The yoga community has made a huge space for itself on Instagram, the social media app that allows you to share photos, videos, and now live stories with your friends and followers. Maybe you’ve even decided to bring your yoga studio into the 21st century by creating an account for your students and other yoga lovers to enjoy!
Thanks to a recent change in its algorithm, though, getting your studio and your profile out there in front of new users on Instagram has gotten harder. The new algorithm tracks what users like the most and shows them – almost exclusively – more posts from those accounts. In other words, to boost your own profile on Instagram (without paying for ad space), you’re going to need to get users to like, follow, and hashtag your content even more. If you’ve got a huge following, this might not be too hard. But if you’re just starting out, it can take some time getting your profile really going.
So Give Your Instagram a Boost
A popular trend among the yoga community on Instagram is monthly yoga challenges. A yoga teacher or studio, usually along with a sponsor, sets out a week’s, 10 days’, or even a month’s worth of yoga poses in advance (one for each day) and challenges their followers to post pictures daily doing these poses. At the end of the challenge, those who posted a picture for each pose are entered to win any prizes listed as a part of the challenge!
These challenges usually have a catchy title and hashtag that Instagram yogis use to indicate their post is a part of the challenge. Participants are also typically required to follow and tag the challenge creators and sponsors. So, you can see how a yoga challenge not only boosts your following, but also gets your studio name and brand out there!
Creating Your Yoga Challenge
It’s likely that the first yoga challenge you do will have participants that consist mostly of your current followers. So start small: if you do a month-long challenge, stick to simpler poses that are more accessible for new and experienced yogis. And if you don’t have a huge sponsor, no biggie – offer up unlimited free yoga classes for a set amount of time at your studio or maybe a yoga mat, towel, and some mala beads as the prize.
At a meeting with all the teachers at your studio, decide on the poses you’d like to incorporate into your challenge, then take pictures of their examples! You’ll be able to post one each day for your challenge to describe the pose to your participants and you’ll have fun doing it!
And be sure to promote your yoga challenge before it starts! A few weeks out, put up a promo image for the challenge that incorporates its theme. You can list all the poses here or you can make each day’s pose a surprise for your participants.
For Your Reference: Examples of Previous Yoga Challenges
If you need some help brainstorming ideas for your yoga challenge, check out some of these past challenges:
#MayIBeginYoga – a yearly challenge hosted each May by Kerri Verna a.k.a. @beachyogagirl that consists of poses you may find in a beginner’s yoga class:
#openheartyogachallenge – a Valentine’s themed challenge from Jiva Yoga Center (@jivayogacenter) in Hilton Head, SC that focused on heart-openers:
#YogaToTheCore – a SUP yoga-inspired challenge sponsored by @Glidesup and hosted by @beachyogagirl, Kino MacGregor (@kinoyoga), and Amelia Travis (@stoked_yogi) made up of postures that engage the core:
#JourneyToHandstand – another challenge from @kinoyoga and @beachyogagirl, this challenge presents a series of poses meant to help participants achieve handstand as part of their practice:
If you decide to do a yoga challenge to boost your studio’s Instagram presence, be sure to let us know! We’d love to participate!
Kat Wiseman is a content writer for Span Enterprises in Rock Hill, SC. She has a B.A. in English-Creative Writing from Winthrop University and her RYT 200 from Yoga Alliance. When she's not writing or doing yoga, she enjoys Netflix marathons, mystery novels, and being at the beach.