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The 5 Benefits of Committing to a Yoga Series Over Drop-In Classes

Most yoga classes today are offered on a ‘drop-in’ basis.  While this option caters to the current culture of FOMO and offers a wealth of variety - is it really in the best interest of yoga students?

Yoga is a practice that offers a wealth of benefits such as being an antidote to stress, improving sleep patterns while increasing strength and mobility are just the beginning! Published research supports that these benefits are the result of consistent practice over a sustained period of time, noting that research participants are not drop-in practitioners, but those committed to a consistent practice usually offered as a series of yoga classes.

It's worth mentioning that while most people who consider themselves yoga practitioners, many of those same folks have actually never given themselves the chance to experience the benefit of a committed practice under the guidance of the same teacher over a set period of time.

Before I re-opened the studio in February this year, I had to do some serious soul searching - how could I continue to teach yoga without the exhaustion and burn out I had experienced so intensely over the last year? The only way forward for me was to simplify, not just in the interest of my own mental health but also to better serve the students and community. So, I made the (scary) decision to transition away from drop-in yoga classes and the membership business model so common in the yoga industry and instead offer all of my classes as a series offering. I recognise it doesn't work for those doing shifts, but I truly believe this method of teaching better serves both the students and myself!

Here's why:

1. More Personalised Practice

Having the same student group over a set period of time allows the teacher to plan ahead for WHO is coming to class, so that each individual is considered and catered for each week.

2. Consistency

Yoga is a practice that offers the greatest benefits when practiced consistently over a long period of time. Committing to a series schedules your practice time each week keeping you consistent.  Plus you pay upfront so are more likely to attend!  

3. Progress

A series of classes is structured around a specific theme or focus where certain elements are explored  and expanded upon in each class to gradually deepen your skills; over time you may begin to feel the more subtle aspects yoga has to offer.

4. Mental Health

While modern yoga may appear to be ‘exercise’ to some, yoga is primarily designed to affect the mind.  In order for your yoga practice to help you achieve sustained attention, it needs to address the specifics of your mind, as well as your body.

In a world where we are becoming more and more disconnected, a weekly yoga class with the same group of people creates a container for community and connection. 

Bloom Yoga Studio Kingsley

As a student practicing in the 1990's and 2000's the most common (and often ONLY) way to practice yoga was by registering for a series of 8 - 12 week classes, usually run in a community hall with the same teacher each week; I established my yoga practice this way as a student when I lived in Canada, England, Ireland and then when I moved to Perth too! One of my very first Iyengar yoga books included a detailed 10 week programme of yoga which I used as a home practice for many years when I wasn't going to public classes.

It's interesting to note that drop-in yoga classes only became a 'thing' when gyms began offering yoga as part of their gym schedule - keeping in mind that gyms operate as drop-in! Yoga studios are a relatively new concept - particularly in Australia - they have only really been popping up over the last 10 years or so and most yoga studios utilise the gym business model - more commonly known as the membership model, this may be because yoga studios are trying to compete with gyms, however the style and approach of yoga offered in a gym versus a studio are wildly different - and so it doesn't seem appropriate (to me anyway) for a yoga studio to have the same business model as a gym.

As a small business, not knowing who or how many students would be turning up to classes each week caused me a great deal of anxiety and any established yoga studio owner is well aware that there is no money to be made in offering drop-in yoga classes UNLESS the studio is packed to the max! Many students tell me that they don't enjoy practicing in a studio where the mats are so close together that you can smell the person practicing beside you!

From April, I'll personally be teaching a selection of specialist yoga series:

Monday 10.30am: Bloom Mum + Baby Yoga

Monday 5.15pm: Moving Mythology Yin + Flow

Monday 6.30pm: Bloom Prenatal Yoga

Tuesday 9.15am: Philosophy, Yin + Pranayama

Tuesday 6.15pm: Moon Wisdom for Women

Friday 11am: Moving Mythology Slow Flow

Saturday 8am: Intuitive Vinyasa

Saturday 9.30am: Bloom Prenatal Yoga

As a bonus for signing up - students receive FREE access to my online library of over 150 yoga classes!

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