I haven’t written a post in a few weeks and I thought it might be fun to share some of what is coming up over the next few weeks and months. My reasons for sharing are two-fold; one, I want you to know about new things I’m planning in the hopes that perhaps some of them might interest you. Second, I want to share one approach to building your business in the event that some of these things might be initiatives that you’d like to pursue. When I wrote my book, “Stretched: Build Your Yoga Business, Grow Your Teaching Techniques,” I did it, in large part, to share much of what is on the business side of being a teacher. This post is along those same lines.
As I mentioned in my last post, one of my new projects has been the launch of my TV show, “Living Well,” on the Boston Neighborhood Network. Some people have asked me how I got the show; I pitched the idea to the network, wrote up a proposal for the show and then waited to see what they’d say. They initially said yes, but I had the challenge of finding a non-profit to sponsor it. Once I found that, we were able to move forward. In between, I had opportunities to be on other shows on the network to get TV time and experience.
The show is on monthly and the next show is July 15th. For that show, I’ve got a physical therapist/yoga teacher coming on the show to talk about heart health and her work with cardiac patients. I might also leverage her P.T. background to ask her some questions about the elements of healthy stretching in the context of yoga since that can sometimes come up for teachers. The other guest on the show is Dr. Gil Blander. Dr. Blander, who’s resume includes a PhD in Biology and research on aging at MIT, is the initial founder and CSO of Inside Tracker, a personalized health analytics company that works with everyone from Olympic and other performance athletes to weekend warriors and anyone who is concerned about their health. They have a platform that analyzes a blood sample and looks for key biochemical and other markers in the body. This analysis can be used to improve an athlete’s performance, create overall improved health and in the case of their Inner Age Test, can give you a sense of the true “age” of your body versus your chronological age. I had been watching what they were up to through social media and articles about their initiatives and am so excited to have him on the show for an extended guest segment.
On another front, I am building my first anatomy course online with a company called Thinkific. I was introduced to them through a new relationship I have with a consulting group called Patient Moon Wellness Marketing. The team at Patient Moon has been helping me with several new initiatives and one of them is building some online courses. If you create your own newsletter, you can build an online course using Thinkific. I’ve got a list of anatomy topics and am really looking forward to launching my first course on the anatomy of the hips as it relates to hip flexion and sequencing around this action. There’s more to come but the real point is, I’m interested to see if you find that this medium is a helpful way to learn anatomy. It will be text, video, audio and a quiz at the end of each one. It’s a step beyond some of my existing You Tube videos and brings my anatomy manual to life more than just reading words on a page. The cost of each one will be minimal ( something like $10) and I believe it will be a great way to learn anatomy in the context of yoga practice and teaching.
The other piece that I’m investing in is some professional photographs. I had a few head shots and yoga shots taken by a wonderful photographer, Nicole O’Neil and her images have been used in my first Facebook ad to help spread the word about my brand and some of my articles on anatomy. I’m getting ready for a longer shoot next week with Tracy Rodriguez, who has photographed a number of my friends and does great work with yoga teachers. I would say that this investment is something I resisted for a while, thinking it wasn’t really necessary. But I think as independent teachers, we really need a portfolio of yoga, headshots and lifestyle photos in our hands. These are different from the shots we take with our phones for social media; these are professional shots we can use for profiles on social media pages, our bios, our own site, our newsletters and studios that need them for our bios on their sites.
I’m also working with MoveWith, a new start-up whose mission is to keep people active and give them a portal through which they can access classes they enjoy taught by teachers they like. I’m working with them to partner on a 90 minute anatomy workshop that will be for students, not teachers per se, and will focus on an anatomically based sequence, highlighted with some visuals and teachings around the anatomy involved. Think of it as a yoga class where you develop a better understanding about what’s going on under the skin as you move. Why would we care about this? Well, knowledge about the body is our best defense against injury, especially injury in the context of yoga. Think of these classes as insurance for your health!
Next month is coming up on the one month anniversary of my book, “Stretched”. It took about a year and a half to write and about 6 months to pull together. As you might know, I self-published it and I’d highly encourage you to give it a try if you have a knack for writing and have an idea. I worked with a designer to take my document and format it into Create Space’s format, used some nice pictures for the cover that my boyfriend took when we were on vacation and although I did not use an editor, I am thinking of revising the book with an updated edition and hiring one ( I would definitely recommend it if you’re just starting your project). The reviews on Amazon have been positive and I’m really happy I did it.
Working as a yoga teacher has always been hard work, especially if you are trying to make a full time living off of your teaching income. I’ve made no mystery of the fact that last summer, I started working at Starbucks about 20 hours a week as a way to bring in steady, extra income. It’s a great job for a yoga teacher because it has flexible hours and there’s no “homework;” you go in, do the work and leave. Nothing to take home, no emails, nothing extra. I work the same shift in the morning 4 days a week, see the same customers every day and oddly enough, it’s not all that different from teaching. You have to stay in the flow, not let the little things get to you, stay focused when things are crazy busy and you get to develop friendly contacts with lots of people. I never expected to actually enjoy it when I started but I love the team I work with and appreciate having the additional income and love the customers. Being a yoga teacher requires that you stay open to all possibilities from a business perspective and you must stay creative as well.
I look forward to sharing these new offerings with you in the coming months. Please join my mailing list as well.