If you’re looking for new locations to hold classes or 1-2-1 sessions, you might be wondering 'can I teach yoga in the park'?
Before you pack your things and advertise a class, there are some things you need to do first. That’s why in this article we will cover:
- Why You Should Teach Your Yoga Sessions In A Park
- Two Crucial Aspects To Put In Place Before Teaching Yoga In The Park
- 5 Tips On Delivering An Effective Yoga Session In The Park
Before we get started, if you want to advance your career and become a further qualified yogi, why not enquire about our advanced Level 4 Yoga Instructing course? Find this and many more in our downloadable course prospectus.
Looking to Advance Your Yoga Career?
4 Expert Tips to Elevate Your Teachings to The Next Level!
Why You Should Teach Your Yoga Sessions In A Park
First, let’s talk about why you should consider taking your yoga sessions in the park and how that would be beneficial for you, your business, and your clients.
#1 The Weather Has a Positive Impact on Mood When You Do Yoga in a Park
If you’re seriously thinking about teaching yoga in a park, you’ve probably already considered the fact that UK weather can be unpredictable. However, this doesn’t mean that taking your practice into a local park isn’t an option, you just need to be prepared.
There are plenty of ways around this, all of which we’ll discuss in our list of tips later on. For now, all you need to know is that putting the effort into preparing for all kinds of weather is worth it when you consider the many benefits of doing yoga outdoors.
For the sunny days, you’ll be happy to know that scientific research has found that mood is improved with sun exposure.
One study found that in depressed participants, “lower levels of sunlight are associated with impaired cognitive status”. This means, by teaching yoga in the park with the sunlight beaming down, your clients are bound to have a better time than they would in the studio.
It isn’t only the sunlight that can benefit yoga practice, as practising outside in the rain has its perks too. For passionate yogi’s, a little rain won’t stop class going ahead, infact, it can be beneficial.
You may have heard people falling asleep or calming their anxiety to the sound of rain, and there is a reason for this. It is said that the sound of rainfall acts as a mechanism to calm our overstimulated minds from everyday life; just take a look below at what this article states from researchers who have studied this phenomenon:
So, if you’re worried about the sun being the only weather source that can boost mood and ultimately improve your experience doing yoga outdoors, this simply isn’t the case.
All you need is a gazebo for you and your clients to enjoy nature’s white noise to induce a natural sense of meditation.
#2 Holding Yoga in The Park is a Unique Take from Other Yoga Studios
With the increasing popularity of yoga, making your business stand out from the crowd is essential. One way to do this is by varying up where you teach yoga. In this instance, teaching yoga in the park.
Even if you primarily teach in a yoga studio and have this as an additional option, it can still be a great way to widen your prospects when it comes to getting more clients to attend your classes.
Having more options, or just different options in general sets you apart from the rest, and really benefits your business.
This is mainly because taking such a unique approach means you have a lack of competition, especially if no other teachers in your area have thought to lead classes in a park or outdoor space.
Setting yourself apart from the rest is incredibly important and it gets you noticed. Many journalists and bloggers write articles about the best yoga classes in the country or specific locations, and almost always include the most unique takes on yoga at the top of the list.
For example, this article wrote about the best yoga classes in London and you can see below the top two results.
This article is one of the first web pages to appear on Google when you search for “unique yoga studios London”, which means that these studios are some of the first that potential students see when they search this term.
If your studio were to appear in an article like this, it would make it even easier for you to attract new students to your classes, spreading the word about your business and generating income at the same time!
It goes to show the importance of stepping out of the norm and making your yoga classes special, by conducting them outdoors you have the ability to do just that.
#3 Park Yoga Can Improve Your Client’s Overall Skill & Progression
Doing yoga in the park can really improve your clients’ overall skill because it can be, in some areas, relatively demanding.
For example, when doing yoga in the park you’re exposed to distractions which is quite the opposite to that of a tranquil yoga studio. However, this can be a positive thing when it comes to progression.
Overtime, exposure to distractions can help to build up the means to embed this practice into daily life, which is a popular aspect of meditation and yoga. Ultimately, the goal is to focus on your own body and mind which in turn, makes everything around you almost disappear.
While this can be easy in a quiet studio, you can’t predict who is going to be in the park. With that being said, you have to work harder at focusing and not allowing external distractions to take you away from the practice.
As well as progression when it comes to dealing with external distractions, there are also the benefits of the physical challenges that come with performing yoga outdoors. One of these is increased balance and stability progression.
With the luxury of a flat surface underneath your yoga mat in a studio, your poses may feel much easier than when you do them in the park on grass. There is less stability involved which means you need to work harder to balance.
In turn, this challenges the muscles, coordination, and balance ultimately developing these skills.
Overall, the more challenging the practice, the more progression and the next time your clients perform in the studio, they may realise how much doing their yoga practice outside has progressed their skill.
Two Crucial Aspects To Put In Place Before Teaching Yoga In The Park
As a yoga teacher, is it your responsibility to ensure that all the legal requirements are in place prior to holding your classes in order to keep you and your clients safe.
