Should you add non-yoga classes to your schedule?

It seems like every day a new trend comes up in the fitness world and everybody jumps on board. Whether it’s the intensity of HIIT training or the grace of aerial yoga, workouts and class offerings are constantly evolving to meet students’ increasingly sophisticated needs. And it’s not just in gyms. A quick look at schedules for so-call “boutique” fitness studios shows that alongside conventional strength and cardio classes it’s become almost par for the course to put at least one ultra-trendy pick like Zumba on the schedule.

But, does that also apply to yoga studios? Many would argue that it does. In Cincinnati, Ohio, for example, various local yoga studios supplement their class offerings with other, sometimes surprising, movement styles. One offers cycle classes and barre fitness. Another features a drumming-inspired workout that lets students work their stress out with light weights that resemble drumsticks. A third offers frequent AcroYoga and partner yoga workshops. Another has a host of heated Pilates classes. But, does that mean that it’s right for your studio? And, if so, what classes make the most sense as add-ons? The answer depends on your client base, location, and, sometimes, physical space—not every yoga studio can easily be retrofitted for a barre or aerial class, for example. Here are some things to consider.

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How much interest do your students have in experimenting?

Do you often hear your students asking about other kinds of classes? Or, are they physically curious types who are always up to try something different? Do you have a lot of athletic students who would relish a challenge?

It might help to take a survey of existing students to see if they are interested in a more varied schedule. Alternatively, you could schedule a free demo to gauge interest. But, be aware, these kinds of classes often take time to build and boost student awareness. If you feel it’s something your students want, be prepared to put some extra time and marketing muscle into publicizing any new offer.

How much space do you have?

If you only have one or two studios, it can be tricky to add classes, especially any that require a lot of equipment. If that’s the case for you, take a look at your schedule and when other types of classes are typically offered. For example, Zumba classes often start later than a typical evening yoga class, so you can add that to the end of your days. Lunchtime might make a good slot for a Pilates class so students won’t get sweaty before going back to work.

What’s the competition like?

Depending on where you are, your competitive set might be a major gym like Crunch, or the local YMCA, or it might be the nearest Pilates studio. Check their schedules to see how you can differentiate your offer. You might find some gaps in their schedules that you can fill. Also, how much does your student base overlap? If your students are gym members, they’re more likely to take advantage of the free or low-cost classes there, so anything non-yoga on your schedule needs to be standout.

How willing are you to price options differently?

Most students are used to lower rates for classes like Zumba than for yoga and Pilates. If you plan on adding something like that to your schedule, make sure your pricing is competitive. You might need to be prepared to offer different packages, one for yoga and one for non-yoga classes, or put other class types on a punch card.

These are just a few things to bear in mind when you’re reviewing your schedule. You might find out that you do, in fact, feel more comfortable only offering yoga. After all, there is no rule that all yoga studios have to be multidisciplinary. But, if that’s the case for you, take the time to think about how to up the ante on your yoga offer so it doesn’t get stale. Try adding new styles, or offering more workshops and events.


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