April 20, 2016

Take It Outside

Teaching in the Great Outdoors

Spring has sprung and that means I’ve officially got the bug to take my classes outside. Sunny skies and moderate temps just beg for an outdoor yoga class… or boot camp... or running club… or ANYTHING! If there is ever the option for me to do something inside or outside, I vote for outside. If this is something you’ve never tried as an instructor, you definitely should.

I taught my first outdoor yoga class several years ago to help out a local fundraising effort and I was hooked. I started teaching at a park in town periodically for donations and, honestly, some of my favorite teaching moments have taken place out there. I kept my outdoor class a “special offering” instead of a weekly gig. We travel, it rains, etc. There are reasons why it won’t work sometimes, but when it does, it’s so much fun. I’m going to offer you a few tips for making your outdoor classes a success and I would love to hear your ideas as well! Pop on over to our social media and share your insights on taking fitness classes outdoors!

Making Your Outdoor Fitness Classes Awesome:

  1. Get the word out! This is obviously crucial. It doesn’t matter how great your class is if no one is there to take it. Tell your clients and regular classes. Post on social media. Make flyers… let people know where you’re going to be and what you’re doing. Let them know what to expect, what to bring, etc.
  2. Consider taking donations. I’ve found that I actually made more by taking donations than I probably would have charging a set fee and people feel less pressure about it. This is something I want to be accessible to everyone and this helps with that.
  3. Make your own rules. The great thing about your own outdoor class is that you don’t have anyone else telling you what to do or how your class should go. The sky is the limit… (Wow. No pun intended.) Want to do half boot camp, half Thai chi?? Why not? Get creative.
  4. Check with your city about any permits you may need to teach in a public place. I’ve never had to get any personally, but I know that several cities are requiring this now, so best to cover your bases. Nothing puts a damper on an awesome class like having someone come and shut it down.
  5. Make it a family affair. Being outside instantly creates a less formal atmosphere and this can be a great way to get kids involved in something that you love. Encourage your students to bring their families and you can even bring yours (if it doesn’t keep you from being able to teach obviously). My daughter is 6 now and can come with me and even likes to walk around and “help teach”.
  6. Have fun! Teaching is almost always a great time, but there’s something different about doing it outside. When you’ve got everyone down for savasana and the perfect breeze blows at just the right time and the birds chirp and everything feels like it’s just coming together perfectly… You can’t get that experience inside.

Ok. Now I’ve talked myself into it. Going to look at my calendar and see when I can teach my next Yoga in the Park! Have fun! I want to hear about your outdoor teaching adventures!