If you manage a yoga studio, you know that it can be a place for creative vibrancy. Adding new programming with unique yoga class themes or styles can re-engage your current students and help you welcome new yogis to your studio. Today’s yogis crave something unexpected and fun (and perhaps Instagrammable). Whether you teach one class a week or manage a full roster of classes, embrace your creativity and your flow with these 21 ideas for yoga class themes, styles, and intentions.
1. Music-inspired flows
Classes set to a popular artist or soundtrack are a popular favorite for new and veteran yogis alike. Music led practices can change with each class and focus on a specific artist to attract students across a wide range. Perhaps a Beyonce themed flow session, a Beatles flow, or a class set to the Hamilton soundtrack for artist themes.
Ask students to submit their favorite songs in advance to get them engaged.
2. Embrace the outdoors
Take the opportunity to gather your class outside of your studio when the weather permits. A local park or beach can be the perfect setting for a restorative yoga session. Also a perfect way to re-energize students in the springtime.
3. Practice stillness
There is strength in being able to remain completely still, especially in today's modern world, and it makes for a powerful yoga class intention.
Teach strong and steady poses for a class that is focused on the art of stillness versus a continuous flow.
4. Focus on motivational quotes
Use an inspiring quote to set an intention at the beginning of each class. Choose quotes from your favorite yogis, mindfulness authors, or even your favorite books or movies.
Ask your students to think about how it applies to their personal lives. Repeat it a few times as you go through the practice.
5. Flow by candlelight
An evening class performed by candlelight is a great way to wind down at the end of the day or long workweek.
It will prepare your students for a night of quality rest. Worried about fire risk? Use flameless candles that you can reuse over and over again.
6. Invite in couples
Welcome your student's significant others for a couples-themed class. Teach poses that require them to lean on each other, lock arms, and practice unity.
7. Set the intention of feeling vs. seeing
If your students are in good health and relatively advanced, host a class using blindfolds. Practice mostly floor postures or limited balancing poses.
This type of yoga class can restore focus and inspire your students to think about how each position feels, rather than how it looks.
8. Provide healing prenatal flows
Pregnancy can feel limiting and unruly for women who are used to being active.
A prenatal class that takes special care to follow a bump-friendly regimen is typically a very popular type of yoga class to offer. Welcome your moms-to-be in weekly and allow them time after or before class to meet other pregnant women in their community.
9. Host kid-friendly classes
Likewise, parents are always on the lookout for kid-friendly events and activities. A parent-and-kid class allows parents to get a workout in and exposes kids to the art of yoga.
This is also one of the best yoga class themes for recruiting new students in your area.
10. Realign with a beginner’s mindset
For students who have been practicing yoga for many years, it’s hard to remember what that first class was like.
Use this yoga class intention to encourage your yogis to think like a beginner again. Urge them to experience each pose for the first time without expectations. Bring in new variations they likely haven't done before to shake up their normal flow.
11. Embrace change
Change is inevitable, yet most people still struggle with it. Introduce new poses and sequences you haven’t taught before. Bring in flowing movements that require them to change their direction, normal vantage point, or perspective.
Use this to illustrate the unexpected changes in life, encouraging your students to embrace them.
12. Silence is golden
Most yoga classes are taught to the sound of soft and relaxing music. But have you ever taught a class in complete silence?
This type of yoga class can allow your students to focus on hearing themselves breathe and move. No distractions.
13. We meet again
It is common to return to downward-facing dog often throughout a class, but it can be interesting to change this element.
Tell your students to pick another favorite pose to keep coming back to. Some great ones include child's pose or cat/cow for a healing class, or a plank variation for a more intense challenge.
14. Blend practices
Yoga can be combined with many different types of exercise.
While Pilates is the most common fusion, there are countless possibilities. Try adding in elements of kickboxing, karate, or even light weight training into your next community event. Invite in local guest teachers of those different disciplines to bring a new energy into your studio.
15. Bring a (well-behaved) pet
Put simple, people love their pets. Host a class designed for everyone to practice along with their furry friends. Typically it's best to invite well-behaved dogs into class and consider hosting in an outdoor space. Some studios also do cats-only classes or unique pets like rabbits or goats.
Incorporate poses in your routine that can be done while petting animals or holding them.
16. Welcome a friend
There are a lot of people who are interested in trying yoga, but may feel intimidated.
One of the best yoga class themes is to open up a free "bring a friend" promotion where current students can bring a buddy for free. For new students, going with a friend can make their first class less daunting.
17. Don't forget about holiday themes
The holidays are hectic. Help your class focus on what is truly important during this time of year with holiday-themed flows.
For example, yoga class themes during the week of Thanksgiving can focus on gratitude. For Christmas, have your students meditate about presence, rather than presents. During Ramadan, invite your students to focus on controlled, slow movements to increase presence.
18. Set a seasonal theme
The changing of the seasons offers a great opportunity for themed classes. Think “spring cleaning” or “winter solstice" for your next yoga class style.
19. Create a class for office workers
A lot of jobs nowadays require extensive, endless sitting. This can lead to habits of tension and tightness in the shoulders, neck, and legs.
Design a class with these office workers in mind, creating either a longer workshop series or well-timed short classes at the same time employees leave the office.
20. Focus on chronic pain relief
From arthritis to overuse injuries, many people struggle with chronic pain and other chronic conditions.
Gentle stretching and simple poses can help these students find pain relief through yoga. Again, consider hosting a series of workshops in cooperation with a local physician or physical therapist, or create a weekly date these patients can visit the studio.
21. Have fun with yogastrology
Yoga and astrology are a perfect match. Host a class each month that explores the current sign and beneficial poses for those who identify with it.
Likewise, you can sync your classes with the changing lunar cycles. Talk about how the moon influences the earth, whether it waxes or wanes. Use this area of study to discuss the effect of lunar cycles on mood.
Find Your Business Flow
Running a yoga studio is rewarding, yet challenging work. Business aspects like class scheduling, programming, and marketing require dedicated focus and energy. The Studio Director can automate these administrative aspects of your studio, so you can get back to the creative side of studio management.