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Earn More Money Teaching Yoga by Saying “No”: A Conversation with Nicole Peltier Hall

Meet the awesome Nicole Peltier Hall!

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About Nicole:

Nicole has always been dance-oriented and discovered yoga by trying classes with a yoga/dance instructor back in 1998. Her new passion inspired a 200 hr. YTT at Mount Madonna Center in the Santa Cruz mountains under the guidance of Baba Hari Das in 2000. Nicole opened The Yoga Room in Tulsa in 2001 and has been teaching and managing it full time since opening day. Her most notable creation is a musically-inspired style popularly known as Rock’n Roll Yoga that literally synchronizes the movement in the postures to the rhythm of the music. She formulated a 20 hr. teacher training to teach other instructors how to offer this “beat-based” style in a training she calls Hip Hop Hatha (H3). Nicole also offers her expertise in her modules called Cueing 101 and Cueing 2.0, Flow, Mirroring and Volume Control helping teachers find their voice as confident instructors.

Her latest creation is Raven Yoga for Sobriety/Freedom (Trademarked by Nicole in 2017). Raven Yoga is a style for those seeking freedom from addiction of any kind. For local retreats and festivals Nicole has combined her Rock & Roll Yoga with Raven to create a fun, empowering, music-booming transformation class called Rock’n Raven. Nicole is passionate about her personal recovery and eager to find ways to assist others in the path she claims saved her life and gave her soul a makeover. Nicole has trained in Trauma Informed, Relapse Prevention, and recovery inspired workshops and trainings. Her students get lifted and empowered with the soul work she lives and with the music and moves that make her heart shine. Her classes are all levels, all styles, inviting, creative, uber-fun, thought & heart provoking, mature yet youthful, a workout, a work-in and great for newbies and seasoned yogis alike.

Let’s get into the interview!

Amanda: Thanks so much for joining me! To get started how did you get into all these things and become a yoga teacher?

Nicole: I never thought I’d be the person to do all the things. I was the type of person who would show up to yoga classes because I had to not because I wanted to. I would watch the clock and go “oh my goodness it’s only been 5 minutes!”.

When you have already built up so much tension and you have not equated what the benefit of stretching will do for your not only your body but your mind. I had to really throw myself into it, like an immersion, to commit to really becoming and breaking the shell and the hardwiring of “more is better”. I didn’t want to be a yoga teacher. I’m happy that I am.

I lived in California and did a lot of yoga there and I came back to Tulsa and I had to be a yoga teacher to have yoga in my life. I went back to California and did a training and then I came back and basically started pedalling yoga. One of the first things I did was approach corporations. I was like a lot of teachers nowadays, driving all over!

Thats hard — you burn out quickly. I opened a yoga studio because I wanted a place to teach. I didn’t plan that either, all this happened to me. It’s been 19 years that I’ve had a studio and been teaching there!

Amanda: I see that a lot when I work with yoga teachers. They use the phrase “getting burnt out”. I’m driving from here to there and spending so much time in the car.

Nicole: The burnout of driving to multiple studios really gets you. I would say choose a couple of studios and build those classes. If your students know you’ll be there and not all over everywhere. Your students will commit to that studio and to you.

I’ve dropped the ball on social media but it’s so important right now. A lot of people are really good at promoting themselves at social media. Facebook Live is really good and most people are scared. I challenge you to talk to people in the camera about your class and they know what it is!

Do some sort of promotion, not about how awesome you are or how awesome the class is. But share with people why they are safe with yoga and the particular class you’re advertising.

Amanda: You have a lot of things I love on your website but one thing I really love is the virtual tour. I love it! It shows people what to expect. The same thing with Facebook Live: what to expect when coming to class. What kind of movements to expect — that takes away so much fear and anxiety of someone coming into class.

Nicole: There’s so much of that already! They’re seeking solace, peace and calm and they have to get through the anxiety to get there.