Below are two important things that need to be at the top of your list before you think about holding classes, but first, if you aren’t already qualified to teach, ensure you secure the correct certifications first.
If you’re completely new to the industry, a level 3 diploma in yoga teaching will teach you everything you need to know to be a recognised yoga instructor and set you on the right path towards a successful career.
If you are already qualified, completing a level 4 diploma in yoga instruction could see you develop an advanced knowledge of a specific discipline of yoga. This would allow you to market yourself as an expert in a specific area of yoga, such as Iyengar yoga, giving you a competitive edge and broadening your expertise.
Once you are qualified and ready to teach, ensure you do these two crucial jobs before advertising your classes.
#1 Get A Permit To Teach Yoga In A Park In The UK
If you’re asking “do I need a permit to teach yoga in a park in the UK?” The answer is yes!
Though rules can change slightly between different councils in the UK, it is typical that you would need a licence / permit to hold your classes in the park of your choice.
Even if you’re unsure of whether your council requires this you should 100% check first, don’t assume. Infact, it is best to assume that you do need a licence / permit.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the details of what these licences include and how to obtain them.
For example, in London, ‘The Royal Parks’ cover the main parks like Hyde park, Kensington Gardens, and many others. They require you to hold a licence in order to hold classes in their parks and there are reasons for this, including:
- Protection of the parks
- Ensuring access to and use of public open space is preserserved for all visitors.
- That all fitness operators hold appropriate qualifications and insurance
Applying is pretty straightforward, you just head to the website and select the option to apply for a license.
Of course prices can vary depending on where you are located, but keeping with our example of London’s Royal Parks, you can see the prices per annum below:
So, if you’re teaching 3-10 clients 1-6 sessions per week, you can expect to pay around £70 a month. Though the price may seem intimidating, once you break it down it is actually a super affordable option.
Anywhere in the UK, you’d be extremely lucky to find a studio for 6 sessions a week for £70 a month. It makes space for great profit even if you offer a lower price point.
It is super important to check with your local council and get your licence sorted before you start holding classes!
#2 Secure The Right Insurance For Teaching Yoga In The Park
Hand in hand with your permit is insurance. More often than not, to secure a permit you need to have the correct insurance due to having clients under your care and them taking part in physical activity.
Insure4Sport is a hugely popular choice among many fitness professionals, including yoga teachers, as they even offer tailored policies to various professions.
Teaching yoga falls under their fitness instructor policy which luckily, covers outdoor training as you can see in their description below.
To get an idea of what this would cost, we got a quote from Insure4Sport, when it takes you through the process you can move the slider to set your desired cover amount as you can see below.
Similarly, you can add on particular policies including:
- Personal accident
- Sport equipment protection
- Employers liability
- Worldwide cover
These are optional and you’re able to skip this step if you don’t want this addition. As a yoga instructor you must have public liability, in particular one that covers you performing activity outdoors.
Adding on other covers for example your equipment can also be a good idea since being outdoors, your equipment is probably at more risk of damage, loss or theft than in the studio.
For some more yoga teacher resources, find our articles below:
- What Makes A Good Yoga Teacher? Ultimate Guide (2023)
- Marketing a Yoga Business: Ultimate Guide
- Yoga Teacher Insurance: UK Comparison
Become a Yoga Teacher with OriGym!
5 Tips On Delivering An Effective Yoga Session In The Park
Now that you have the essential jobs ticked off your list and you have the answer to your question of 'can I teach yoga in the park?'. Here are some of our top tips on how to deliver an effective session that will keep your students coming back.
#1 Choose A Clear, Safe Area When Planning Your Park Yoga Session
You should always pre-plan where you’re actually going to hold your class. You need a space that you know is typically clear, you can do this by visiting the park at different times a day to get a feel of where there is free space and at what times this is.
It should be somewhere safe, like somewhere without an incredibly hard surface but somewhere that the mat won’t slip. Ensure that the grass isn’t overgrown in your chosen area, it could be harder to balance on the mat and might be uncomfortable.
As well as this, you need to think about the public, this is their park too so you can’t usher anybody away. With that in mind, you want to look for somewhere relatively quiet.
Granted, there is always going to be noise and people around in the park particularly at peak hours but you can choose the right time to schedule a class. One way you can look at how busy your park is on Google.
Take a look below at a Google feature which has updates on how busy it is during the times of day.
You could compare your choices and see which park would best suit your schedule.
The best way to keep the public and your clientele safe when doing park yoga is to ensure you have space, consider flooring and a place with minimal distraction.
#2 Ensure That Your Class Can Hear Your Instruction
Voice projection is something to get used to when teaching any sort of yoga class or fitness class in general.
Usually, in a yoga studio this isn’t a huge problem since you won’t have booming music over the speakers like you would in a fitness class. But, in the park you’re going to have to use your voice and maybe a microphone depending on class size.
