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Yoga For Our Children… And Our Future

coach_al2010-07-04 15:15:48 +0000 #1
Does it seem to anyone else like so many things in are world are going wrong at the same time? The economy is declining, gas prices are astronomical (At times, over $5.00 a gallon where I live), the war in the Middle East, global warming… And the list goes on. It can be pretty depressing at times.

Yet, when I go to the park with my kids, there are still people laughing, playing and having a good time. Watching the pure joy in children as they slide down a slide or try to swing so high on the swing that they go over the top (Did you ever try to do that when you were a kid?) reminds me that there is still beauty and hope in our world. Children are indeed so much of our future. And the best part is, we have the chance to shape who they become. Whether you have kids or not, we all have the potential to influence them. Is there a teacher you remember from school who changed your life? Or maybe some adult who taught you something you never forgot? We all have had those special people in our lives.

What if the next generation of national leaders had a deep personal sense of inner peace and connectedness with others? What if yoga and meditation was a regular part of their lives? How might this change our world? We all impact others in our own way. You have the opportunity to share yoga with kids (part of your dharma, perhaps). I’d like to introduce you to some ways to bring yoga to kids in your community as a means of not only making some extra money, but also of changing our world.

Kids yoga programs are very popular in many communities (as well as being profitable). There are a couple of different structures that work well for these programs. In a minute, we’ll talk about after-school programs, but let’s start with camps. Since there’s still a month left before many kids return to school, you may consider a summer camp program (It’s not too late - Most parents wait until the week before a camp to register their kids). How it works is you offer a 2 to 4 hour per day kids yoga camp for a week. Each day, the kids do some yoga, holistically-oriented activities and learn some (Don’t worry, you’re not trying to get kids to do yoga for 4 hours!) A typical camp day will include two 20-30 minute yoga sessions, a craft activity, a relaxation walk, some yoga-type games, chanting, meditation (very brief), humming/singing, breathing practices, journaling, drawing and whatever else you can think of. The activities will vary depending on the age range (usually age groups of 6-11 and 12-15 work well). The goals are to get kids to connect with themselves, AND to have fun doing it (It’s not at all to get any pose perfect). The idea is that if kids enjoy what they are doing, they will continue it later in life when they can go deeper and refine their practice. For now, our goal is fun. The next important thing is to understand why parents send their kids to things like yoga.

Parents send their kids to yoga so their kids will have an enriching activity, AND so the parents can have some time off. Remember, the parent is your customer even though their kids are the ones in class. ALWAYS aim to understand and serve your customer’s needs. Emphasize that it gives parents a few hours off with the knowledge their kids are receiving a personally and spiritually wholesome experience. Cost should average about $10/hr. (i.e. A 4-hr. per day camp would cost $200 for the week). Feel free to add a materials fee, if needed. Another variation is to offer 3-day and 4-day options (the cost per day increases if a kid is enrolled for fewer days). If you have the Yoga Studio Owner’s Success Program, session 7 give more details about how to set up pricing so it’s sure to be profitable (see www.centeredbusiness.com/homestudy.htm: www.centeredbusiness.com/homestudy.htm for more info).

But what about after the summer? Once school begins, the same activities and structure can be used for after-school kids yoga programs. The schedule generally changes from being one intensive week to being a couple of days each week after school (i.e. Tue. and Thu. 3:00-5:00). One key is that these are yoga programs. This means that parents have to sign kids up for a month at a time (or three month’s at a time). You can even put them on auto-renew, if you like. Be sure you know what the local school schedules are before scheduling after-school classes. Of course, schedule these during times that you have an unused studio (or in place of unpopular adult classes).

You can get even more kids into after-school yoga if you have the space for babysitting for younger kids (A room with toys and hiring someone to watch them). Again, this gives parents the chance to drop off all their kids and get some of that coveted free time.

Use your imagination to expand on these ideas in whatever way works for your studio. Don’t be afraid to try new things. But do some calculations first and figure out how many kids you need enrolled to make it profitable. If it doesn’t reach this level, you simply cancel the class. Many studios have found kids programs to be very popular and profitable. In addition, it can be a draw for adults too (they come to classes because their kids are there). Whatever direction you choose, be sure to decide on your next action step right now. A small step is better than no step at all.

Please email me and tell me if you’re doing a kids program. What works well in your program? I look forward to hearing from you soon. My very best to you until next month.

Namasté,

Coach Al Lipper

P.S. Please let me know what other studio business topics would you like to learn more about in the future? Most of my articles come from reader and client questions. You may email me at: coach@CenteredBusiness.com

About Coach Al:

Al Lipper is a master business coach, business teacher and writer. For free resources on running a yoga studio as a successful and fun business, visit www.CenteredBusiness.com: www.centeredbusiness.com/ .



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