clients well informed.
n D
o believe that as your business grows
and numbers increase overall, you will be
less susceptible to seasonality.
n D
o try not to be a self-fulfilling prophecy

(i.e. if you believe your business will be


quiet in August, then it probably will be).
Be creative rather than succumb to this.

3 secrets to studio success:


1 Get your clients empowered to buy
everything online, from a drop-in class to a
membership. You will make more sales and it
will be less taxing on your staff time.
2 Have a dedicated sales person, and focus a
lot of time on marketing and customer care.
3 Fun, Fun, Fun: enjoy what you do, and
enjoy being with your staff. Love them, as
they love your business.

Louise Palmer-Masterton is the founder of


Camyoga (camyoga.co.uk)

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Your own yoga studio

MY STORY

Serving the
Community
Pursuing the cycle of success on planet
yoga by Guru Dharam Khalsa

began practicing Kundalini yoga


in 1979. From the first class I was
impressed with its formidable capacity
to assist people become healthier,
more focused, more productive and
clearer. And so I began teaching.
In those days yoga was little known,
underground, and elicited jokes about
sandals and lentils. Now it is a global billion
dollar business, except it is not. By that I
mean yoga cannot be approached as just
another business. Its essential a yoga teacher
is business-like in their dealings but its also
essential that prospective teachers recognise
it as a vocation and a calling to serve.

I strongly recommend
that you teach to serve a
need in your community
rather than to inflate your
own ego.
I began teaching in the front room of my
pre-trendy Islington flat. Word spread and the
number of people grew and the number of
classes expanded, so I sought larger premises.
I taught beginners and intermediate
yoga classes, presented themed workshops
(Chakras, the Ten Bodies, Inner Calmness,
Therapeutic Yoga for Insomnia, Depression,
Men's Yoga, Women's Yoga), retreats and
yoga holidays.
As yoga became more popular, I cofounded i-SKY.net (with Darryl O'Keeffe)
and began training Londoners to become
yoga teachers. i-SKY now run courses in a
dozen countries: 200 hour and 500 hour
yoga training; various specialist trainings and
Kundalini Yoga Therapy Training in Stockholm,
New York, Los Angeles and Mexico City.
We dont advertise much offering a
good service is the best promotion and the
business has grown organically as graduates
established their own centres and invited
us to present a course, often training to
become a teacher trainer themselves, and
always engaging in our ongoing personal
PSG (Professional Supervision & Spiritual
Guidance) programme.
Capitalising on the changing organic growth
rates of the yoga scene, while diversifying
into specialist courses, has led to steady and
consistent growth of our business. In yogic
terminology this is called 'Pursuing the Cycle
of Success'. I strongly recommend that you
teach to serve a need in your community
rather than to inflate your own ego.

For details of Guru Dharams masterclasses


and personal consultations visit: i-sky.net

70

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Your own yoga studio

MY STORY

Living my
dharma
Starting her yoga business after her divorce,
has now turned her passion into a pension

ith my divorce
settlement, I converted
my garage into a yoga
studio, I fitted classes
around school runs and
bedtimes. We were off!
Slowly, teaching yoga became therapy
for my broken heart and the expression of
the change in my life. The classes grew, and
my new partner shared the teaching. At the
weekends my kids went to their dad, and
I felt lonely. So I invited students into my
home and my heart, running retreats. I also
gathered Sivananda teachers for monthly
satsanga at my home. Gradually, it became a
sort of ashram.
As my kids went to school, I wanted to
get more involved, so I offered yoga there. I
ended up teaching in other schools. I loved
the challenge of teaching kids who needed
yoga so badly and yet were so resistant to it,
just as I had been in the beginning. In time, I
started to use my experience to help other
teachers begin to teach teens.
Then, this year, with a partner, we began
a fully accredited 200-hour yoga teacher
training course.
Since 2004, what began as a passion for
yoga, has evolved into a diversified business,
including a yoga studio, retreats and teacher
training, that is successful enough to allow
me a pension plan.
But, above all, it remains my passion. Like
any journey, some things were planned while
others were serendipitous. But along the way
I have noticed several things that it may be
helpful to share.
n
n
n

M
y daily meditation practice has been
the central source of insights
Ihave always followed my dharma,
and my bliss
I advertised extensively, and carefully.

