Book Review: The Business of Yoga by Casey Conrad & Howard VanEs

You have a passion for teaching yoga. You also need to make sure your business is sustainable. I recommend The Business of Yoga because it shows you how you can do both in a pragmatic easy to read style.

“If you build it, he will come.” That’s the ethereal message that inspires Iowa farmer Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner) to construct a baseball diamond in the middle of his cornfield in the movie Field of Dreams. He realizes that his ballfield has been divinely ordained to give a second chance to people who have sacrificed certain valuable aspects of their lives. 

I’ve seen this hope of divine fulfillment come from many endeavors; artists who record songs, computer programmers who want build the next big game, and yoga teachers who open storefront studios. Just building it does not guarantee success.

“Most people who end up teaching yoga or owning a studio do so because they want to share their love of yoga and its many benefits with others. Few go into the business of yoga realizing they need a solid business or marketing plan. … Marketing is the lifeblood of business” emphasize the authors. And they are correct.

Field of Dreams had God as the marketing department enticing people to the ball diamond. The rest of us need to spend our time wisely to ensure that our business grows. For example, successful arts organizations spend 30% of their budget on marketing.Even big pharmaceutical companies spend more on marketing that on drug research. All this to say that you need to do marketing to have a sustainable yoga studio.

The book is easy to read – no fancy jargon or complicated math or forms. The concepts of marketing are presented in a straight-forward manner with specific examples and ideas for a yoga studio owner. A pragmatic and accessible approach to marketing.

The authors explore all aspects of marketing – including traditional and digital offereings. They offer advice on what works well and some gotchas to avoid – from class sizing to measuring success. I liked how they give you all the options available to you – but it is up to you the yoga business owner to explore and find what works for you. It is not a prescription – more of a guide to running a financially successful yoga business.

Ms Conrad and Mr VanEs had set out a goal to help . “The goal is to help you become more successful at the business of yoga. By helping you attain greater financial success it will free you up to do more of what you love – teaching.”  I highly recommend this book to all yoga entrepeneurs.


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