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While most yoga teachers find work in a studio or a gym, many are finding that teaching yoga in the corporate workplace is becoming increasingly popular. I have taught up to eight classes a week at corporate jobs, not to mention a a couple of long-term contracts, for over three years. And while everyone has their own prefercence, I tend to prefer teaching in a workplace.
There are obvious perks: no weekends, no evenings, pay can be higher, no competition between teachers, no studio owner constantly looking over your shoulder, etc. You are your own boss and you set your own rate. Of course, you are still accountable—if the numbers are too low, you may lose the contract.
Keep your eyes peeled for opportunity. Ask around. My first corporate jobs were from referrals through the school where I did my training. Most yoga schools offer job placement as employers may reach out to them for assistance in finding a teacher. I have had students in my classes who left their employers, and asked me if I'd like to take their place.
Once the word is out that you teach (or want to teach) corporate yoga, a job may fall in your lap. If it doesn't. solicit yourself. In my city, our local newspaper comes out with a Best Employers list. If you have a similar option, scan that list and see what companies offer wellness programs or gym options as part of their package. Send them your resume and offer up your services. Yoga does not have to be done in a candle filled, bamboo-floored room. A conference room works just fine. Some companies advertise their teaching positions, so find a way to get notifications when potential employers are looking.
Once you have the job, you need to make sure you appeal to all the different levels you will have in class. You will inevitably have a few that drop out. Find out from your contact person, or the students themselves, as to what type of class is desired. Teaching two classes a week is often ideal because it means you can offer a stronger class and a gentler class. If it's only a one class per week gig, offer plenty of options and modifications.
At one of my current corporate jobs, I developed a calender to organize the two classes I taught per week. The Monday class is always the same (yoga fusion for those who are looking to make yoga their work-out), and the Wednesday class is constantly changing. We have done chair yoga, Vinyasa, meditation, and even a class in the style of Bikram (sans the heat, of course). This allows my students to look at that calendar and find the class best suited for their needs.
It goes without saying that you need to start and end on time. The employer is not going to be pleased if people are coming back to their desks late after their class. And barring an emergency, there is no excuse for getting to class late.
Bring props to your classes, including an extra yoga mat. People may forget to bring their mat to work. I have also given students my quality yoga mat to use when they have a mat that is thin or slippery. You will have to make an investment, but it will pay off and props can also be part of your write off for your business at tax time.
I also have blocks, straps, blankets, eye pillows, and a quality speaker for my music. I do not have bolsters as these are just too bulky to haul around. Students will appreciate these items, and you, for going the extra mile to make their class more enjoyable.
Another way to make the class enjoyable is to make it fun. Yoga does not have to be serious all the time. My students love seeing each other and kicking back and laughing at work. Make room for laughter and lightness in your classes. It also does not have to be all Asana, all the time. I have introduced different areas of yoga to my classes including meditation, chakras, mudras, and the history of yoga. Yoga is so much more than just a physical practice, and that's something you'll want to share with your students.
Lastly, encourage feedback from both your employers and students. This way you will know if there are any problems before things fall out of your control.
To bring yoga to people in the workplace is an honorable task. Good luck in your job search!