Creating Your Niche
Often the roots of regular teaching remain. Many specialists continue "regular" classes to complement their big picture. "When someone takes my Yoga for Singles retreat, they deepen their relationship with themselves, and then they're off to live their lives," comments Debi DiPeso, owner of Bliss Yoga Center in Woodstock, New York. "Teaching regular classes, I see many students every week, often for many years. The evolution possible with weekly contact is rewarding in a really different way."
It makes business sense as well. Economically, it provides a steady income flow while serving as a great platform for recruitment of participants in your niche offering. Weekly classes are also a laboratory for new ideas and allow for refinement of skills in the art of teaching itself.
Ready, Set, Go
Creating a niche is a passion-driven process, evolving from the study of multiple related topics and their synthesis into something new. Reflecting with gratitude upon her path of intensive study with Indian voice masters, mantra masters, kirtan leaders, and western vocalists, Ann Dyer says, “Eventually, like all really great teachers, we have to take on the task of becoming who we are, to allow that to unfold, rather than mimicking our mentors.” In a tradition that alternately champions transmission from a teacher and affirms the wisdom of each individual, it can be intimidating to give yourself permission to step forward as a niche "expert." Meditation teacher Sally Kempton offers the following self-inquiry for such situations.
Be Careful What You Niche
Paul Toliuszis, co-owner of Miami Yoga Shala, has been on both sides of the equation. Within a year of becoming a full-time teacher, he combined his passions by using yoga to enhance his golf performance. A pioneer of vinyasa in south Florida through his classes and teacher trainings, he built a very successful franchise in Yoga for Golf between 1998 and 2004. It included retreats, work with recognized golf professionals, and several highly profitable Yoga for Golf videos.