Yoga, with it’s 5000 year history, has come a long way.
When I first started to practice… (cough) some twenty years ago, we wore sweatpants, the class was held at one of those martial arts clubs where the entire floor is padded, and concluded with the exchange of a crumpled note or fist full of coins rather than namaste.
Yoga teachers didn’t - couldn’t - make money. Teaching was a pastime, not a profession.
So when I attended a popular class at one of Amsterdam's most revered studios near Blossoms HQ, I couldn’t help but notice how flawless the whole experience was!
Long gone are the days when yoga was practiced in a tiny, quiet, cow dung plastered cave* as prescribed in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, one of India’s leading texts on asana.
Instead the room was packed. The floors, wooden. The unmistakable scent of smudged sage clung to the air.
To get there I had browsed locations online to find the studio closest to me, selected a class that suited my mood at a time compatible with my schedule, then registered and paid with a touch of my thumb. When I arrived to check-in they greeted me by name and guided me to my mat. Post practice, I found my coconut water waiting and filled in the ‘how was your class?’ survey that was already in my inbox.
Do you know the biggest difference between now and then?
Technology. The internet. Websites. Handheld devices. Wearables. Apps. It’s the consideration and effort that is given to integrate real life environments with digital interfaces so students can move through the full end-to-end yoga experience like butter being sliced with a warm knife.
When technology works it supports your business in a way that is barely detectable. Not only does the right digital toolkit help a yoga enterprise grow and revenue streams soar, it will keep your students satisfied. And, satisfied students return, bring their friends, attend workshops, travel to your retreats and even sign up for your TTC.
Yet, when it doesn’t work well, students struggle and stumble. Even if the yoga class itself is outstanding, the experience feels sub-standard.
Not investing in the right technology is a mistake many studio owners make. After all it's easy to believe you’re better off managing on your own, and installing software is intimidating.
Yet the truth is in our technology saturated world the yoga industry is built on helping people unplug. So the last thing you want is for your booking system to be unintuitive and intrusive.
The key is to shop around, do your homework and think about the full yoga experience - the one that begins long before a student even walks through your door! If you’re serious about growing your business, working with a studio management system should be an essential part of your set up. With Blossom we offer yoga studios a way to ensure a seamless student experience that considers all the critical touch points from browsing to booking and beyond, without the complications.
If you’re curious The Hatha Yoga Pradipika says:
*The Yogi should practice Hatha Yoga in a small room, situated in a solitary place, being 4 cubits square, and free from stones, fire, water, disturbances of all kinds, and in a country where justice is properly administered, where good people live, and food can be obtained easily and plentifully.
The room should have a small door, be free from holes, hollows, neither too high nor too low, well plastered with cow-dung and free from dirt, filth and insects. On its outside there should be bowers, raised platform (chabootra), a well, and a compound. These characteristics of a room for Hatha Yogis have been described by adepts in the practice of Hatha.