The Truth About Teaching Yoga – You Need To Stand Out

Stand out from other yoga teachers

With so many yoga teacher training schools pumping out new yoga teachers literally every week, teaching yoga in today’s crowded marketplace is not easy.  How do you stand out – how do you differentiate yourself from the teacher down the road, at another gym or at the same studio?

Why would people come to your Ashtanga/Restorative/Yin/Hatha class (or whatever style you teach) rather than someone else’s?

Do you believe you can teach yoga to “anyone?”  (I sincerely hope not!  I, for one, would be a massive disappointment to students who are looking for strong, vigorous and fast flowing styles – and I haven’t a clue how to teach the Ashtanga series!)

The reality is your students aren’t so much coming for yoga, but what they believe yoga will give them and how the class will make them feel.

And how the class makes them feel is down to one person – you.  You came to yoga for a reason.  What was that reason?  Might there be others who had similar challenges which they hoped yoga might solve?  They are more likely to connect with you.  These are the students who you can most help.  They are also, more than likely, the students who you would have the most fun teaching.

But, teasing out what your unique offering might be may not be easy or immediately obvious to you.

Let me give you a couple of examples.

I know a teacher who suffers with fibromyalgia – which means she regularly suffers with pain.  She’s young, but it has taken its toll, and she started yoga hoping it would help.  It did.  She is uniquely positioned to help students who suffer with some form of health issue, which means they live with chronic pain.  Vigorous ashtanga is not her style.  Could she teach it?  Possibly.  Would her teaching resonate as much as her teaching of gentle yoga and meditation?  I doubt it.  Everything she teaches will be through this prism of her experience – that is where her strength lies.

The second example is me.

I am no spring chicken!  I am almost 66 as I write this – and I freely admit having a sense of dread and disbelief that I am only 4 years to 70 – which seems scarily ancient!  I have lost loved ones who not only grew older – but sicker.  I have friends of similar age who are plagued by the common diseases of old age.  And this has given me a deep-seated desire to want to grow older, but not sicker.  (Some souls don’t have that privilege on this planet).

I can also honestly say that, as you might expect, having been around for a while I have had my fair share of life’s ups and downs – and yoga is the one thing which has kept me sane.

The students I feel most drawn to serve are those who feel like me.  Who are noticing the signs of ageing, who may be stressed because they are not only handling family, but ageing parents, who already have conditions such as diabetes, or are recovering from cancer, sciatica or back pain… the list goes on.

I want to inspire them to see they do not have to conform to the expectations of the road signs for old people – and grow shorter and hunched and use a stick!  I want them to come to a class where they are not surrounded by 20-somethings who are jumping around like crickets with a teacher who makes no allowances for the fact they don’t know the moves, or they maybe can’t hear the instructions that well.  I want them to see that, no matter where they’re at, yoga can help them.

I promote my classes as “Yoga over 45.”  No style – no jargon – but those who read my website or my ads get a sense immediately that what I teach is either for them – or not! 

These are my “tribe.”  This is my “niche.” It’s like coming home.  It feels comfortable.  I taught 40 years ago – then stopped when career and family meant there was no time/space left in my life to teach.  Whilst I did OK as a teacher then, it was pin money, and I had no success attracting students to classes outside of a gym.

Now it feels so much more fun and I’m actually far more successful in terms of attracting students because I’m so clear on who I serve.

I believe there are some students you were meant to teach.
Students who will just love your style and personality, and for whom there is a resonance and a deep sense of connection because of your unique story.
No one else can copy that. That is your niche.

Honestly? Finding your niche is probably one of the most important things you can do if you want to be a yoga teacher who stands out from the crowd and who attracts and keeps students who are fun and massively rewarding to teach.



Actions you can take:

  • Join our Yoginiors Facebook Page  and share your stories or experiences about how YOU have felt starting out teaching yoga.
    Did you start out enthusiastic then it waned?  What made it hard?  I'd love to hear from you!
  • If you can see the logic behind the importance of niching, but you have absolutely no idea how to work that out for you, then I have a resource which helps to tease that out of you.
    Visit the Free resources page and sign up for the “Finding Your Yoga Niche” workbook, which will walk you through some powerful exercises to help you identify your niche.

If you'd like to learn more about how to build a successful yoga teacher career, join our Facebook Business Community.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below

Carrie - December 5, 2019

Thank you. You sound like what I need. After 10 years of peri menopause symptoms, I am ready for this and find inspiration in you as I am aware of my own aging as well as family members. I have been inspired to help others forever and see this as a powerful way to give back to my community but am just starting. Yoga ‍♀️ challenges me in a healthy way, I love it. Thank you. Resources for aging women in my community are not plenty.

    wpadmin - December 10, 2019

    Carrie thank you so much for your comment. I think we older yoga teachers have a LOT to give and there is no doubt this is a good niche for yoga teachers as well as having the potential to really help with the growing older population who are beginning to feel their age….
    It is your enthusiasm and passion for helping this niche which will stand you in good stead. If you haven’t joined the Facebook community do join us – you’ll stay in touch with what’s going on, other resources I’m developing and hopefully find some inspiration to keep going towards your dream of giving back…
    Much success to you!

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