So what if you want to have a Yoga Business at Home but you do not have the space? Even for private yoga classes?
Yoga retreats are a great opportunity for people to completely immerse themselves in Yoga and can be quite transformational. I don’t think it is easy to plan, organize and run a Yoga Retreat so here’s my piece.
These steps are:
1. Find a venue
Finding the perfect venue for your retreat is very important…. It doesn’t matter how good your program is if people are unhappy about the space, the food, the facilities, the bed!
So here are a few things to consider before you choose:
- The weather of the destination.
- The hotel or venue is accessible and not too expensive to travel to. The hotel or venue provides everything; you really need to stay away from stressful situations so that you can focus on what you’re good at: Yoga. For example make sure that food is taken care for, cleaning, etc.…
- The hotel or venue offers flexibility with payment, maybe even offers you a ‘no down payment’ option until you have enough people to run it. Always remember to consider your own costs!
- It is peaceful, and has areas where people can be alone for a while.
- If it offers food make sure that it has alternatives for allergies, vegans, and vegetarians… I it doesn’t offer the meals, where and how are you going to find catering services and how expensive are they going to be.
- It has enough space for your yoga classes and meditations. And if it has air conditioning and heating.
- The space for the yoga ideally is away from smells, noises and distractions in general.
- Provides as many props and equipment as possible: music, yoga mats, bolsters, cushions, blankets etc.… so that you don’t have to carry everything, you can also ask your students to bring their individual equipment and props.
- Can accommodate enough participants so that you can actually make a profit.
2. The Type of Retreat you are going to run
The style of Yoga you are going to teach.
This is very important because you don’t know who is going to sign in, so you will have to cater for all levels and abilities.
Stick to the Yoga that you love and you are good at: Hatha, Iyengar, Asthanga, Restorative…
Target your people smartly; maybe you are only offering a retreat for older people, pregnant women, kids…
Create a basic structure for your days, make sure that you cover:
- Free time
- Tourist attractions
After this you can get into as much detail as you want, and plan your classes, meditations and workshops ahead so that you bring everything that you will need.
In my retreats I actually have 2 meditations per day (sunrise and sunset) for 30 minutes each and 2 yoga classes per day. Plus we have a night-time workshop with a specific theme.
Here’s an example of my last retreat’s schedule:
The length of the retreat
It is not the same to plan for a weekend, a week or 10 days.
If you only have a weekend maybe you will restrict the free time and leisure so that your students can get a lot more yoga and meditation, which is the whole point of the trip.
If you have more time maybe you can organize group excursions, massages, free time, tourist attractions…
I organize a retreat once a year in Bali, Indonesia, and basically it’s as easy as organizing your workshops.
I actually structure my days like this:
- Daily Yoga class
- Meditation at sunrise
- A Yoga workshop where we only learn and deepen the knowledge of just one Yoga pose
- Meditation at sunset where I run my whole ‘learn to meditate’ course.
Here’s an example of my last retreat:
3. Price your retreat:
- Rent of different spaces (yoga, massage, meditation…)
Make sure you have all the prices upfront and negotiate discounts with the providers.
Once you have all the prices, add your own travel expenses and then you can decide how you are going to price it, depending on the amount of people you are realistically going to get, the profit that you want to make…
When you have the final price per person, it is time to
4. Launch the retreat and promote
You need to have enough time to set it up in your website and flyers, here’s the information you will need to provide:
- Accommodation, types and prices
- A typical day
- What’s included and what they will have to pay before and during the retreat (airfares, ground transportation, extra meals, extra accommodation, tips…)
- Kids/no kids (or extra companion parties)
You could offer different discounts like:
- Bring a friend
- Early bird
- Shared accommodation
- Free massage
- Airport transfers
If you do, make sure you consider all this as part of your price!
The best ways to promote your retreat are:
- Through your own website
- Through your family, friends and current students (word of mouth is very powerful)
- Social media
- Online free or paid directories and ads
- Flyers which you can take to community board, yoga related shops…
Don’t forget to have a cancellation policy and payment conditions and methods.
5. Last but not least, once you are there
- Remember you are the teacher, so behave accordingly. You do not want to loose your students’ admiration and respect.
- Be early for everything and ready for your classes and meditations.
- You will need patience with people that are unhappy or upset, many people are like that and they’re never content with what is.
- Prepare. Don’t forget the things you need to bring to your trip so that you can deliver what you promised: notes, visuals, handouts, props, music, incense, and aromatherapy.
- Take photos! So that you can showcase them when you come back.
- Have emergency phone numbers handy.
- Enjoy it yourself too! It’s pretty much a paid holiday!
- Very important – ask for testimonials.