While getting lost in your individual yoga practice is a great way to move, yoga classes can also be an excellent place to build community and expand your network. Building a culture within your studio can be a big part of your brand and help you grow your fitness community. Whether you are new to teaching yoga or are simply looking for some new ways to enhance your group fitness classes, here are some easy ways to build community in your yoga classes.
Why Build Community in Yoga Classes?
While some people love yoga for the benefits it offers on an individual level, building community in yoga classes can add a new dimension to your practice. Cody Coach Mackenzie Miller believes that building community is one of the most important aspects of teaching yoga:
“The idea of connection comes from the root of the word yoga is ‘yuj’ which means to join or to yoke,” she said. “I interpret this to mean ‘bring together.’ The practice of yoga has deepened my connection to myself. Through that relationship getting stronger, I am more capable of connecting with those around me. I am better able to connect with anyone and everyone.”
Building community in yoga classes can also motivate students to keep coming back. This type of culture building can both help your students get more out of classes and benefit your business.
Four Ways to Build Community in Yoga Classes
Now you know a few benefits of building community in your classes. But, how do you get started? Here are a few ideas on how to create community, from coaches who make an effort to build community in their group fitness classes.
Building community in your yoga classes can be as simple as starting with brief introductions. While you probably do not want to take up too much class time talking, starting classes with introductions is one of the techniques MacKenzie Miller uses to build community in her classes. She also often invites her students to share things such as events and activities they are looking forward to and goals for the class: this can help generate future conversation.
Partner exercises can be a great, in-depth method of creating community in your classes. Incorporating some basic (or more advanced) partner exercises into your yoga classes can get your students interacting and working together.
“Partner exercises help build community because people then are required to introduce themselves to others and get chatting,” said Christine Tsai, a Corepower Yoga instructor in Honolulu. “Without partner exercises, people tend to stay in their own zone in class – which is totally great too, depending on what you are going for.”
Tsai explained intensive programs such as bootcamps, class series and other groups of yoga classes are another way to build community in yoga classes. Bundled classes rather than one-time sessions can help build community because the same people come back throughout the duration of the program. Students will have the chance to get to know each other throughout these programs and build a community with which they can learn and grow.
Leverage Social Media
Using social media and digital platforms, MacKenzie Miller said, is another way she helps her students engage with each other. Whether she is posting photos, thoughts, blogs or anything else on social media, she encourages students to engage online in hopes of carrying those conversations into the studio.
“There is only so much dialogue you can have during class,” she said. “ When you post your writing or opinions on social media, it allows the student to engage and interact. This can help build your relationship in the yoga classroom too.”
At Cody, we believe in building yoga communities everywhere so students’ practice can thrive and grow. To keep up with the latest from Cody, keep in touch on social media!