Long gone is the basic yoga class offering. Members who are interested in taking a yoga class want an experience catered to their needs, and those needs are liable to change. This is why the Bryan Glazer Family JCC in Tampa, Florida has four studios dedicated to their group exercise classes, and specifically, seven different yoga classes.
The seven yoga classes offered range from gentle, power, flow and hatha yoga to chair, yin-yang, and stretch and flex, all in their mind-body studio. Additionally, yoga classes are offered every day of the week, with a variety of certified instructors.
Along with requiring instructors to be certified, it’s important to find the right fit for your current team and your members. “We have a team of recruiters that looks for the best instructors,” said Jerry Cox, the fitness manager at the Bryan Glazer Family JCC. “Afterwards, we interview and audition them to see if they fit what we are searching for.”
When hiring instructors, it’s also necessary to be clear about what their role entails, beyond leading group exercise classes. “We have in-house group fitness schedules and our instructors know they need to promote their classes as well as other programs at the JCC,” said Cox.
Promoting classes happens both within the walls of the JCC — in their own classes, on the fitness floor and in general conversations with members — and outside it, in the form of social media marketing and word of mouth.
The biggest challenge Cox has faced in offering yoga classes is finding what members want most. “It goes beyond just yoga classes,” he said. “We have to find a balance of all group fitness classes to best meet the needs of our members, and we do this by listening to what they say and write on our comment cards.”
In response to that challenge and as a result of monitoring feedback, Cox has found a variety of yoga classes offered each day, with skilled instructors and in a dedicated studio, work best for his members.
“Find instructors who buy into what your company stands for and who understands relationships with your members,” said Cox. “The more engaged they are, the bigger asset they will be to your company.”