I have now taught yoga for almost 25 years, owned a yoga studio, designed and directed beginner and advanced teacher training programs, published three books, and so much more. In all that experience, there must a be a few gems I can share with you around teaching private sessions! But, I have been sitting here in front of a blank screen for the better part of an hour, fidgeting, checking email, mindlessly scrolling on Facebook. And nothing…
Maybe it’s because I don’t really enjoy teaching private sessions. Yep, I said it. I much prefer the energy of a large class. I do teach private session occasionally in person and through Skype, but only to work on something very specific and it isn’t long-term.
Having said that, let me share with you what I have learned, because often what we don’t want can teach us much about ourselves.
#1: Are Private Sessions for you?
Do you enjoy teaching privately? I already shared my story with you – I would rather teach large classes. The same goes the other way. I had a student who graduated from my teacher training program years and years ago. For three years she forced herself to sit in front of a class and teach. She is extremely introverted and felt like a fish out of water being in front of her classes.
Then, one day, she woke up and said, “Hey, wait! I don’t like groups!” She now exclusively teaches one-on-ones, both yoga and pilates.
Do private sessions fit your personality?
#2: What kind of Private sessions do you want to teach?
Then you need to decide what kind of private session you want to teach. The only time I do enjoy a private session is if the person has a particular issue that needs the special attention I cannot offer when I am teaching a large class. Do you want to do therapeutic yoga? General yoga sessions so it is like a class? More of a workshop? Are you excited about doing whatever your student needs and wants?
#3: Decide on a rate that feels good for you and truly reflects your value.
Make sure you charge your true value. Be sure to take into account if you need to travel to them, if you have to pay rent for the space you are in, if you have any preparation time. Keep in mind that you may not be the best judge of your value. If you are unsure, ask the advice of someone you respect.
When you charge your true value, not only will you appreciate you more, your client will, too!
#4: Be sure your client is clear on what to expect.
Will you be on the mat working for the full time or will there be discussion involved? Will you be doing Savasana? Will it be like a class? If there is a disruption (such as your clients child comes into the room), will you still end on time? Be very clear up front, even having it in writing, so everyone knows what to expect.
If you are open to whatever the client wants, be sure your client is clear on what she wants.
#5: Be deeply and fully present.
While we do work on being fully present all the time with our students, it is even more crucial when you are working privately. Listen to her. Look at her. Help her feel really seen and heard. Read between the lines. The personal care is what I truly love about privates — being able to be there fully and wholeheartedly for one person.
I’m so honored to be part of The Yogipreneur community and a part of The ♥ Your Community Blog Blog Tour. Missed yesterday’s post? Head over to hear Emily Loupe for her fabulous article on: Building Your Private Yoga Practice and learn about the amazing work she is doing with yoga teachers. Check in tomorrow when we get to read a fabulous article from: Kelsey Bourgeois! See you all on the tour!
Greetings, Yoga Teacher!
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