One-on-one yoga classes can be both personally and financially fulfilling. Needless to say, private yoga teaching is not the same as teaching a group class: while it may seem easier to teach one person as opposed to teaching a group of people, it can be more challenging if you’re not properly prepared.

Before you venture into teaching private classes, take a look at the following:

Customize your teachings. Make your class accessible to your student and disregard what a yoga class “should” have. Focus on what your student needs and can work with. Connect with your student and find out a way to motivate him or her. You should be willing to repeat your instructions more than once and in different ways – whatever it takes for your student to make sense of what you’re saying. A good thing about teaching individual students is that you don’t have to guess what he or she wants. Help them practice yoga in a more conscious way: many times, students will be unaware of their experience and feelings during a certain pose. Where do they feel the stretch? If they’re comfortable with you assisting them, do so, and be generous about it. Also, figure out why your students have requested a private session…is it because they are intimidated by a public class? Why? Or is it simply because their schedule is tight and they can only fit in their yoga at specific times during the week? This is important when connecting with your student and understanding what they need and seek. You can even schedule an interview with them to clear these points up prior to the class.

Take control of the class and set the mood for it. When in a group class, there are often givens that set the mood for us. In a private session, it’s up to you to bring your warmth and energy and create a comfortable space for your student. They should not feel pressured to play host. Invest in little things like eye pillows or a heavy blanket: these will add to the quality of your session and make it stand out. Bring oils, incense, candles, whatever you can think of that will help your student get the most out of the class.28

Keep in mind that if you offer life-changing, renovating yoga classes the students will come. Don’t focus on marketing yourself: the main focus should be your student. Let their experience in your class speak up for your brand. To really focus on the yoga with the students during the time of the class, send them monthly invoice with the financial details that concerns them, to avoid any financial talk that may disrupt the “flow” of your yoga class.

Be on time to your classes. This will show your student that you respect and care for them.

Where will the classes take place? Will it be a local studio, a gym, your home or theirs (think safety first), a public space, a rec center, a hotel…? There are many options that you need to consider beforehand. Think about a place that will be comfortable for the both of you.

Charge what you’re worth. It’s easy to feel weird when deciding on what to charge for a yoga class. We are often taught to be humble and downplay our strengths and services. Only you know what you’re really worth, and you should be fair with yourself and own it! If you’re unsure, a quick google search will let you know the average fee for a private session in your area. Take into consideration things like the props you bring over, the place you choose for your class, and whether your new or old at teaching (if you’re new, it is better if you charge an average of $20-$50 less than an older yoga teacher).

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Remember that your students want what benefits them. Focus mainly on their wellbeing and they will be more likely to come to you and value your service. As with any project you want to start as a yoga teacher, develop a thorough business and instruction plan beforehand.

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Ryan Rockwell (“The Yogi Marketer”) turned his passion for yoga and marketing into a career as one of the most sought after marketing strategists. His focus is representing individuals and companies who have a conscious voice. This includes marketing for Yoga Journal, National Geographic, Vegetarian Times, Backpacker, Climber, and True Nature Yoga. Ryan’s work has evolved into helping other yoga teachers share their gifts with the world.
Learn more about Ryan here.