Yoga at the Office: How To Teach Corporate Yoga Classes
The term corporate yoga generally refers to classes that take place the workplace. As a yoga teacher, building your corporate client base is a really good way to create a stable business with a steady income. It’s also lots of fun - providing an opportunity to teach the same group of people every week, and get to know them well, so you can tailor each class to suit them.
For new yoga teachers, breaking into the world of corporate yoga can seem like a bit of a mystery. Don’t give up! Although it might take some time to establish your student base, it’ll be well worth the effort.
Benefits Of Teaching Corporate Yoga
Corporate yoga classes are often the best-paid of all yoga teaching jobs, and most clients will book you weekly over a long period of time. This is really important. New yoga teachers often find themselves working for very little money, but establishing strong relationships with clients that respect your work, and will pay appropriately for it, will mean that you can be more picky about your teaching schedule and reduce the chance of burn out.
But stable income isn’t the only upside of teaching corporate yoga. It’s hugely satisfying to teach a group of students every week over a number of months, or years. You get to see their progress and build a relationship with them which will allow you to understand their intentions, fears, and potential.
Then, you can create classes that they’ll really love.
You can also use your corporate classes to try out ideas for other classes or workshops - from integrating new postures into your teaching, to experimenting with ‘course themes’ that flow through the classes over a few weeks. The fact that you know the students well means that they’ll be open to trying out new things with you, and give you feedback if you ask for it.
And you’ll also get to have a sneak peek into interesting buildings and companies that you might never have known existed if you didn’t teach yoga. Corporate classes aren’t always in office blocks. You could find yourself teaching in museums or art galleries; in restaurants or cafes; in bookshops or theatres. I once taught a corporate class on a boat!
How To Find Corporate Clients And Organise Classes?
It takes time to build corporate yoga teaching work. The best place to start is with your own contacts. If you’ve worked in corporate roles before, and have a good relationship with your old employers or colleagues, get in touch and tell them that you’re teaching yoga and that you’d love to offer a class at their office.
Extend this to your friends, too; even small companies are often interested in providing health benefits such as at-work yoga classes to their employees. If you have a friend who loves yoga and wants to start a class at their workplace, they might be your way in.
You might also try contacting businesses at which you don’t have any contacts and offering your teaching services. Draft a well thought out, personal email which explains why you’re contacting them specifically and what you can offer. Explain the benefits of yoga at work - it’s good for creativity and productivity! And then make a list of organisations that you’d like to teach at, and get in touch. It’s good practice to give them a call before you send the email to ask if it might be of interest to them - if they say yes on the phone, they’ll be more likely to read your email.
When you’ve found your first client, you’ll need to agree the rate and arrangements with them. Make sure you think about:
How much to charge. This will be dependent on where you are, and how much experience you have; for example, you’d charge more in a big city than you would in a town, etc. Do your research and make sure that your rates are in line with other teachers in the area.
Whether you’ll provide mats and props, or whether the company will buy them, or class attendees will bring their own.
How you’ll organise the bookings and payments - it’s always a good idea to ask companies to book in blocks of 6-10 weeks and pay for the whole block in advance. A good online booking system like Momoyoga can do all of this for you, so it’s well worth considering.
What happens when you or the client needs to cancel a class at short notice.
And How To Teach Corporate Classes?
The fun part! Teaching corporate classes is much like teaching any other class, except that you have the opportunity to tailor the classes to the students. As you get to know them, you can introduce concepts, postures or flows that you know they’ll be interested in or that you know they’ll benefit from.
Before you start teaching for a new corporate client, have a chat with them so that you understand what they want from your classes. Perhaps they want to focus on calm, slow movement and meditation to help employees relax. Or perhaps the class attendees want to fit a strong physical workout into their day. Or they might have a specific goal, depending on the type of work that they’re doing throughout the rest of the day - like improving posture, or preventing back pain.
The first class is a chance to get to know the students. Make it simple, and include postures that allow you to get a sense of their physical strength, flexibility and confidence. Make yourself available at the end of the session for them to ask any questions they might have, or tell you if there’s anything that they personally would like to get out of the classes. And then go from there!
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