Generally, when we think of yoga, we think of practicing in a yoga studio or outside in nature. But more recently, corporate yoga has become common around the world.
The term corporate yoga generally refers to yoga classes that are taught within a workplace.
For yoga teachers, this has opened up an entirely new avenue for them to build a corporate client base while teaching the same group of people from week to week. There’s also the benefits of steadier income and personalizing classes to suit the needs of clients you know well.
Before we jump into the dos and don’ts of teaching corporate yoga, let’s explore some of the benefits that it has to offer.
Benefits of Teaching Corporate Yoga
Corporate yoga is often the best-paid gig of all yoga teaching jobs. Most clients will book you out weekly or for a longer period of time with a guarantee of their continued practice.
If you’re a yoga teacher who’s looking for a steady income, this can be a great option for you.
But the joy of teaching corporate yoga is that you can tailor it to your needs and schedule. So if you want to do it as a hobby or keep it to a part-time venture, corporate yoga can also fit those needs.
Some teachers can feel burnt out from having to sustain a rigid teaching schedule at a yoga studio. So being able to set your own schedule can truly be a blessing.
Along with establishing your own time table, you can establish strong relationships with clients of varying backgrounds.
Teaching the same group of students will allow you to witness their progress and understand their intentions, fear, and potentials. The yoga journey is often one that can tap deep into the inner world of its practitioner. Thus, creating a bond with a student is another unique gift that corporate yoga keeps giving.
You also have the liberty to try out new ideas you have for other classes or workshops.
With the same group of folks, a community will start to build and make for a supportive environment that benefits not only the students, but also the teacher.
If you’ve decided that teaching corporate yoga is something you’d like to pursue, here’s a couple of dos and don’ts that will help guide your process and increase your chances of success.
Do’s for Corporate Yoga
#1 Find Out in Advance What Style of Yoga Your Clientele Is Looking For
Most often, corporate yoga clients aren’t actually sure what they’re looking for. They might be beginners or not particularly into the spiritual components of yoga. But all of this information is so important to receive before you get in the room with them.
A good motto to follow is “give them a little of what they want and a little of what they need.”
This way, if they want a super easy beginner class, you can still throw in a little challenge here and there without compromising their wishes. If they ask for a non-spiritual yoga class, you can still introduce the concept of chakras without pushing it too far beyond their comfort zones.
Just make sure that you have a conversation about expectations for the class.
This will ensure that everyone is on the same page and allow for a more transparent environment to grow.
#2 Introduce Spirituality Slowly
Even if they say they don’t want a spiritual yoga class, it’s always okay to introduce it in small chunks. Often in corporate settings, this can actually be beneficial for the stresses that accompany their high-demanding jobs.
The important rule of thumb is not to overplay it in the beginning.
Once they feel more comfortable in the class and with you, you can begin introducing some spiritual aspects that might speak to them. Always make sure to give them permission not to participate. You don’t want to make it a mandatory activity, especially if they’ve already expressed their expectations.
When you introduce spirituality, explain the meaning behind it and let them ultimately decide for themselves.
#3 Offer a Lot of Modifications
Corporate yoga students are just like any other: they have a range of abilities. Just make sure to always offer important modifications when necessary.
Remind your students to breathe and not push through the pain. Also, work with them on differentiating between what is pain and what is discomfort.
Give them permission to stay in the modified position if that’s what’s best for them.
And watch for red flags. Some might be overzealous in their postures and misalign placement. So always be on the lookout for students who will need some help modifying or pulling back.
#4 Start On Time and Finish On Time
Corporate yoga students are taking time out of their workday to take your class. Being respectful of their time is a must.
Sometimes, they’ll have between 30 to 45 minutes to commit to their practice. So you need to make every minute count.
Finishing on time is even more important than starting on time. Clients will have to rush back to their desks afterward, so always make sure to respect the time they have committed today.
Always remember that each yoga student is doing their very best.
Creating a non-judgmental and supportive environment will keep them coming back.
