How to Organize a Yoga Workshopas a Yoga Teacher


If you have been teaching yoga for at least a few years and are very comfortable doing all that it entails: safe choreography of the asanas (poses) and establishing a regular following of students, consider organizing a workshop.Be certain you are not teaching or presenting anything that you have just only recently learned or incorporated into your own practice. Present only ideas and ways of practicing that you have personally inhabited for years and for which you have the appropriate training to teach others safely.Presenting yoga workshops are a challenging way to engage your students and stimulate growth in your own teaching.

  • Determine if it is best to present your workshop alone or with another teacher. That person might specialize in working with injury rehabilitation or he might be a raw foods chef. At the same time you are defining the content of your workshop. Teaching beginners? Celebrating the fall equinox with 108 sun salutations to raise money for a local charity? Narrow the field to what you are most comfortable and most qualified to teach.

  • Obtain the proper insurance coverage. If you normally teach in health clubs and yoga studios but you plan to teach an outdoor yoga workshop on standing poses, make sure your current insurance will follow you to that outdoor venue. If not, choose a different location.

  • Draft waivers for every workshop participant to sign. Be specific in your language: state the name of the workshop, day, time and location (See Resources for templates). A one-page waiver can be signed by everyone if you provide the appropriate enough lines for each person to sign, to save paper.

  • Determine who is paid what percentage of the incoming workshop fees. If you are holding the workshop at a public park, this may be fairly easy math. If you are renting a yoga studio, you might be able to ask the front desk person to exchange their time for entry into the workshop to lower the cost. If your event is a seva project or community event to raise funds for a charity, still consider who will get paid in barter. If people donate their time, allow them to post flyers of their upcoming workshops and yoga business cards.

  • Stake out the location and prepare it. If the location is a park, check with the local parks and recreational department to be certain it is OK for you to hold a public workshop. You must say that you are accepting money for the workshop. Some places may require you use only certain areas of the park during certain, non-peak times of the day or you may need to apply for a use permit. Do your homework.

  • Advertise your workshop. Post online on web community boards, make flyers or postcards to hand to your students in your regular classes. Do an email campaign to your list of yoga students and ask them to forward it to their friends. Use the grapevine and gossip to everyone about it: your hair stylist and your dentist to spread the word.

  • Draft an outline for the workshop. Include the timeline for each section. If you are presenting with someone else, discuss how much time is needed for each subject of your workshop. Do not expect to start on time. Allow for about 10 minutes at the start for late-comers to arrive and other delays.

  • Prepare the room if it is an indoor location. If you are renting a room in a community center or a yoga studio, be aware of who is in the room before you plan to teach in it. Observe kriya: recruit volunteers to help you sweep floors, remove trash and to sage smudge the place (if allowed).

  • Do a puja (ceremony) in the room if you can. You do not have to light candles, incense or sage. You can perform the puja by ringing a small bell and still establish a sacred place for your workshop.

  • Greet all attendees personally. Ask a volunteer to do the check-in of people paying and signing-in for the workshop so you can enjoy talking a bit with the people who have turned out. Do not try to do everything on your own. Running around to find paper towels for the bathrooms while people are arriving is not using your time and energy wisely

  • Stay on track with the time. Display a large clock for you to easily mark time, especially if you are co-presenting with someone else. People have babysitters, dentist appointments and dogs waiting to be walked. Do not go over the allotted time for the workshop.You may choose to linger after the end of it to chat but do not assume your students can.

  • Circulate an email list to capture the contact information of each attendee. Later, send them all a group thank you email asking for their feedback. Maintaining a database of all your regular yoga students, private clients and workshop attendees will help you people your next event.

  • Remember to offer free or donation-based events every year. Not everyone is able to attend workshops and also pay for classes and private lessons. Offering even three seasonal free classes each year at the beach or at the park is a way to thank your regular students (and meet new ones).

Tips & Warnings

  • Be professional. Be on time, end on time and thank everyone properly. As much fun as workshops are, do not take people's time and resources for granted.
  • Be humble. Dedicate the workshop to a mentor or to a charity or a larger cause that you believe in. If it is a seva (community service) event, set out information for people to contact the charities and donate directly to them.
  • Use the liability waivers even if you are presenting in a yoga studio or health club.
  • Later, if anyone is hurt or something is "lost" you will have your waivers to state you
  • are not liable for injury or property damage or loss.

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