When I hear 'have you got any offers?' what I'm really being told is 'I really like your Yoga, but not enough to pay full price for it.' So my response is to smile and say 'no.'
It's not a nice thing to tell someone who puts their heart and soul into their work. I don't run offers or promotions because no one likes doing their job for less than their worth. Below are the thoughts I have behind the smile.
In the early days yeah, of course I ran a few offers. It got people through the door, it created interest and gave me a chance to share my teachings. I did a promotion where 300 people bought class passes. From that population, around 50 people have stayed with me for classes, workshops and retreats. That's a good return! When I've spoken to one of the teachers I mentor, I discovered it's proving harder to sell these promotions, and even harder to inspire those people to stay after the offer.
I don't run offers because:
It's a contradiction!
You might talk in a class about the Yamas or Niyamas or how to live your life vinyasa, however a class pass really just perpetuates the quick fix mindset. I really dislike the 30 day yoga challenges for the same reasons. I reckon I could stick with most things for 30 days.
For me the real challenge and opportunity I offer my students is to make Yoga a life long commitment!
What does it really achieve?
A 5 session class pass is an opportunity to get to know a teacher, get into a healthy routine, but in terms of mindset and posture, no long term solutions will be found.
When we sell class passes or run offers, we're trying to put hundreds (for me thousands) of hours of personal practice and study into less than a dozen sessions and... it's an error. I can't impart those teachings in that time, and my students certainly can't start to implement them.
When teachers run offers, or gyms with cheap memberships provide Yoga classes, you cheapen Yoga. Sorry. But it's true.
If finances are an issue; Yoga can be practiced at home, with no special equipment by watching some of the incredible content available for free online.
However as a living, breathing, teacher full of prana you need to demand reasonable payment for your service.
Cheap Yoga is a race to the bottom. You'll have taught for free, or been undercut by someone, and didn't that feel terrible?
I set my rate, turn work down that doesn't pay what I'm worth not just for myself, but for all those Yoga teachers who follow in my bear footprints, may they never feel undervalued.
My Yoga Pose Podcast is free and available wherever you like to listen to podcasts.
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Photo by Sarah Alice Lee.