In today’s day and age — people aren’t just coming to yoga for a workout but for a “work-in”. They want to work on their inner issues. They come to yoga for healing.

Amanda: I love you mention healing. You’ve created a teacher training about this, tell me more.

Nicole: It’s for anyone who would like to untether themselves from some unhealthy habit pattern. I much rather like to say that than “deal with their addiction”. Nobody likes that word. When I was able to use yoga to break the chains, I thought “ i have to let other people in on this”. So I created Yoga for Freedom. Freedom for you fill in the blank.

As a yoga teacher, come up with something unique that you can offer. Everyone knows beginner yoga or power yoga — they can get that class anywhere. Come up with your own niche. That’s how I came up with the hip hop and rock’n’roll!

Amanda: My marketing heart is so happy when you talk about niching down and thinking about something that makes you different. There are thousands of us out there! Each one of us has something different to offer. I’ll coach yoga teachers and they say “yoga is for everyone!”. Exactly — what’s why you have to niche down. To find out who you serve out of that “everyone”. Then you start earning money doing what you’re passionate about!

Nicole: When time just flies, that’s when you know you’ve found your style. When time doesn’t exist and you would do it for free.

Amanda: There’s one thing I have given you credit for every time I’ve said it. During my yoga teacher training you said, “teach the class that you would teach even if no one shows up”.

Nicole: If you don’t have that excitement to go into work that day, you’re probably in the wrong job. If you’re teaching yoga and you’re trying to get that paycheck or impress people: you’re in the wrong job.

You have to stay curious to find out what “that” is.

Amanda: That’s very true. That’s how you’ll find what your passion is and then take that and then create a yoga teacher training or host workshops or xyz. That’s really I coach yoga teachers to do often. We’ll just sit down and figure out what that is.

We’ll brainstorm the endless opportunities! Like things you do, own a studio, travel and teach, create workshops, superfood have all of these things but it’s still serving one person.

You are able to pour into that one type of person in multiple ways because that’s your passion.

Nicole: People that show up to a yoga class are already open to an upgrade. If there’s a way to create a second line of income that can also be interesting to that person, offer them something else.

For example, when you go to a yoga festival, the headliners are not just teaching yoga. They have other offerings to accrue more money for themselves to continue to do what they love.

We do have to ask for money, we can’t do everything for free. You need to ask for what you’re worth and don’t ask too little. The amount of money you’re asking is a perception of “what is it worth”. If you undercut yourself, the expectations may not be that good.

When I first started teaching, I was asking for more than the going rate. I thought, this was such value. I wanted people to value it, too. Come early and stay late. They need to have skin the game. When it’s not a value to them, they won’t respect it.

Amanda: It’s such a mindset shift. You have to see the value first then they’ll see the value. They’ll show up.

Nicole: When I first started, I was doing private classes. I had around 12 a week — way too many! I was burnt out within a month. I almost doubled my rate just to sift. It was the win-win of the century. Half the people dropped and the other half paid up! I was teaching half the amount of the same price.

Charge your worth. The ones that won’t pay it will fade away and that makes more space for the ones that will pay you your worth.

Amanda: It’s like what I say about teaching in a studio. If you have 7 classes and you drop 4, it makes more room for you to teach the type of classes you want to teach.

Nicole: At the beginning I was just saying “yes, yes, yes” to everything. Now I say “no”. No creates more room for yes’s. It’s the old paradigm of missing out on something. If you say “yes” to everything then you’re preventing the opportunities that are better for you and your interests from being in your life.

Say “no” to the things that aren’t firing at 80%, at least! If it’s just 40% — cut it out! You have to create space for the things that are 100.

Amanda: You’re awesome. Where can people find you?

Nicole: I have Raven Yoga where you can find me to schedule me to come to your city. I’m doing events now that are non-studio related and more for inspiration or upleveling your life. Here's my Instagram!

Hope you enjoyed Nicole, I sure did! Until next time,