If you saw or check out my post What’s in a name? you know that enrollment in my “plus size” yoga class series is down…The yoga director and I came up with some ideas to try to market the class but, unfortunately, the owners of the studio didn’t go for it. Sadly that means that the studio is replacing my class with a Yin Yoga class.
While I have nothing against Yin Yoga – I think it’s a great practice, though not one I do or teach – it’s nothing like what I was offering. I think it’s a real shame that there is one less studio and one less class offering a class for those who don’t feel comfortable in general classes, but still want an active practice.
In the wise words of my students: bummer. Yeah…
Honestly, I’m not so upset to lose a class – I know there will be other opportunities for me, but I do feel as though I’ve failed my students and the demographic the class served. Though I understand the studio needs to make money, I’m sad that they gave up on the class so easily, without trying to market it more aggressively. And most of all, I’m wondering what the barriers are to getting students in these classes and how to break them down.
*I’m not discounting my own culpability here – my teaching might just suck. Or maybe I didn’t offer what students wanted. But for the sake of this discussion, let’s assume that I was a decent teacher and that students liked the class (I have no reason to think otherwise based on feedback given to me and the studio, but you never know).
I’ve often wondered whether my refusal to bill my yoga class as a weight loss activity has something to do with the low interest. The media/diet companies would have us believe that the only worthwhile effort for a larger person is one that would potentially lead to weight loss. These same messages would have us believe that spending money on ourselves is useless unless it helps us become thinner. Like it or not, many of us have internalized these messages.
I’ve said before that my fondest desire is to have health and fitness totally divorced from weight loss. I think it’s so destructive to equate the two concepts. Yoga has so many benefits whether you lose weight or not. And isn’t it sad that those benefits can be totally discounted if weight loss doesn’t occur? My experience with this class has only reinforced that.
In the year or so I taught the class, I’ve gotten to know so many amazing women, who are capable of so much more than they give themselves credit for. How can we get more students into these classes so studios continue to offer them?