How Managers Motivate Yoga Instructors

kundalini yoga trainingBy Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500, YACEP

Managers of fitness centers, wellness boutiques, and studios may, or may not, also be yoga teachers. Some managers are strictly business oriented and only focus on staying in business. Let’s be honest – some teachers cannot manage a business. The nature of business is not for everyone. Managing a group of instructors gives one a unique position. You have to make sure the classes run smoothly, your numbers are good, and everybody is happy.

Keeping your yoga teachers motivated can be a challenge at a commercial establishment. Your instructors have spent thousands of hours studying every aspect of yoga, but your students and customers may only care about the physical benefits. You may only be able to offer a few hours of work every week, or perhaps your teachers do not like teaching early morning or late evening sessions. As a manager, you can keep your employees thinking positively about teaching yoga with a few simple steps.


Offer Perks 

If you’re just starting a yoga studio or working for a corporate chain, you probably cannot pay your teachers very much, and you may be locked into paying them a flat rate for each class they teach. However, you can reward them in other ways. Give them free access to other classes and workshops at your location. See about getting them discounts for personal training sessions or at the smoothie bar. If you hold a retreat, can you pay the transportation costs for your teachers?

Value Their Work

A tiny amount of effort can make a huge difference in motivating your yoga teachers. Find out what’s important to your staff; it may be something as small as a relaxing soundtrack for the studio. Perhaps your teachers are bothered by feeling forced to bring in their own tissues to place under eye-pillows and the only thing you need to do to motivate them is bring in a few boxes of Kleenex. Even if you are not able to offer everything your teachers want, they will appreciate that you are listening to them.


Spiritual Expression

If your teachers are frustrated by a lack of opportunity to channel yogic values, find a way to provide this chance to them. Start a blog, or two, for your studio and invite teachers to write and share their thoughts. Put up a bulletin board with quotes from instructors, or ask your teachers to prepare a handout. Consider offering special classes about meditation, mantra practice, chakra theory, or Bhakti yoga.

Remember that these activities are more for your teachers, not geared specially for your typical students, and don’t feel disappointed if the blog is slow to catch on or only a few members take the handouts. You’re doing these things to provide an outlet for your teachers. Additionally, specialized workshops, that attract teachers, can be promoted to all of the yoga instructors in your area. This gives the teachers in your area a chance to meet, exchange ideas, and improve the quality of your classes.

If you explain the benefits of having workshops at your facility, your teachers will invite their peers, family, students, and friends. In fact, let them participate in the inviting process as much as they want. Caring for yoga teachers is different than running the average retail store or a restaurant; you can’t just motivate your instructors by giving them raises. However, if you provide the right atmosphere at your studio, you will find that yoga teachers are the best employees you’ll ever manage.

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