Yoga involves a lot of twists and turns, meaning that there is a lot of time spent when the client cannot see you instructing. This is why verbal instruction is so important, you need to describe the movement and your class must be able to hear you.
If you’re holding a morning class, the park is likely to be much quieter, however, in the evening you may have some more noise from children playing or people chatting on their evening walk.
So, test out your projection.
Bring a friend along and see how far they can go before they can no longer hear you clearly and when you’re opening your yoga class, ensure to ask if they can hear you clearly.
If you do feel like you need a microphone, ensure it isn’t too loud, have it just so that the back of the class can hear you and no further. You don’t want to distract others in the park who are on their relaxing walk!
Similarly, refer to what we just spoke about when it comes to checking how busy it is in the park, the quieter the park, the less noise so work accordingly.
#3 Yoga in the Park Means Props Getting Dirty, Ensure You Prepare for This
Yoga often requires props. At the very least yoga mats, which will inevitably get dirty. So long as the weather is bright, you won’t have to deal with huge amounts of mud but there will still be a level of stains on your mat.
You’ll also have to consider whether you need to provide other equipment like yoga straps and pillows. These are often provided at studios for students to use freely, so people might expect the same at your park yoga sessions.
You can of course prompt people to bring their own equipment and let them know that it is going to get a little dirty, but if you are providing equipment you just need to make sure it is washable.
For example, using foam mats since they’re hand washable and avoiding the likes of rubber mats that can’t be in direct sunlight for too long since they’d lose their grippiness.
Do your research on what materials you actually enjoy when it comes to equipment while ensuring they’re still practical.
You should note though, as we spoke about earlier you can get your equipment insured if you feel like you need to add this to your policy which will cover circumstances like damage, theft, or loss.
Advance your Yoga Instructing Career with OriGym... Take the next step and enqurie today about a level 4 diploma in yoga instructing with OriGym!
Advance your Yoga Instructing Career with OriGym...
Take the next step and enqurie today about a level 4 diploma in yoga instructing with OriGym!
#4 Think About Implementing a Lower Price Point When Teaching Yoga in a Park
When you teach yoga in a park, you’re saving on a lot of costs that would come with renting out a studio.
You would have to assess what is right for you, but discounting due to being outside of the studio might just be expected by some students who are interested in coming along.
While you will still have expenses like insurance, permits and equipment you’ll save on a lot of outgoings by not paying out rent payments or other costs such as heating and decorating a studio.
That being said, you may want to consider implementing a more affordable price point for your clients. Ultimately, they won’t have the luxuries of a studio that is warm and aesthetic, therefore you should make up for this deficit in the price point.
You can still offer the same pricing structures, but you should certainly consider lowering the price point itself.
For example, often, yoga businesses have similar price packages such as:
- Set price per class
- Monthly memberships
- Blocks of classes
You can still adopt this technique but offer a lower price. Of course, your outgoings are going to be varied depending on where you’re located in the UK, for example a permit in London Royal Parks is likely to be higher than a small local park in a town.
You could choose to work out your earnings based on percentages; for example, 10% less per class could be a good place to start.
For example, we looked at a yoga studio based in London for an average price margin. They charged £16 per class drop in, meaning you could knock off 10% - 20% and still have a healthy price point of over £10 per person per class!
It's only right to have a price that is going to be attractive to clients while still making a profit on your end too.
#5 Be Ready for Weather Implications
Finally, weather is always going to be an important factor when it comes to doing yoga in the park.
Rain can disrupt your schedule in some respects if it is particularly heavy or cold, but you can use this to your advantage. So, while it may seem tempting to just cancel the class if rain is forecasted, you can overcome this with investment in some equipment.
Not only that, but being connected to nature come rain or shine can really compliment yoga practice which is all about grounding yourself.
One of the key principles of yoga is known as Aparigraha which essentially means to live with simplicity. It can be easy to take nature and its weather for granted.
The parks we find on our door steps are places of tranquillity and by taking your yoga class outdoors in the park among nature, whether it is raining or the sun is beaming, both can really reinforce this principle of aparigraha.
A gazebo can be pricey depending on where you get it from, but you must think of this as an investment into your business.
Wind brings along another problem and depending on the severity, you might have to skip the class on a windy day. However, if the gazebo can withstand the rain and keep your clients happy, it can be a real trip into nature and a unique take on your yoga class!
On the other hand, be prepared for when the sun comes out too. You might want to keep a communal bottle of sunscreen to keep in your equipment pack to avoid any burns and to keep your clients and yourself safe.
Weather in the UK can be unpredictable, so you should be ready to adjust whenever you need to and have umbrellas and sunscreen at the ready at all times!
Before You Go…
Hopefully you feel confident in organising your next yoga class in the park, get your permits and insurance ready and start advertising a new and unique take on yoga!
If you aren't already qualified, find out more about our yoga teacher training course here. Or, find out how you can expand your career in the fitness by checking out the range of courses in our downloadable course prospectus.
Looking to Advance Your Yoga Career?
4 Expert Tips to Elevate Your Teachings to The Next Level!