Yoga teachers, are you ready to host a yoga retreat? Here's how you'll know
Many yoga teachers dream of traveling the world to host yoga retreats. Not only is it fun, beautiful and exciting to teach yoga in a far off destination, but there are benefits to spending a long weekend or more with your students.
Outside the confines of the studio, those who host yoga retreats get to spend quality teaching time with groups of dedicated students. The opportunity for all day yoga allows for open format classes, time to workshop specific poses and alignment, time to present yoga philosophy and the full spectrum of yoga’s eight limbs, and opportunities to experience yoga off the mat with excursions and other activities.
A retreat experience is a big ask. As a yoga teacher, not only are you are asking for your student’s time, but you’re asking them for a relatively large financial investment. If you’ve never hosted a yoga retreat before, how do you know if you’re ready for it?
Consider the following before signing your retreat center contract, and your experience of hosting a yoga retreat will be a joyful one.
Assess your current students
While it’s tempting to think that selling out a yoga retreat is as easy as posting a fancy description and nice photos online, then sitting back and waiting for the registrations to roll in, it just doesn’t happen that way. The people who are most likely to invest in spending their time and money with you are those who already know you and admire your teaching.
Whether you currently teach in a studio, out of your home, or online, do an honest assessment of who’s coming to your classes. For various reasons, not each and every one of your students will be able to sign on for a retreat.
You’re ready to host a yoga retreat if you have consistently well attended classes, and if it would be enough if only a small percentage of those students said yes to traveling with you.
Assess your online presence
Your online presence is not only about advertising your yoga retreat, but it’s an opportunity for those interested in traveling with you to get to know you better. If you’re lucky enough to be found online, what is it that people will find?
Make sure your website not only includes a hefty amount of information about your yoga retreat, but that it includes information about you, too. Understand that if you have public social media accounts, those will most likely be searched by future retreat goers. From the perspective of someone who doesn’t know you at all, what do those public facing accounts say about you?
You’re ready to host a yoga retreat if you’re easily found online, and if your online presence clearly indicates that you’ll be a fantastic retreat leader.
Assess your financial situation
Of course, you’ll have to set a price that your students can afford. The real questions is, can you afford it? Understand what your financial liability would be if, in a worst case scenario, you don’t get the registrations you were hoping for. While we all have dreams of a sold-out retreat, the smartest yoga teachers ensure that no matter what, they’ll be in the black.
You might decide you’ll run a retreat if it at least covers the cost of your travel. You may decide that you need a certain number of pre-registrations before you commit to a retreat center contract. Either way, be very realistic about the number of minimum commitments you need, and understand what happens to your deposit should you need to cancel at any point.
You’re ready to host a yoga retreat if you’ve considered all the hidden costs involved, and have set reasonable prices and attendance expectations that cover those costs. You’re even more ready if you’ve “sold” a few spots before signing a contract.
Learn more about how to price your retreat.
Assess your marketing options
If you have a strong group of current students, can you advertise to them? Believe it or not, some yoga studios have rules against allowing teachers to promote outside events. Discuss your retreat plans with your employers to avoid future issues.
If you’re relying on your own website to reach potential yoga retreat attendees, understand what type of traffic your website is already getting, which search terms would cause someone to find your retreat, and have a plan for directing people to your site.
When marketing via social media, those who are already connected to you are the most likely to see and respond to your posts. Do you have a large group of followers, and do you know who they are? Your friends or followers and their friends and followers are those most likely to attend your retreat.
Reaching someone who’s not already following you often requires an advertising spend. If you choose to go this route, budget your advertising into the price of your yoga retreat.
Yoga retreat booking websites like Yoga.GoEnjoy.Life have the ability to reach lots of people, but those people will see lots of retreats. When using a site such as this, you’ll stand out from the crowd by uploading several top notch photos, a compelling theme, or a unique location.
You're ready to host a yoga retreat if you have a well thought-out and affordable marketing plan.
Learn more about how to promote your retreat online.
Assess your tolerance for risk
Even after all your best research and preparation, anything can happen. What’s your tolerance for risk? Keep in mind, that your dream to travel and teach yoga was a fun one! It’s no longer fun if you’re stressing daily about the financial overreach you made, your lack of registrations, and an upcoming deadline. If that’s the situation you’ve found yourself in, you may not have been ready to host a retreat.
When you’re ready, it will still be challenging, but equally joyful every step of the way. If you’ve built a strong local student base and a robust online presence, and if you’ve gathered up some momentum and interest before making a financial commitment, then you are ready to host your retreat.
Start talking to your students, float a few ideas, and book the trip!