5 Ways To Run A Yoga Studio Effectively and Ethically

1. Give superior personalized service
2. Offer free or discounted classes for special populations
3. Be environmentally responsible
4. Provide a free newsletter
5. Insist on safety

Yoga and business are not words that everyone comfortably puts together, because yoga was historically developed as a non-commercial practice. Many yoga professionals today are reluctant to promote their activity using simple marketing techniques because it would be, in their view, unethical.

As a result, despite the extraordinary boom in yoga in mainstream America, many yoga professionals are actually struggling.

Students are generally lenient with yoga professionals, but whether we like it or not, the rules of business and law apply to yoga as well. There are many ways a yoga studio owner can promote her activity effectively while maintaining strong ethics.

Let’s review a few low-cost ideas that you can examine based on your own moral rules and budget.

1. Give superior personalized service

Let’s not forget that yoga classes cost students a lot and that yoga classes are available just about anywhere.

Why should anyone come to YOUR studio?

Giving a yoga class to students is a very rewarding act – you are giving the gift of wellness. Make sure your students know that, emphasize the benefits of each asana and the need for regularity of the practice.

Ask your teachers to learn your students’ names and suggest personalized adjustments.

Give people a free class on their birthday.

Serve students ayurvedic tea after class.

Hold special events to improve asanas (posture clinics), benefit a cause, reward consistent students

Accept credit cards – it doesn’t have to cost you a fortune and will satisfy the needs of many students.


None of those activities are unethical and yet all show that you care.

2. Offer free or discounted classes for special populations during off hours

This is a service to the community (seva) that the studio staff will feel good about, will not cost much and that will grow the studio’s aura.

Special populations could be kids from a low-income neighborhood for instance.

Research shows that kids who engage in regular physical activity early stand a better chance of keeping it up and carrying the benefits throughout their life.

3. Be environmentally responsible

Choose furniture that is not made of rare wood

Clean your floor and mats with non-toxic products

Apply measures to conserve water and electricity

If you offer heated yoga classes, see if by slightly adjusting the heating and ventilation settings you can reduce consumption while providing your students with the same experience.

4. Provide a free newsletter with information about your studio and yoga

Electronic newsletters are a wonderful way to grow your audience. They allow studio owners to keep their students informed about schedule updates, teacher profiles, asanas, etc and also serve as a powerful reminder to go to class on a regular basis.

They obviously do not harm the environment.

To remain ethical and legal – it is important to ask for the permission of the recipient before you send out your newsletter (for instance on the new student registration form or on your website) and the ability to unsubscribe at any time.

User-friendly web-based e-mail marketing systems enable you to manage that for under $25.

5. Insist on safety

Yoga studios are a sanctuary for many students. It is important to preserve and reinforce that.

Are all your teachers properly trained and do they carry their own yoga insurance?

Do your teachers give modular instructions based on how advanced the students are?

Do you let students over-exert themselves and go beyond their “edge”?

Is your space up to code?

Have you thought of defibrillators and CPR training (like many health clubs you may be competing with)?

Is your waiver of liability clear about the risks involved – however low they may appear to be? If not, investigate low cost legal resources.

As a yoga professional, if you decide to implement any ideas like the ones listed here, communicate them effectively. If your community knows your studio is more than just a space where yoga is taught, it should reward you well for it. More and more entrepreneurs understand that ethics are not the enemy of a successful business.

This article was written by Bernard Slede and was first published in YogiTimes. Bernard Slede is a founder of NAMASTA, The North American Studio Alliance, the leading organization for services and information to yoga professionals.

To learn more about NAMASTA or join the organization, contact us at 1 -877-626-2782.

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