Yoga Teacher Talk: How to Create Community In-Studio + Online
Okay yoga teachers, health leaders, and movement makers – this post is for you.
After three years of creating an online community + participating in my local yoga studio community, I have a thing or two to say. Actually, let’s be honest, I have wayyyyy more than two things to say (as expected).
Here’s the deal.
The health landscape is bursting at the seams, experiencing epic growth and creating communities both in-person and online ALL OVER the world. And as people who want to live our journey, we’re intrigued, we want in, we want to participate.
And we also want to lead the movement.
Am I right?
Or maybe you’re not all about that word “lead”, but you are all about sharing the journey of health, connection and movement. Either way, creating a successful career via the health industry (sans a degree of some sort) is hella tough.
Like so hella tough.
But, if there’s one thing I can share from creating an online community of over 85,000+ people, it’s one word.
At the heart of everything we do, health or not health related, we want to connect with ourselves + others. It’s actually a simple concept, but one that’s quite hard to create. And that’s where I come into this equation.
I’m here to dish out my secrets, what’s worked and hasn’t worked, and what I see + experience within my local yoga community…. in hopes that it helps inspire your personal journey to teach and lead.
So get ready.
This one’s a long one.
Maybe do a yoga stretch or two, then let’s dive in & learn how to create community both in the studio + online.
Create a Mantra/Tagline
This how to create a community tip might seem unnecessary, but hear me out.
People want to know what you’re all about, what you stand for, the vibes you give off, the energy you’re bringing to the table. The easiest way to do this is a simple tagline or mantra that brands you as a yoga teacher/health leader.
Here’s a few examples.
- The Journey Junkie – oh hey, that’s me.
- Tagline – yoga + life inspiration community that encourages intention setting, false belief breaking & dream making
- Mantra – Live Your Journey
- The Body Electric Yoga Company – my local studio
- Tagline/mantra – Keep Yoga Weird
- Talia Sutra – well-known Instagram yoga teacher
- Tagline/mantra – Love and All is Coming
Okay great. Examples given.
But what if you’re not an Instafamous yogi, a studio owner, or an online yoga teacher…. what’s the point and how do you share this mantra/tagline to help create community?
Start weaving it into your teaching language. I like to use these words while centering a class, while kicking my student’s butts for encouragement, and at the end as a way to seal the practice.
The options of how to weave are endless, but do weave.
Now, how to create this mantra/tagline.
- Take a moment to write down what you stand for, how you want to make people feel, and how you want to feel
- Write down pages on pages, one word lines, or simple sentences – just write
- Then formulate your mantra/tagline
You got this babe, go for it. Let me know in the comments what you create!
Oh baby, the power of an email address.
As a girl who holds a degree in marketing + teaches yoga, let me tell ya….
Email is King
It’s the one way to build a community that’s yours. Not owned by a social media platform. Not subject to an algorithm change. Not subject to disappearing altogether.
The emails are yours. And it’s awesome.
So how do you collect these emails + what the hell should you do with them?
1. Old School Way
Yes, you can still collect emails via paper + pencil in your yoga classes, totally cool. But do keep in mind you’ll need to manually type these emails into a list or email service provider… aka it’s a mega pain in the ass.
If you’re down for the pain in the ass ish, display a clipboard + paper + pencil in the studio, and make an announcement both before and after class to please join your community.
Boom. Emails in your hands.
2. Email Service Provider
Okay, down the techy rabbit hole we go, don’t get nervous, you can do this.
If you have a website, which I highly recommend if you’re trying to do this yoga + wellness thing for a living, you’ll also need an email service provider (ESP).
An ESP is a program that stores your collected email addresses + gives you the ability to communicate with your community. It’s the bomb dot com. And the number one way I’ve grown my online community.
I recommend Convertkit, hands down.
I dabbled in Mailchimp for a while, but the capabilities are super lacking once your list starts to grow. So for time’s sake and a learning curve, I recommend learning the ins + outs of one system.