Though word of mouth was important,
well-planned marketing was key
At the start, another source of income is

very useful

I also noticed that my dharma evolved over


the years. I needed to be absolutely aware of
the subtle voice inside me during meditation
to guide me like a light. The journey has
been exciting and has always felt absolutely
right. I always knew I was blessed with a very
special dharma and I have always been so
grateful for the yoga in my life, both teaching
and practicing.

Charlotta Martinus is the creator of


Teen Yoga (teenyoga.co.uk)

72

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We have helped many Hot Yoga teachers set up their own


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involve movement analysis and 3-D work involving the use of props, illustrations and hands-on work in class to help
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DI

Your own yoga studio

STUDIO FINANC$

The financial dos of studio ownership. By Louise Palmer-Masteron

e hear a lot about


location, studio size,
marketing, vision and
how to build a good
business, but very little
about the nitty gritty of staying afloat.
So here are some things to help you along
the way.
l C
ash flow is the biggest challenge for
any business and yoga businesses are
no exception. On the one hand we do
receive much of our money in advance,
on the other, seasonality means that
income is not at the same level each
month of the year (January is whey hey,
August can be eek help!).
l D
o try and negotiate with all your service
providers (rent, rates etc) to pay everything
monthly. This is unusual certainly for rent
which is usually paid quarterly, but most
landlords will be open to this, particularly if
you ask right at the start.
l D
o work with a merchant account and
card processing company who pays you
daily and without a high rolling reserve

www.ommagazine.com

(this means they withhold a percentage


of your money, sometimes for up to six
months this can really add up).
l D
o analyse the profitability of everything.
And I mean everything. Every class,
every workshop, and every aspect of
the business. Focus on those bits that
are more profitable. Do try not to be
dependent on any service provider. Keep
your options open, and dont be afraid
to change. Its your business; try not to
have all your eggs in one basket. If
your service providers break you are
dependent on these people. Have a
contingency in place. Look ahead. Always.
l Do
 hope for the best, but plan for the
worst. VAT, rates, PAYE processing fees,
staffing costs, overheads. These are high
for a yoga studio. And given that almost
no expenses are VAT deductible (most
studio expenses are manpower which
dont include VAT) 20% of everything
you earn will go to VAT. Add to that card
processing fees: anything from 1.5-3%
and you are really only earning 75% of
what you receive.

l D
o have a separate account and put
the VAT money in there for each income
received. Do this religiously.
l D
o challenge your rates and see if you
can get a deduction. There are a number
of agencies that will do this for you.
l D
o research in advance the going rate
for staff and teachers to ensure you all
get a good deal. Its easy to increase pay
but very hard to cut pay. Give your staff
perks (such as free membership) that
count for a lot in kind but costs
you nothing.
l Do
 shop around for everything.
Everything from researching cheaper
gas and electric to cheaper studio
management software and merchant
accounts.

Louise Palmer-Masterton is the founder


of Camyoga (camyoga.co.uk)

75

Hit the

big time
If you've followed our blueprint for
success then you're ready for the big
leagues. Be a yoga teacher to the stars,
write your autobiography, sit back and
relax in paradise. Congratulations,
you've made it

76

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77

Hit the big time

Find your

NICHE
Not all successful yogis are
working in the teaching business

ome teachers and students live their dream by


creating a related business that is aligned with
their yoga principles, supporting good causes
abroad and jobs at home. Here are a few shining
stars in the contemporary yoga business world.

Clothing: Wellicious

London-based lifestyle brand Wellicious was founded by


entrepreneur and passionate yogista Heike Schnell in
2007. Graceful and effortlessly cool, the online boutique
sells beautiful eco-friendly yoga and Pilates wear to
customers around the world. In true yogic fashion, its
work also support a childrens charity project in Peru.
Famous fans include actress Gwyneth Paltrow and star
yoga teachers like Tara Lee and Katy Appleton.

Retail: Yoga United

Be bright. Be Fair. Be YU: these are the inspiring and


ethical principles behind online retailer Yoga United (YU).
The company sells all kinds of cool yoga kit, from clothing
and mats, to books, bags and props; it even runs yoga
holidays abroad. As well as customer retail, YU offers
wholesale to yoga studios and other businesses, and
theres a section on the website for yoga gift ideas if
youre stuck for Christmas. A one stop shop for all your
yoga goodie needs.

