Summertime is often a lull for yoga classes. It can be frustrating when you are used to a full class and then all of a sudden your numbers drop sometimes drastically.
Some people take it personally but they really shouldn’t. Its not you, its the nice weather and the fact that kids are on summer break so many families take vacations or pursue family activities. I don’t blame the clients. When it is nice outside that is definitely where I want to be especially after a long spell of crappy weather. Also, many stay at home parents who usually attend daytime classes when their kids are at school don’t have access to daycare during the summer.
My studio and the classes that I teach throughout town are no different. I have had the fluctuations in my classes also.
To combat that, my studio has taken many opportunities to take our yoga classes outside. Here are some of the things we have done that have worked in our favor. First of all, we’ve made our outside classes donations. People seem to like the donation concept. Two outdoor donation projects we have done are a series of classes called Yoga in the Park and Yoga Takes a Hike.
Our Yoga in the Park is always at the same park and at the same time (early lunch time). We picked several dates during the summer, all for the most part on a Saturday. Our flows are family friendly so the whole family can participate. We then had our city’s newspaper publish our dates (we had to plan ahead). Also, be advised that you may have to pay a fee to the city or county to legally do this.
For Yoga Takes a Hike, we host our hikes once a month on a Saturday morning before it gets to hot. All hikes are easy, family friendly, and dog friendly. Here in Colorado, there are a ton of trails but keeping the hikes easy seems to be the best approach. We do light yoga stretches before we hit the trail, allow people to strike a pose at scenic vistas, and a light yoga practice at the summit. Overall, it is mostly a hike with a little yoga flavor. Again, check to see if there is a fee or registration in order to do this legally.
Another thing we have done is join forces with other studios to put together a community event called Yoga Rocks the Park. (Event cost $15 at the gate). With this even, five studios joined together. We all advertised. We each took a turn to be the host studio which leads a 75 minute class. When you aren’t the host studio, you could be part of the vendor lineup which we definitely jumped on. Our Yoga Rocks the Park seems to be catching on and has been a great opportunity for us to grab a few new clients. We have two more dates coming up.
Finally, we have hosted a series of classes called Kids Artistic Asana. We have hosted these once a month on a Sunday afternoon. These classes consist of an hour of Kids Yoga and then an hour with a specified art/craft project. Our Kids Artistic Asana costs though. For $35 dollars, they get to do yoga and an art project. The studio purchases everything they need so essentially all the kid needs to do is show up and have fun. Based on what parents are telling us, the kids seem to look forward to it and it gives them something to do during the summer.
Another approach that we found successful is to host a national training program. When we host, we get a percentage of the program proceeds and trainees often make purchases in our studio boutique plus it brings folks into the studio who may not have known about you.
So those are our strategies that keep the clients coming in during the summer. We still have our other programs and classes in place but we have slightly reduced the number of classes we have on our schedule. This limits how much we have to pay our instructors and it gives them an opportunity to take their vacations as well.
All in all, summertime doesn’t have to be a dreaded time for studios and instructors, you just have to get creative and explore opportunities outside. My studio partner and I are already thinking about next summer. We know we will pursue these five activities again next year. We are also exploring doing a little Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga. We currently have indoor SUP boards classes that we teach. This might be fun.