January is flush with students looking to make yoga, health, or fitness a bigger part of the rest of their year. Thing is, however, resolutions are often built on shaky ground, and once a “resolutioner” hits a roadblock, inconvenience, or some kind of discomfort, this untenable fire for yoga soon fizzles out.
Help keep your newfangled followers with these six smart tips to retain New Year’s Resolution students.
1. Learn their names.
Start learning your students name right away even if your classes have exponentially more bodies in them right now than usual. Learning names shows you’re taking an interest in your students, and that you’re glad they’re there.
If necessary, have a notepad and jot down names as the students come into class so you can remember everyone’s name.
2. Check in with them after class.
Follow up with your students after class and see if they have any questions or things they need clarification. New to yoga students may have been very nervous about coming to class, and if you follow up with class, you’re encouraging them to keep practicing.
3. Send a handwritten note to them thanking them for coming to your class, workshop, or private lesson.
Who doesn’t love getting mail? A handwritten thank you note is a dying art and can really be touching to receive. It only takes a few minutes to write and post it, and your students will be touched to receive it.
4. Show them that you are concerned about their progress.
Ask them questions about how their practice is progressing. Observe the changes in their practice, in their movement, in their demeanor, or whatever else you might notice. Are they gaining range of motion, strength, calmness, and focus? Share with them what you’re seeing.
5. Ask them what their goals are.
Ask why they’re coming to yoga, what they’re hoping to gain from the experience, and what their long-term goals are from attending. Getting to know what their motivation is can help you connect with your students. Let them know you’re there to support them.
6. Help them accomplish their long-term goals.
If your students are communicating with you why they’ve started or returned to their practice, try to remember this and follow up on it when you see them. People appreciate that you want to see them succeed. Assisting your students in reaching their goals can create a genuine, lasting connection.
Remember to have boundaries though. Give within reason when helping your students. Know what you’re willing to help them with and when you need to draw the line to not give too much of your energy away.
Are you a yoga teacher dealing with many newcomers this New Year? What are your tips for getting them to keep coming to class?