YOGANONYMOUS: Tell us a little bit about how the 90 minutes courses came to fruition? What gave you the idea?
Amy Ippoliti: When I started teaching yoga people thought I was a cosmic weirdo and I could barely find work because hardly anyone did yoga. But with in six months of starting my career, yoga received national media coverage and people were finding out that Madonna and Sting had yoga practices. I went instantly from subbing and hustling for teaching positions to having to say no to teaching opportunities overnight. I rode this wave of popularity and was able to develop a decent reputation in the industry.
However the teachers I trained were having a tough time finding teaching gigs when they graduated from my trainings. Yoga's new-found popularity had also created a glut of yoga teachers it seemed.
Being the mother hen that I am, this broke my heart and I was determined to figure out a solution. For a few years I just threw my hands up in resignation. But when I had seen enough impoverished, exhausted, stressed out yoga teachers struggling, I could not take it anymore. I mean—in the long run, how could this situation possibly be helping to serve our students? So I began studying business, time management, finance and marketing as fiercely as I had studied the scriptures. I networked with experts. I gave myself four years.
The result, in 2010, was 90 Minutes to Change the World and now, 90 Monkeys!
I've taught locally in NYC and Boulder for 15 years and I love to lend my experience of trial and error. In addition I've teamed up with a host of experts and educators in the field of yoga and business. Because of our team, yoga teachers trust us to help them increase their confidence, their business acumen, their organizational skills, and methods to serve their students better. It has been so rewarding seeing the results our graduates are getting!
YOGANONYMOUS: How does the course work, and are students able to interact with you during sessions?
Amy Ippoliti: For our live eCourses we use state of the art software that allows you to see our presenters via webcam, interact in a public chat, view a slide presentation, and sometimes even come on and talk via webcam so we can see and hear the participants as well. I have found that online learning is not only more accessible (no planes, rental cars or hotels required!) but it also is extremely effective. People absorb the information super fast even though we are not sharing physical space. Also, I am able to get a sense of where everyone is at more easily because of sophisticated online polls, thus gearing my presentations more specifically to who is in class.
The sessions are recorded so even if you can't be there live, you can watch later—about 50-60% of our students watch the recordings.
Then there is a HUB where you can go to get your course homework, hand outs, booklets and suggested links.
We interact on Facebook to get everyone's questions answered and for our teachers to give and receive kudos and support as they evolve their careers.
YOGANONYMOUS: Who should take a 90 minutes to change the world course?
Amy Ippoliti: Any yoga teacher who is motivated to start treating their teaching as a profession, those who want to give full time a shot, anyone who feels like a great teacher but clueless about business and marketing, those afraid to "put themselves out there", and/or those who care about making a difference in the world through their teaching!
YOGANONYMOUS: What are you hoping that students will walk away with?
Amy Ippoliti: Here at 90 Monkeys we are all about the professional 1000+ "Yogarmy" of teachers that has been growing now in 43 countries already throughout the world. We truly believe that more yogis in the world means more consciousness of the planet. Excellent, professional yoga teachers retain and grow their student bases, plain and simple. We need more of exceptional yoga teachers in the world.
YOGANONYMOUS: Can you tell us a little bit about the updated course How to Launch a Beginner's Yoga Series and Teach Better Drop-In Basics?
Amy Ippoliti: Would love to! We are ridiculously proud of our graduates of this eCourse. We offered it last year for the first time, and by the end of 2012 these grads have already ushered in over 13,000 new students to yoga through leading Beginner Series in their area. That number was recorded in August of this year, so it's probably close to 15,000 by now!
So many teachers complain about there being too many other yoga instructors to make a decent living. Both new and old yoga studios fret about the empty yoga rooms and sparse classes. Meanwhile there are 6.9 billion people on the planet who have yet to try yoga! Millions in the USA alone have said they want to try and have not yet! Clearly yoga teachers and studios need to know how to market to and skillfully teach brand new people and they need to know how to keep them coming back. That is not easy to do, but we know how and we love sharing our secrets through this game-changer eCourse!