Iyengar Yoga Australia Newsletter Feature: Voices from our Community
Our principal teacher Stephanie Hansen was recently featured in the Iyengar Yoga Australia Autumn Newsletter, where she was interviewed for the Voices from our Community excerpt. Read on for the full interview!
Stephanie Hansen is the principal teacher and manager of Hills Yoga School, situated in the picturesque Adelaide Hills.
The school has been running from various locations in the Adelaide Hills for just over 17 years, and recently relocated to its current location in January 2018.
It houses three certified Iyengar teachers and a diverse range of students.
What is the most challenging thing about running a yoga studio?
A challenge for us as a school is to be able to maintain consistency of attendance and target the right times that people will attend. It can also be challenging to witness similar businesses promoting themselves through cheap, gimmicky advertising where the emphasis is on getting people in without regard to whether what is being offered is safe and appropriate for that age group.
What is the most rewarding?
It is highly rewarding to witness peoples progress once they make a regular commitment to the practice. It is rewarding to hear people openly express how yoga is helping them cope in their daily lives and the importance they place on their classes. As I also run therapy sessions, it is rewarding and inspiring to be part of a person’s journey as they navigate significant physical challenges. Mr Iyengar has made so much more possible with the tools he has given us to be able to work therapeutically.
Describe your demographic.
The demographic is diverse, ranging from professional workers, to families, young people, seniors and retirees.
How do you market your business?
The majority of our students are long term devotees who then spread the word to others. I have also started marketing this year through my website, Facebook and Instagram.
How do you feel Iyengar yoga sits in the wider yoga community?
I think Iyengar yoga is gaining greater recognition in the community but is still not as well known as many other forms of yoga. People are not really aware of what this style of yoga has to offer, particularly young people who are more likely to head to hot yoga.
What is your one (or most important) piece of advice for someone wanting to start a yoga school?
For someone wishing to start a yoga school I would advise them to follow their passion and do it! They should start small and connect to other teachers so they have a support network. Earning a living from yoga teaching is very difficult so I would encourage them to maintain some other employment until they are well established. I would also encourage them to constantly remind themselves that it is a privilege to work in a field you love and be of service to others.
Anything you would do differently if you started from scratch tomorrow?
I am happy with how my yoga teaching journey began and I continually strive to better what I am doing.
What did you do before you became a yoga teacher?
I maintained my school teaching job whilst starting up my yoga business and I continue to be involved in education, although to a much lesser degree now.