Debunking the Myths about Teaching Private Yoga Classes
What are the first thoughts that come to your mind when you think about private classes? Maybe the idea of your own level as a practitioner comes into question, the type of client that takes private classes has a type of profile or the type of marketing you’ll have to do etc. What if I told you that holding or marketing private classes isn't as different as you think? As teachers, we are always paving a path for us to find our niche. Whether it’s a class, a style of yoga, a combination of yoga and another discipline, or a teaching format, we experiment to seek work-life balance for ourselves.
In this article, we will talk about the most common misnomers about private classes. We will show you what private classes are not too difficult to get into. As well as the essentials that you will need to start marketing your classes. So without further ado, let’s get started.
Common Myths about Teaching Private Classes
Myth #1 You have to be an expert to give private classes.
I will say this with a resounding NO! No, you don’t have to be a very seasoned teacher to start offering private classes. No, you don’t need to be able to do handstands and splits. I started teaching private classes after my first year. A woman from one of my workshops asked for one-on-one classes. I gave her full disclosure about my “year of experience” and we agreed on a slightly lower rate. Through this experience, I learned that even with fewer teaching hours, you are still more experienced than your yogi. So you will have something to offer nonetheless.Teaching is a trial-by-fire skill. Meaning, that the only way to get better as a teacher is to do it. Lastly, I learned that teaching is about preparation and observation. Learn the muscle groups used for the asana, the movements and transitions that go with it, etc. Execute your class and take notes on yogis feedback. How do they approach your classes, how do they feel about their abilities, and their self-esteem and most importantly, how do you make them feel after each session? So don’t keep yourself from offering private classes because of your “level” as a teacher. That part is relative. Prep, observe, evaluate, and repeat. Pretty soon, you will gain that experience because you worked for it.
Let people know what you’re all about because there will always be clients for your yoga, high profile or not.
Myth #2 Most clients that ask for private classes are of a higher income bracket than normal clients.
I found this quote from a movie called Confessions of a Shopaholic. “Cost and worth are two very different things.” Which rings true for this myth. You’ll never know who sees value in your classes. It could be from someone who’s well-off, it could be from a person who needs some form of physical correction and whose doctor recommended yoga or someone with a blue-collar job that was curious about the practice. The point is when people see the value in your classes, clients will call. So don’t be afraid to keep building your brand the way you want to. Let people know what you’re all about because there will always be clients for your yoga, high profile or not.
Myth #3 Private classes will make your yogis progress faster.
The beauty of yoga is that there’s no fast-forward button for advancement. We get what we put in. We become better teachers when we strive to become better every day, and our yogis progress speeds up or not depending on the work they put in. Everybody is different. The difference between a group setting vs. one-on-one is that the lessons you learn will be created just for that practitioner. So the evaluation, homework, and class sequence is tailor-made to suit the yogi. What they decide to do with that acquired knowledge is up to them.
Myth #4 Private classes will take your time away from other yogis.
The answer to this is yes and no. Yes, private or personal yoga teaching will take you away from bigger classes but you can always schedule your classes during off-peak hours. This is where time-management skills will come in handy. If this isn’t your strong suit–it will be the perfect opportunity to build them. Talk to your client and agree on an hour to do the classes. While there can be overlap because most people want the same times like before or after work, if someone is truly interested in private classes, they will make room.
Myth #5 Private classes will surely earn you more money.
I will answer this with a yes and no. Yes, it is added income and no because they usually don’t last. Most of your private yogis will work with you for a period of time and then they will move on. It’s not a reflection of your professional ability. Life happens. Things change and people will move on from you to try something else or will try your class only once, or commit to you for 6 months to a year. If you’re lucky, you may acquire a client that retains you for an indefinite period but usually, this income stream can be quite unstable. While there are people who have “Made it” in the industry, a lot of it has to do with your location as well. Not all of us can live in a big city. So enjoy the added income while it’s there. Prepare your yogis to the best of your ability and send them off knowing that you brought your best self to the mat every time.
Let’s recap! One does not have to be an expert in years or in physical capability to give private classes because what you have will always be more than that of your yogi. Next, clients can come from every background so don’t assume that they will always be from the upper-crust part of society. Private classes can make your yogis progress faster; It’s possible as long as they put in the dedication needed to progress faster. Personal coaching is about providing bespoke classes, including homework and other consultations that the client will acquire based on their certain needs. While time may be taken away from your other group classes, you will also gain a different sense of professionality, observational skills, and much more. All of this can be applied to your types of classes. Personal yoga training is fleeting. Often, It is an added income stream for a time. It’s best to offer but to be combined with other forms of teaching.
There’s so much to gain from teaching one client. First of all, you build a sense of trust that doesn't come as easy in a regular class. From there you will learn to adapt your classes quickly to accommodate that person. Next, you will worry about your private yogi a bit more, so you’ll prepare and study her case to meet her goals and needs. Lastly, when the job’s done, you’ll send them off knowing that you gave 100% of your ability for that yogi. With just one yogi you can build your teacher-client communication skills, adaptability in spontaneous situations, class and sequence preparation, listening, and the list goes on to make you a well-rounded teacher. So if you have any doubts about teaching privately, we hope that this article has put your mind at ease. Maybe now’s the time to start.