Studio equipment:
Humidity Systems

Dont sweat the small stuff, leave it all to the experts. With
the rise in popularity of hot yoga, Surrey-based Humidity
Systems is in the right place at the right time. Since 2008,
it has provided humidification or heating solutions to over
50 studios throughout the UK and Europe. Its purposedesigned Vesuvius studio heating, filtration and humidity
system is easy to install and meets all climatic needs for a
hot yoga or Bikram studio.

The intelligent way to exercise

Movement is our prayer,


our eternal prayer
Encompassing the principles of pilates, the breath work practices
of yoga, and the athleticism of dance, the Garuda Matwork and
Garuda Apparatus workshops are unique in their versatility,
flexibility and precision of movement.
A very professionally presented workshop delivered by a tutor
who is extremely knowledgeable and experienced in this area. The
reinforcement of learning and feedback methods were exemplary and
should be commended. - Register of Exercise Professionals
For further information on:
Garuda Matwork

Garuda Apparatus

Garuda workshops and courses


Garuda studio classes

Garuda instructional DVDs


Visit us at: thegaruda.net

The Garuda Studio, 26-28 Finchley Road, St. Johns Wood, London NW8 6ES | +44 (0)207 483 4644 | www.thegaruda.net | info@thegaruda.net

www.ommagazine.com

Hit the big time

MY STORY

RAINBOW

Children

Gopala Amir Yaffa, the founder of Rainbow Kids


Yoga, says his business is all about having fun
and bringing colour into our lives

Learn to Teach
Kids Yoga!
3-DAY KIDS YOGA
TEACHER TRAINING
Monk or not, grown-ups
always seemed way to
serious to me.

80

Upcoming Trainings

y first insight into yoga was


through my music practice.
I went to a music high
school, and at the age of
13 my guitar teacher was
the first to introduce me to meditation as a
way to prepare myself before concerts. Music
itself was always very meditative for me, but
I totally took on the practice of meditation
from the first day I learnt it and did not miss
even one day of it for over 15 years that
is, until I had kids ( I now have four) and
had to make some major adjustments to
my practice.
I started teaching kids yoga even before
I taught yoga for adults. I replaced the local
yoga centres teacher in a childrens yoga
class when he was sick and continued it from
then. I was 16 years old at the time.
I was a monk for 10 years at the Sivananda
ashram, but even there I have always been
the person who made sure that everyone was
happy and yes, not only through meditation,
but also through having some fun.
Monk or not, grown-ups always seemed
way to serious to me. Spirituality is about
being happy and enjoying the moment and
enjoying yourself. But grown-ups get caught
up in the details and the rules and they forget
to just be.
After leaving the ashram I had a couple
of yoga centres and then I founded Rainbow
Kids Yoga (rainbowkidsyoga.net) in 2007 after
I lost a baby girl at five months in utero. It was
a difficult and transformative experience for
me and it was then that I decided to dedicate
my whole being to kids yoga.
Rainbow Kids Yoga has almost doubled
itself every year and we have now trained
about 5,000 yoga teachers in almost every
country in the world.
We owe a lot of our success to our
amazing team of trainers who now teach for
us on all five continents. And did I mention my
beautiful wife Angel who co-directs Rainbow
Kids Yoga with me? I could not have done it
without her.
Our office team is pretty awesome too;
they kept the business running and growing
while Angel had cancer last year and we had
to retreat for a while to heal. Rainbow Kids
Yoga is about living life to its fullest, learning
and experiencing life through fun.
Rainbows are bright, colourful, happy, and
fun. They are a sign of peace, a sign of hope
and a sign of change. We all need peace
and hope and change, grown-ups are rigid;
children are faster to change. We really have
a lot to learn from kids, moving from a cloudy
sky to a bright and sunny one.

www.ommagazine.com

DHU 14/05/2014 10:27 Page 1

BECOME A RELAXATION TEACHER


OR JUST LEARN TO RELAX YOURSELF

THE ART OF
FINDING STILLNESS AND CALM

Birthlight Teacher Training

Relaxation and Daily Mindfulness Workshop


A unique one day certificated teachers workshop
with Lama Shri Sadhu Dharmavira
(teaching since 1969)
This unique workshop contains all the
relaxation techniques that you will ever
need, whatever life throws at you!
This course was created for those who
wish to teach others to be stress free. But,
anyone who would like to attend for their
own personal wellbeing, is very welcome.

