Yoga is not just about exercise; it is a way to discover the sense of oneness with yourself, the world and the nature.— Narendra Modi, UN General Assembly
International Day of Yoga (Yoga Day) is celebrated June 21, since its formal recognition by the United Nations in 2015. June 21 marks the first official day of summer. As the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, this date holds spiritual significance in many cultures.
Yoga Isn’t a Fad, it’s a Tradition
Many people only know yoga as a recent fitness trend. But the practice dates back over 5,000 years (that we know of!) With roots in India, the word yoga is derived from Sanskrit, meaning “to unite.” Yoga’s very name is symbolic of its mind-body fusion. The enduring thread that travels with yoga from its ancient origins to present day is how it brings the mental, physical, and spiritual into balance.
Ancient Moves for a Modern World
Yoga is low-impact, builds strength and flexibility, and it’s a powerful stress-management technique. It’s inclusive, and there are classes suited to any kind of body. With this in mind, remember, you don’t have to be at peak fitness to start! Beginners are always welcome in the yoga studio. Yoga strengthens and stabilizes the spine. In fact, physicians often recommend yoga for relief from back pain and sciatica. Another key point is helps manage stress, anxiety, and tension. Yoga also helps with weight reduction and balancing metabolism.
Pay It Forward
For yogis, service is the intentional sharing of yoga and its practices in a conscious relationship. Here are ways to bring service into your Yoga Day observations that you can keep up all year.
- Host an “open house” event at your studio. Allow drop-in visitors to participate in the workshop, no strings attached. You can create a promo code with your Vagaro tools (e.g., YOGADAY20) and offer it to new guests, encouraging them to come back.
- Collaborate with your local parks and recreation department or community center to lead a free yoga class. Parks, senior centers, or after-school facilities are great places to start!
- Start a Yoga-thon! Tap into the same motivation that marathon runners use when they’re sponsored by friends and family to motivate them to cross the finish line! This is something you could cross-promote using social media to boost sponsors and donate earnings to a charitable organization of your choice.
Take It Outdoors
Yoga encourages communion with the natural world. Bring your practice outdoors! Especially in the spring and summer, when nature is singing and the weather is gorgeous!
- Pop-Up Yoga in a community park at sunrise or on a rooftop at sunset.
- Live near a natural body of water? Schedule a “field trip” for your classes to the beach, the riverbanks, or the lake shore.
- What’s your region’s most magnificent natural attraction? See if you can bring a workshop there. Invite your students to experience yoga in the splendor of nature!
Create a Bring-a-Friend Promo
Introducing new people to the practice of yoga is part of service. So why not make it easy for dedicated students to bring a friend? After all, your Vagaro tools make it easy to design a promo that’s right for your studio. Promo Codes, Packages, and Daily Deals are just three of the easiest ways to encourage new people to give yoga a try. Whether they’re referred by a friend or just seeking out a yoga for beginners class, create offers to let them discover yoga with you.
- YOGADAY20 Promo Code. This promo code can be promoted on the Vagaro Marketplace and App as part of a Daily Deal, sent in targeted marketing emails to your dedicated client base, or advertised on your website and social media. In this example, the promo code would allow promo code users to one free workshop and a 20% discount on their next workshop with you.
- Yoga Day Package. Packages are a versatile, fully-customizable way to bring new yogis to the studio. Packages, like promo codes, can be used as part of a Daily Deal on the Vagaro Marketplace to catch the attention of someone who may be new to yoga. You can tailor packages to include a series of services (Yoga for Beginners package, Ashtanga Yoga Package, Hot Yoga Package) or you can mix-and-match services (Bikram and Hatha Yoga package, Restorative and Vinyasa Yoga Package, Yoga Tour, Family Yoga Package, etc.) Use Packages to create a unique experience letting new yogis sample what your studio offers.
- Yoga Day Daily Deal. A Daily Deal is versatile, so this could be applied to any kind of discounted service you want to promote, such as 2-for-1 workshops, BOGO offers, discounted membership packages, or specialized workshops. For more Package ideas, see the suggestions below, under Try Something New.
Try Something New
Yoga newcomers might be more enthusiastic if you create a themed yoga workshop incorporating something familiar or fun to ease them in! In addition to the ideas listed below, innovative yogis have also created horse yoga, nude yoga, cannabis yoga, yoga raves, laughter yoga, Broga® (geared towards a masculine clientele), beer yoga, hula hoop yoga, karaoke yoga, silent disco yoga, yoga raves, stand-up paddleboard (SUP) yoga, Glow Flow yoga, and more.
- Dog Yoga, or doga. Curious pups want to do what you’re doing, and dog yoga caters to the dog-lover! These workshops usually include massage, meditation, and gentle stretches for dogs and their owners.
- Baaaaa-maste with Goat Yoga. Goats are both tender and curious, and the outdoor setting required of these classes encourages connection with the slower pace of farm life. When your students perform moves like the plank or downward dog, goats are instinctively drawn to jump up.
