Motivation is a complicated thing. Marketers, psychologists and parents all would love to know the exact formula for motivating people to do something. As a Psychology major (in college and grad school), there were entire classes and textbooks written about motivation. We do know that there seems to be 2 basic types of motivation - Intrinsic and Extrinsic. Extrinsic motivation is doing something because you think that it will get you an external reward - money, friends, beauty, etc. Most advertisers go after this type of motivation because it is easy to identify and appeal to. Throw a beautiful girl on top of a car and men will want to buy the car because they think it will get them the girl. Simple.

On the other hand, intrinsic motivation is the type of motivation that is very hard to identify and appeal to. It is also much more powerful than extrinsic motivation. Once it takes hold, it is hard to break. This is doing something purely for the joy of it. There are not necessarily any external rewards. This is not easily tapped into by marketing or advertising and for everyone it is different. It is deep within us.

As a yoga studio owner, it is part of my job to sell. I believe, however that I am not trying to sell just yoga. Yoga pretty much speaks for itself. Everyone knows that they should do it and that it is good for them. What I am trying to sell is motivation. The motivation to come to class after a long day at work. The motivation to want a healthy body and mind and be willing to do the work to get it.

I introduced the "motivation membership" based on extrinsic motivation theory - the more you come to class, you get an external reward, money back in your pocket. BUT I know that this type of motivation is not going to work as a long-term strategy for getting you to class - you have to begin to love it. You have to begin to see changes in your body and mind to keep it up for the long haul. After awhile, you will need to begin to become intrinsically motivated by wanting to come to class, mastering different poses and making progress.

I am hoping that the money incentive will work as a sort of 'hook' to get you in, but that ultimately, you will find joy in yoga and want it in your life forever. Simple.