That system being, Convertkit.
Whether you teach in a studio or online, you can easily direct students to your website where an email form will be patiently away them. It’s truly a win-win for all yoga teachers + wellness leaders.
And if you’re 100% new to creating a website, here’s a quick tutorial – How to Start a Blog.
Okay, collecting emails understood.
But now what in the world do you send to these precious emails? Below are a few ideas:
- In-studio happenings: workshops, retreats, schedule changes
- Inspiration: wellness articles, free online tutorials, podcast episodes, healthy recipes, favorite yoga products
- Single teacher happenings: same as in-studio
- Yoga practice tips/tutorials – a pose breakdown, a sequence for bedtime, meditation technique
Do Yoga Challenges
People LOVE challenges, like insanely love them.
There’ something magically motivating about using the word challenge, creating a step-by-step experience, and gifting it to others. And the beauty of a challenge, it works both in-studio and online – how epic is that!
One of my past yoga studios hosts a 30 Day New Year Challenge. A poster goes up in the studio, you check off each day, and at the end – the studio owner gives away a fun prize like free yoga clothes, one month membership free, or a mix of the two.
And if you’re online, challenges are an EPIC opportunity to create trust, purpose and again –
To get inspired, check out my challenges under “free yoga programs” in the menu bar. Also, start noticing other health leaders who host free challenges, sign up to learn their strategies, participate – then create your own!
Do Social Media
Yup, social media is mandatory. It is what it is.
A few of my favorite strategies + what other people do:
- Hashtags like #thejjcommunity to keep tabs on your community + interact
- Facebook events to promote both in-studio and online workshops, retreats or challenges
- Private Facebook group to create a sacred support space, this allows people to talk to one another, not just you talk at them
If you need social media inspo, join or follow my social channels below.
Instagram – @thejourneyjunkie
Facebook – The Journey Junkie
Group – Live Your Journey Community
Collaborate with Others
And last on the list to create community is another buzz word – Collaborate.
While it’s great to be an epic entrepreneur and lead your own tribe, it’s also equally great to collaborate with like-minded individuals who can help elevate your business, way of thinking, and personal skill sets.
Here’s a few ideas to spark your collaboration train:
Partner with local businesses like breweries, juice shops, well-known yoga companies like luluelmon, paddleboard companies if near the water, coffe shops, and even clothing shops.
The beauty of these partnerships is bringing your yoga community outside the yoga studio, creating a greater sense of connection, and promoting the business that you’re practicing within.
To use my local yoga studio as an example, they host all of the below collaborative events:
- 3x monthly at a local brewery featuring live musicians in the community – people obvi stay and enjoy a beer or two afterwards
- yoga poolside at a nearby hotel that has bottomless brunch + a pool to dive into after yogis bend + breathe
- paddleboard yoga 2x a week
- 1x a week at a local coffee shop
I mean. Whoa. All of these events are epic. What yogi wouldn’t want to join in.
….. and the beauty of it all is that both businesses are flourishing by partnering!
But, what if you’re completely online? How do you partner with a damn brewery?
Well, you don’t (altho it’s not off the table forever).
Instead, you find other online teachers or online wellness site to collaborate with, share your knowledge, and each other’s followings. Here’s a few ideas on how to do just that:
- host a challenge together – less work, more exposure, and instant community created
- host an Instagram photo challenge with another yogi
- write for yoga/wellness site like Yogi Approved or Mind Body Green
- collaborate with others on a blog post series
- co-host a yoga/wellness retreat
Alright fearless wellness leaders, that’s a lot of information on how to create a
Choose one thing to get started. Work towards the next thing. Put one foot in front of the other. And continue to grow both yourself and your community all at the same time.
You can do this!
Let’s Talk – Was this article helpful for you? Did it inspire new ideas to create community? Do you want more information like this?
As always – drop your comments, suggestions, questions and general yoga community thoughts below.
Until next time, xoxo.
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