- Aerial Yoga. Everything you love about yoga, but with the added benefit of defying gravity! Specialized studios are required to support 3-5-foot carabiners and hammocks. The freedom provided by suspension hammocks provides increased health benefits to the spine, greater ease of movement, and gravity-assisted performance of advanced asanas.
- Family Yoga. Parents and children of any age can bond through yoga. For babies, yoga improves the development of motor skills. For older kids (Terrible Twos, anyone?) the rocking motion of certain poses promotes calm and relaxation. In fact, yoga improves sleeping habits for the whole family!
- Tantrum Yoga. You read that right! Imagine your class yelling, stomping their feet, kicking on their backs, and pounding their chests. Sounds fun, right? Yogis leading these workshops say they’re fantastic for students with difficulty managing stress.
- Acroyoga. This yoga requires a partner, so it’s a great way for couples to bond. Acroyoga is a combination of acrobatics, Thai massage and yoga. It emphasizes participants working together in harmony to create balance (literally and figuratively.)
- Harry Potter Yoga. Want to do the Downward Dumbledore? This themed yoga workshop uses Warrior Pose to practice magic spells! You’ll also perform poses like the Whomping Willow (Tree Pose) or Slytherin Cobra. Class concludes with a savasana under your invisibility cloak while the instructor reads to you from the novels.
Livestream Your Workshops
Inclusivity and accessibility are hot topics. Because of this, yoga is suited for beginners and pros alike. But there’s another way to encourage more people to give yoga a try. Allow them to do yoga where it’s convenient for them! Try offering livestreamed workshops. Not only will you expand the geographic area where students can find you, but you’ll also accommodate those with accessibility issues or limited transportation. Another bonus is livestreamed classes can accommodate more students. In traditional workshop, you’re capped at the number of participants who can safely and comfortably fill your studio. However, your virtual class can accommodate as many students as you want!
Get Ready to Go Live
It doesn’t take an A/V expert to set up streaming capabilities on social media! To get started, first bring your device to class and make sure that your Wi-Fi signal is strong. Next, you’ll want to check to make sure livestreaming students can see and hear you clearly. Then, follow the livestream instructions on your preferred social channel. That’s all it takes to get you up and running (or stretching, as the case may be.) You can always upgrade your equipment or broadcast platform if your livestreamed classes fill up.
Pro Tip: Vagaro’s social media integration makes it easy for you to post live video clips with immediate booking links. Many social media platforms have streaming capability, such as Facebook Live, Instagram TV, and Twitter’s Periscope. To promote your full-length streaming workshops, post a teaser video snippet. Then, you can post a link on how to register for a streaming yoga class.
Challenge Your Yogis on Social Media
Go where your target audience is already spending their time! The global number of social media users is estimated at 2.77 billion. That’s clout you don’t want to underestimate! For example, you can use social media to promote yoga, your studio, and the classes you offer.
- Choose challenges that fit the long-term plan for your studio. Make sure your challenge requires you to work towards that goal!
- Challenge 108 people to sign up and perform the 108 Sun Salutations together
- Livestream a free class! Then, include a promo code for participants who want to try yoga in-person
- Post pictures or livestream a class from an outdoor location. Insta-yoga, anyone?
- Specialized classes have a way of going viral and reaching a larger audience than you might anticipate! If you teach an unusual class, such as goat yoga or Harry Potter yoga, post photos and video clips on social media!
- Engage your audience! For example, invite social followers to post selfies doing yoga in beautiful places or with furry friends.
- Challenge followers to do a “Yoga 30/30” with you. Next, post a #yogaselfie every day for a month. Bonus if followers tag your studio when they practice!
- Post your own 30/30 challenge! Use your studio to create 30 consecutive social media posts celebrating everyday moments of joy. You’ll be amazed how a little positivity returns to you tenfold!
- Don’t forget about YouTube! A 5-minute instructional video on basic yoga moves for beginners might be just the incentive a yoga-curious novice needs
- Hashtag it! Make sure your social media posts have hashtags to make them discoverable! Use hashtags such as: #internationaldayofyoga, #yogaday, #beginneryoga, #igchallenge, #yogachallenge, #3030yoga, #ashtangayoga, #flamingoyogastudio, #goatyoa, #dogyoga, #harrypotteryoga, #acroyoga
Pro Tip: Social media posts can help you improve your practice! Specifically, study your social media photos and video to see what they show about your alignment, pose, or teaching style.
Do Your Om Thing
June 21 is a great day to introduce people to the benefits and joys of yoga. But why limit it to just one day? Tune into your own interests and passions, and try offering yoga beginners something extraordinary. Who knows? You may be sitting on the next yoga trend!
How will you and your yogis celebrate International Day of Yoga? Tell us what you’ve got planned for your studio! Or tell us which unique kind of yoga sounds like fun to you. We especially welcome your pictures of goat yoga because don’t we all know that yoga is the GOAT?
Image @jennifermccallum via Twenty20
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