Bummer

If you saw or check out my post What’s in a name? you know that enrollment in my “plus size” yoga class series is down…The yoga director and I came up with some ideas to try to market the class but, unfortunately, the owners of the studio didn’t go for it.  Sadly that means that the studio is replacing my class with a Yin Yoga class.

While I have nothing against Yin Yoga – I think it’s a great practice, though not one I do or teach – it’s nothing like what I was offering.   I think it’s a real shame that there is one less studio and one less class offering a class for those who don’t feel comfortable in general classes, but still want an active practice.

In the wise words of my students: bummer.  Yeah…

Honestly, I’m not so upset to lose a class – I know there will be other opportunities for me, but I do feel as though I’ve failed my students and the demographic the class served.  Though I understand the studio needs to make money, I’m sad that they gave up on the class so easily, without trying to market it more aggressively.  And most of all, I’m wondering what the barriers are to getting students in these classes and how to break them down.

*I’m not discounting my own culpability here – my teaching might just suck.  Or maybe I didn’t offer what students wanted.  But for the sake of this discussion, let’s assume that I was a decent teacher and that students liked the class (I have no reason to think otherwise based on feedback given to me and the studio, but you never know).

I’ve often wondered whether my refusal to bill my yoga class as a weight loss activity has something to do with the low interest.  The media/diet companies would have us believe that the only worthwhile effort for a larger person is one that would potentially lead to weight loss.  These same messages would have us believe that spending money on ourselves is useless unless it helps us become thinner.  Like it or not, many of us have internalized these messages.

I’ve said before that my fondest desire is to have health and fitness totally divorced from weight loss.  I think it’s so destructive to equate the two concepts.  Yoga has so many benefits whether you lose weight or not.  And isn’t it sad that those benefits can be totally discounted if weight loss doesn’t occur? My experience with this class has only reinforced that.

In the year or so I taught the class, I’ve gotten to know so many amazing women, who are capable of so much more than they give themselves credit for.   How can we get more students into these classes so studios continue to offer them?

Comments
4 Responses to “Bummer”
  1. Yogitastic says:

    Sorry to hear about that, Annie. I have lost many a class to “low numbers.” And sometimes it feels like there just isn’t any rhyme or reason. I know of lousy teachers who continue to pack their classes (and the opinion wasn’t mine alone). It’s hard… And I can imagine harder for you because I do feel like the demographic you were serving is in serious need of more of your classes. I don’t have any answers for you… I’m pretty baffled myself.

  2. I am so sad to hear this! I only made it to one of your classes, it was the first yoga class I ever took and I thoroughly enjoyed it! I had an interest in trying a yoga class for ages but I didn’t feel confident enough to do it until I saw your class that was specifically geared for plus sized students! I was still pretty nervous going into the class, I was sure that I would struggle and be unable to do most of the poses but I achieved so much more than I thought I would under your guidance! Honestly I came home from it feeling great about myself for days. I really wanted to sign up for your full series but I have a baby and it’s hard for me to make the class regularly. That is honestly the only thiing that held me back from being a regular student. I’m glad you didn’t take the cancellation of your class personally because you did nothing wrong- you’re an excellent teacher providing a safe, friendly and welcoming environment for those like me who want to practice but didn’t think something like your class existed! My mother in law practices yoga and teaches it and she was going to be visiting us for the holidays and I planned to bring her to your class because I knew she would enjoy it and would especially have an interest in your methods.

    If you do the plus size yoga again I will do whatever I can to make it more regularly. I want to support the type of class and practice that your promote! Thank you so much for what you do!!!

    Jennifer Goodridge

    • Hi Jennifer! Thank you so much for your kind words and your support. I’m so happy you had a good experience in the class and I hope that you will continue on your yoga journey. I totally understand the challenge of committing to the full series – especially with a baby to take care of! I’m happy to chat with you offline or to work with you privately, if you are interested, so you can build your home practice or help you find a class that would be appropriate for you in the area.

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