#5 Address Common Concerns
If clients are sitting at a desk all day, they may be more prone to specific kinds of discomfort. They may have similar pains, including back pain, neck pain, wrist strain, poor posture, tight hips, or shallow breathing if their job isn’t physically demanding.
Luckily, corporate yoga allows you to know your clients beforehand so you can anticipate their needs.
Use this information to your advantage. Incorporate poses or stretches that will help them and their specific capacities. Knowing your client will do wonders for your relationship as an instructor.
#6 Learn Everyone’s Name by the Second Class
Names are hard, and we often give each other slack about it. But we’re far more impressed with people who actually remember names well.
Remembering your students’ names will help build a trusting relationship between you two.
If it helps, you can repeat their names often and use their names in sentences when giving feedback on their postures. Repetition can help solidify your memory and strengthen the supportive environment that you are creating.
#7 Keep Your Instructions Simple
Some clients may not know a ton of yoga terminology. So keeping your instructions simple will be far less intimidating.
Always remember that less is more.
#8 Roll With It
Corporate yoga clients might not show up in yoga clothes. They might show up late, or they might talk throughout the practice.
Learn to roll with these small incidences.
Sometimes, these behaviors fit within their corporate culture, and it’s important to remember that you’re there to serve them.
If a client is doing something unsafe or disruptive, you absolutely have the right to speak up. But if their behavior is not othersome to anyone else but you, learn to let it go.
#9 Do More Than Teach Them
With corporate yoga clients, you’re not only their teacher. You’re the manager of their account.
Go above and beyond their expectations. Show them that the service you’re providing is worth it. Show up early and offer professional invoices to amp up your professionalism. And check in on your clients from time to time.
You want them to feel secure and like they are adequately cared for.
Especially since corporate yoga is a lot about networking, these behaviors will sustain a solid foundation of trust and guaranteed work.
Don’ts for Corporate Yoga
#1 Don’t Tell Companies Everything About You on the First Call
When you’re just starting out, try calling a few companies closeby to you. Do some research to determine who you should talk to or go to their HR department.
On the first call, don’t tell them everything about what you do. The company is not looking for a sales pitch.
If anything, create some curiosity around what you do. Offer a free yoga class and listen to their needs and what they’re looking for.
And don’t get discouraged if they say no. Just move onto another company and try again.
#2 Never Take Advice From Others if You Believe Something Bigger Is Possible
Corporate yoga can be enticing as it offers a steadier income. But don’t make that the focus of your aspirations.
Do what you love, and the money will follow.
Focus on helping people and being of service. Have a backup plan until you reach your goal. But don’t listen to anyone who tries to discourage you from what you truly want.
#3 Avoid Partner Poses
If you’re gotten into the room to teach a corporate yoga class, try to avoid partner poses.
Your clients are likely working with each other. Having them lean on each other or hold hands would be awkward. Just like their work environment, keep their yoga professional.
If you’ve been with the same group of folks for a while, you can certainly try partner poses. Just know your audience before you jump right in.
Final Tips for Corporate Yoga
Corporate yoga offers a really unique experience for yoga teachers. You get to incorporate yoga in different environments you may never have envisioned like offices, museums, art galleries, restaurants, bookshops, or even theaters.
And establishing a steady client base and getting to follow their progress is beyond rewarding.
The relationships you develop will inform your career goals and arm you with a solid network. It might even help you find a greater purpose beyond teaching yoga.
Always remember to be of service to your clients and be respectful of the fact that you are teaching yoga in their workplace. Still treat them like any other client, but understand that they are taking time out of their workday to come do yoga with you. This level of respect will do wonders for your working relationship with them.
And lastly, make it what you want. Corporate yoga is a great way to make your own schedule and teach in your own ways. Figure out the best designed path for yourself and make each benefit count.
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As a former social media manager and marketing guru, Amy is up to date on the hottest trends. Using her prior experience, she flawlessly delivers relevant and accurate information on a wide range of topics.