Before we delve into the process of uncovering your unique yoga niche, let’s lay the groundwork. First off, let’s get some things straight…
- Your yoga niche should not be gimmicky. It should be an authentic extension of who you are, both personally and professionally.
- Your niche should bring more of you into your yoga teaching, not less.
- Your niche is your unique, one-of-a-kind calling. It’s your brand, your dharma, your mission in life. So, it’s NOT some arbitrary combo you pair with yoga with hopes of making more money.
- It can be subtle — very subtle — like the way you speak or deliver your teachings, the way you open or end your class, the themes you use (or don’t use), or the music you play (or don’t play).
- Above all else, your niche should feel natural. It should feel like “Why wasn’t I doing this all along??!!”
Ok, so now that we’ve covered those basics, let’s address another important topic …..
Should you even have a yoga niche?
Well, the short answer is “yes”, but there’s a caveat to this. I don’t suggest going out and proclaiming a “niche” just for the sake of having one. Yes, the process of finding your unique positioning as a teacher can be lengthy and requires patience and perseverance, but it is also endlessly rewarding. And, if you hold a specific area of expertise or interest, having a niche is a fantastic way to establish your credibility and set yourself apart from the crowded yoga industry.
Better yet, having a yoga niche has a multitude of benefits above and beyond just setting yourself apart.
- It gets you really clear on who you’re meant to serve. Meaning that it becomes crystal clear who the exact people are that can benefit most from your teaching. This clarity improves all of your marketing, focus, vision, creativity, and motivation because you know exactly who your specific brand of teaching is for — and who it’s not for.
- When you have a yoga niche, it’s much easier to stand out. There are thousands of yoga teachers out there, but there are far fewer who specialize in yoga for golfers, restorative yoga for seniors, therapeutic vinyasa, or meditation for teens.
- Furthermore, having a niche is a more fulfilling way to teach because your niche serves you on a deeper level. It’s a combination of multiple interests and passions that you hold, and allows you to express yourself more fully.
- It also makes you more memorable and remarkable. When you do something different, it’s worth talking about and sharing. So, even if a student isn’t the right fit for you, if you’re memorable and remarkable, they’re more likely to refer you to someone else who is the right student for your teaching.
- And lastly, you’re able to quickly rise to the level of “expert” because having a yoga niche makes you a big fish in a small pond and you become the go-to authority in your specialty.
So now that you’re fully convinced and ready to “niche” your yoga teaching, I want to share with you the 2 steps (yes, just two!) it takes to uncover your unique calling.
STEP 1: Take time to think and reflect
There are two ways to do this: Go-inward and look-outward.
When you go in-ward you tap into that deep inner knowing. That authentic self deep within that knows what you’re meant to be doing/teaching/sharing with the world. To tap into that knowing, it’s helpful to ask questions like:
- What interests, passions and hobbies do I have outside of yoga?
- What could I do all day without tiring?
- What would I be excited to wake up and do?
- What books, magazines and blogs do I read regularly?
- What fascinates me?
- What do I know more about than anyone else I know?
- What music do I listen to?
- What life, work and educational experiences do I have that have profoundly influenced me?
- What do people compliment you about?
Then, look-outward. Go to your favorite students and ask:
- What are my top 3 strengths as a teacher?
- What questions do you have about yoga?
- What do you want to know more about?
- Why do you keep coming to my classes?
- What problems or issues are you dealing with right now?
- If I could design the ideal yoga experience for you, what would that look like?
And listen, really listen, to their responses. Oftentimes the very things you take for granted or even think of as weaknesses are the very things your students value most. How can you capitalize on them and build them into every layer of your yoga business? How can you bring more of you to the table?
STEP 2: Test it out
The only way to truly know if you’ve found your niche is to test it out. So, before you re-brand your website and tell everyone about your new focus as a teacher, see if it truly resounds with you on a deep level. As we all know, sometimes ideas look great on paper but when we actually try them out, logistically they don’t make sense, or emotionally they don’t deliver.
Action breeds clarity, so dive in and give your niche a test-run to see how it feels for you before fully committing.
Remember, your niche may not be what you originally planned, but ultimately it will be so much more rewarding because you are aligning with your truest self. And, when you do that — when you inhabit the role that only you can fill — you know you’re doing your life’s work. You’re making the ultimate contribution to the world.
I’ll leave you with this:
You are NEVER given a dream, without also being given the power to make it come true. ~ Richard Bach (Tweet this)