Booking now for workshops in London and York


To ensure quality teaching, the workshop
is limited to a maximum of 8 participants
For full details about the workshop and its benefits,
please telephone: 01723 862 496
(calls taken between 8am 6pm, Monday-Saturday)

3 -SADHU
Day Yoga for Kids
Foundation Years
Certified Teacher Training

Training Dates
Glasgow
N.Ireland
Jersey, UK
Ireland
For further information see

LittleGreeneYoga.com

Birthlight offers
unique continuity of care
from conception to the third year with simple
yoga practices both on dry land and in water.
Birthlight provides training in the following areas:
Fertility Yoga, Pregnancy and Postnatal Yoga,
Nurturing Baby Massage, Baby Yoga, Toddler Yoga,
Baby Swimming, Aqua Yoga, Well Woman Yoga.
www.birthlight.com

Birthlight contact details:


Email: enquiries@birthlight.com Tel: 01223 362288

Hit the big time

MY STORY

Fierce grace

The pioneer of hot yoga in the UK,


Michele Pernetta explains how she did it

After 15 years teaching


in the studios, I had grown as a
teacher and the students in our
classes were more experienced

82

took up yoga as a way to heal my


knees after I was told I needed knee
surgery. I was a fashion designer
living in LA and so took up yoga with
Bikram. My knees improved so much
after 18 months I had 90% mobility back.
When I moved back to London, Bikram told
me to open a studio and teach, but I was
not interested, as my fashion design career
was all I had ever been interested in. I did,
however, want to carry on practicing and I
did want other people to know that surgery
wasnt always the answer.
After practising at my house with my
husband, friends started coming, then their
friends, and then their friends friends. Soon
I had to hire a room once a week, then twice
and then three times a week. After six years,
I opened a small studio in London (NW5)
just to put it all in one place, get some real
heat and a shower or two. And thats how it
started. No one had heard of Hot Yoga at
that time and people thought I was mad.
They would come in and immediately start
huffing and puffing and opening the windows
saying ooh its too hot in here, lets get the
windows open. Soon enough we were packed
and I opened a second studio, and then a
third, and a fourth.
After 15 years teaching in the studios, I
had grown as a teacher and the students in
our classes were more experienced. I had
been developing my five class system, Fierce
Grace, an interconnected series of classes,
that I felt addressed a wider range of needs,
energy levels, and ways of working. After
years of development, I launched Fierce
Grace in November 2013 and switched all
four studios (over 250,000 students and 50
teachers) to the new system.
It was a huge risk and I was prepared
to fail. I would have lost my house, my
businesses and my reputation, but I tend
to be very stubborn once Ive made up my
mind. Im like a terminator, I wont give up.
So I risked it all and did it. I barely slept for
a year I was so worried. So far I have been
overwhelmed with the support and feedback I
have had. I also launched my teacher training
programme. With the rise in yogas popularity
it is imperative teachers are trained properly.
Training teachers is so rewarding, for
every good teacher, thousands of people
will benefit.
You have to be passionate about peoples
health and wellbeing to do this. You cant
do it for the money, its a hard business and
tough to make it work, but there arent many
better jobs than this.
Find out more at: fiercegrace.com

www.ommagazine.com

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83

PREGNANCY | MUM & BABY | FERTILITY


YOGA TEACHER TRAINING

Get started

TODAY!
Take advantage of our exclusive Om Yoga Offer 25% of all our courses by
using the discount code: OM25OFFER - Valid up until November 15th 2014

Always wanted to teach Pregnancy, Postnatal Mum & Baby or


Fertility yoga? Yoga Gro offer a range of flexible, accredited and
insurable training options including online courses, workshops and
intensive teacher training.
Doing the postnatal mum & baby yoga online yoga course has been
a fulfilling and rewarding experience in ways that I could not have
anticipated or expected from a distance-learning course....
We are the only Online Pregnancy, Postnatal, Mum & Baby
Yoga and Fertility Yoga Teacher Training based in the UK.

Established in 2005
there are now over 200 graduates worldwide.
www.yogagro.com