As the New Year rolls through January, most studios may already be seeing the Resolution Effect.  There are flocks of new students visiting our space during the first couple of weeks of January with big plans on health and change, only to have their plans fizzle out shortly thereafter.  We know that Yoga is a beautiful medium to help everyone in the mind, body and spirit, so how can we maximize retaining these potential Yogis?

In part one of this series, we examined understanding the New Year’s student and what we can do to peak their long term interest in Yoga beyond the physical practice and in this second part we will explore some business strategies to assist the students in building a beneficial and long term practice.  After all, Yoga when taught as Yoga and not solely as physical fitness is a modality for the health and happiness of a complete human being in mind, body and spirit.

At Ripple Yoga, we pack February, March and April with community events that lead to Yoga being more than just a practice but the building of like-minded individuals that foster more than just a workout, but relationships with their fellow students, along with some friendly competition.  We host a community month in February that is geared towards students bringing their friends into a practice at a discounted rate of free class and encourage reviews on social media through a contest that rewards the winner with a complimentary Yoga package.  We then continue in March with a Yoga challenge inviting the benefits of a regular practice and also start our annual teacher training in March.  And finally in April, we host community events outside of the studio such as Happy Hour or Fun Runs and offer an all-day Yogathon.

In a highly competitive commoditized market Yoga studios can benefit from the differentiation of a gym by these community building activities that are much more difficult to reproduce in a gym environment and keep our new students engaged and active, which is a win for them and a win for our beautiful studios!

Coming up next month, Yoga Studios and Politics.

Sarvesh Naagari is the owner of Ripple Yoga in Seattle, Washington, and author of the inspirational novel of the spirit, 20,000 Oms and a Cup of Chai. He has accumulated gary-beebeapproximately 2,500 hours of teacher training, including a six-month stay at the Ananda Ashram at ICYER in Pondicherry, India, where he studied the yoga teachings of Maharishi Patanjali and Swamiji Gitananda Giri, the Lion of Pondicherry. He also has an MBA in executive management from the Washington State University and a bachelors of science, corporate finance and accounting, from the University of Maryland. Prior to opening Ripple Yoga, Sarvesh was a corporate executive for 20 years in technology and innovation.  He is also a regular contributor to the Seattle Yoga News and the ClassPass blog. In his spare time, Sarvesh is an avid musician, singer, hockey player and volleyball enthusiast.