Teaching Yoga Privately
Many successful yoga teachers offer several private classes each week to balance the work they do in yoga studios. This is because yoga teachers can charge higher rates for private instruction than they would ordinarily earn in yoga studios.
If you normally hold yoga classes in an upscale part of town, or in a place like New York City, for example, there will also naturally be a high demand for private sessions in that area.
The first question many prospective yoga teachers have about giving private classes is how much money they can make from doing so. Private yoga classes vary a great deal in price. The average private yoga class in Beverly Hills, for example, would be higher than one in, say, Toledo, Ohio. The experience of a yoga teacher is also a factor in the amount of money instructors make for private classes.
Though you could technically speaking charge whatever amount of money you would like to for private instruction, it is a good idea to first find out how much personal fitness trainers and other trained yoga teachers charge for private sessions. If you teach at a health club or have access to another network of local yoga teachers and personal trainers, ask around to find out what the approximate going rate is for private classes.
If personal trainers with a similar amount of work experience as you are charging more than you are (or intend to charge), your rate is probably too low. This is because, unless they hold bachelor’s degrees in physical education, most personal trainers do not have as much training for their work as yoga teachers who have completed 200 or 500 hour yoga teacher training courses.
An issue that commonly arises with private yoga classes is how to handle yoga students who make appointments for classes and then fail to show up for their scheduled private sessions. It is important to have a firm 24 hour cancellation policy for when this occurs. Yoga students should be able to cancel when an emergency occurs if they give you more than a day’s worth of notice. Your time is valuable, too, and important to consider because you could teach be teaching another class in the timeslot your student cancels for.
If you have an experience where a yoga student makes an appointment for a class session but fails to cancel or show up for it, it is advisable to have this person reserve another private session with a non-refundable reservation fee or deposit.
One way yoga teachers do this is by requiring a $50 deposit, for example, for a private class that costs $100, and taking the $50 balance upon the student’s actual arrival to the session. If the student fails to come to the class at the time it was scheduled, he or she loses that deposit.
Though this might feel harsh to do, yoga teachers must also consider the commute they make to their yoga studios, how long it takes to set everything up, wait and then not even get to teach the class. Beyond this consideration, it is also important to think about the fact that a student who feels comfortable not cancelling or showing up at the last minute one time could very well continue to do so in the future. Having a deposit or non-refundable reservation fee ensures that more students do actually show up for their private lessons on time if they have failed to show up in the past.
Marketing Private Classes
Beyond payment issues, it is important to take into consideration the marketing efforts you put into holding private yoga classes. Yoga teachers must market their private classes in their literature and on their websites. Many yoga teachers also post signs in their studios to inform students about private yoga classes.
In the actual class session, it is important to approach it as you would an ordinary public yoga class, except that the contents of each class should be tailored to the individual needs of the student. If, for example, your student wishes to focus on deepening his backbends, make the class geared towards that and really focus on correcting the student throughout the session.