Grow Your Business by Adding Yoga Classes for Men
According to the latest YIAS (Yoga in America Study) , the overwhelming majority (82.2%) of yoga practitioners in America are women. Contrary to popular belief, however, yoga is not just a woman’s domain. In fact, while the exact origins of this ancient practice are elusive, experts typically agree that it was developed by men, and one of its most respected and influential authorities, Tirumalai Krishnamacharya , developed and taught yoga for boys. Due to the upper body strength required, his poses can be difficult for women.
Unfortunately, attracting men to yoga classes can be challenging. Entice them to your studio by offering sessions specifically for men and tailoring the classes to their needs. Below are some handy tips and key ideas to keep in mind as you plan your yoga classes for men.
Develop New Classes
Feeling self-conscious can ruin a good time for anyone. Even if they are interested in your class, walking into a sea of flowery yoga tops, pink mats and female yogis for the first time can be unnerving for some men. The key to keeping these male students hooked on yoga is a positive first experience. By incorporating a men-only class into your daily or weekly schedule, those who’ve hesitated will feel less intimidated giving yoga a try. Sharing the new experience with other men also encourages bonding, which can motivate them to return. Let men know you developed a session just for them, by calling it out in the name of your class, and you’ll attract more students. You can even create a HIIT/yoga combination class that will attract both men and women who may have never taken yoga before.
Modify Your Teaching Style
Men typically have more muscle mass and often initially find the balance and flexibility required for yoga poses more challenging than they are for women. It may take more time for them to develop the skill necessary, so help them manage expectations. Rather than focusing on achieving a specific pose, speak and teach to the benefits of just stretching those muscles. As the muscles elongate, the men will gain the flexibility they need and perhaps become some of your best students.
Speak Their Language
Men new to yoga may find it difficult to identify with the softness and spiritual side of yoga. Make them more comfortable by focusing more on the physical aspects of yoga. Appeal to them by incorporating some power moves that will boost their heart rate, and explain how yoga can improve their health and athletic ability; as they become comfortable, they will intuitively pick up on the emotional benefits of yoga and appreciate them too.
The beauty of yoga and your business is that each practice is an individual’s own; however, it can be beneficial to group like-minded and similarly skilled students, including men, for a consistent flow and more comfortable practice. To be successful, however, you need to understand and address the individual needs of each group. For men, the key is helping them feel less self-conscious and understanding the differences in their bodies and brains so you can create an engaging class that will keep them coming back for more.