By Laurel Brauns
For the third year in a row, Tricia Fleming of Twisters Wellness in Ambler and Erdenheim, PA has sold out her studio’s yoga retreat to Costa Rica. Below, Tricia shares her secrets to booking and running a successful retreat and a yoga studio, year after year.
Tricia’s Secret Tips To Sell Out Your Yoga Retreat
Tricia’s foray into the business of yoga had humble beginnings. She started teaching classes in a church basement long before yoga went mainstream. When she opened her first studio, she did everything from teaching classes to working the front desk. As things got busier and busier, her husband Toby quit his full-time job and stepped into help. Today, Toby takes care of accounting, marketing and managing the maintenance of the studio’s three different locations in the affluent suburbs outside of Philadelphia.
“It’s a really hard business; it requires a lot of work, and as Toby says, ‘there is a really low barrier of entry,’” Tricia explained. “All you need is a room; it is easy for someone to say ‘I want to open a yoga studio.’ All you have to do is fix it up a little bit and paint it. You don’t need to put a bar in, you don’t need a bunch of equipment… a lot of people make the mistake of getting places where the rent is too high and that’s a killer.”
I asked Tricia about her top secrets for successfully booking her Twisters’ retreat to Costa Rica so many years in a row. She explained that “it’s a numbers game, like in any business,” and that you can’t really separate the success of the studio from the success of the retreats. Twisters has an email list of over 7,000 subscribers and they have been around a lot of time with very little competition. Her husband sends out multiple emails about the trip, they make large, attractive posters advertising the retreat that they hang around the studio, and many of their teachers announce it in classes. She mentioned it was also a huge selling point that Elizabeth Moulder, the instructor she hired to teach during the retreat, is one of the most popular and established teachers at Twisters.
5 Things You Should Know Before Opening A Yoga Studio
In terms of the business of running a successful yoga studio, here are five things Tricia wished she knew before opening her studio:
1. How much work it was going to be. “If you want to be successful, it’s a lot of work,” she said.
2. How hard it was going to be to sit in front of a computer for long hours at a time. “I get so many emails, and I do a lot of management from my computer. It kills my body, it’s brutal and I hate it.”
3. Managing people.
4. Working with your spouse. “We’ve made it work; we’ve lasted. We’re still together and our youngest child has gone off to college, and we plan to stay together. We do such different things, we rarely see each other during the work day.”
5. Having to talk to teachers about changing their schedule or canceling their classes when they are not filling. “Some people realize that it is strictly a business decision, and some people take it really personally.”
Tricia is thrilled with the group that came down this year and commented they’ve been really psyched about their experience at Blue Osa.
“We prepare them well before coming down here. We have meetings and multiple email communications explaining that this is not a five-star-Four-Seasons type of vacation. That isn’t what you’re coming for. It is the remoteness and nature. It is a rare combination to be able to stay in such a nice place and yet be so close to the jungle.”
“One thing I tell people is ‘come see it while you can.’ It is only a matter of time before the Osa gets discovered and built up. I’ve heard they are building a marina for cruise ships in Puerto Jimenez. How long is it going to stay like this?”
“Blue Osa is desolate in a good way,” she concluded.
From LA to Manhattan, yoga studios and teachers are discovering Blue Osa is a fantastic place to host a yoga retreat because it offers a remote and pristine location combined with eco-tours, healthy food, and an epic yoga room overlooking the meditation labyrinth and the ocean. Rates are comparable to other yoga retreats in Costa Rica, but unlike some other locations, Blue Osa is directly on the beach, offering guests the opportunity to enjoy the warm waters of Golfo Dulce at any time during their stay.
If you’re considering bringing a group to Costa Rica for a yoga retreat this year or joining one of our retreats, contact us soon. We book years in advance during the high season.
About The Author
Laurel Brauns is a travel writer, musician, and yoga life coach. She has lived in Costa Rica for the past two winters studying yoga has believes this country offers powerful transformative experiences to visitors who are looking to immerse themselves in nature and healthy living. She is a regular contributor to the blueosa.com blog. Learn more at lifecoachingwithlaurel.com.