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Business of Yoga

How to Get More Private Yoga Clients

Spoiler alert: It's not as hard as you might think.

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Teaching private yoga lessons is a way to connect with students who may not be ready to take group classes, those who need extra attention, and those who prefer to practice at home.

Through teaching private lessons, you’ll be able to refine your ability to give clear instruction, since you’re receiving immediate feedback from your student. Leading in this context also helps you hone the skill of creating curriculum as you progress with a student from one week to the next. Lastly, teaching privately is uniquely rewarding because of the intimate view into your student’s life and how it changes from week to week because of the practice.

Although private lessons usually pay the highest hourly rate of any form of yoga teaching, they can also be very taxing as you are constantly assessing and responding to the needs of one student. I recommend sticking with a number of private lessons that you can handle without draining yourself and this number is different for everyone.

There are several ways to expand your potential clientele and it involves marketing both to your existing community as well as expanding your reach. Below are several that are commonly overlooked by yoga teachers.

How to grow your private yoga client base

Don’t be shy. Tell your students.

This might seem obvious. Yet you’d be surprised at how many teachers forget to let students know they work with private clients or feel ashamed for marketing themselves. Your regular students are already familiar with the benefit you bring to their lives. Announce that you offer private lessons when you teach group classes. Make these announcements a regular part of your classes, whether at the beginning or end.

Even if your students aren’t interested in private sessions for themselves, they may know someone who could benefit from yoga but is hesitant to start with a group class. Some teachers offer a free private lesson for each referral.

Explain why private yoga lessons can be helpful

Don’t just tell others that you offer private instruction. Show them why one-on-one time is such a good idea by listing ways that one-on-one lessons help and then draw on this when you are promoting your private practice. Offer examples that feel authentic to you and your teaching.

If you teach group classes that are for beginners and are familiar with their needs, market yourself to those who are curious to try yoga. If you have a nuanced understanding of anatomy and how it relates to practicing (and modifying) yoga poses, mention that you can help those with physical limitations or who have their doctor’s approval to begin yoga after an injury. Or perhaps you can help someone create their own home practice. If you teach poses not commonly included in all vinyasa classes, you can instruct someone on the nuances of learning a particular type of pose, such as arm balances or inversions.

Advertise on social media

Remind your existing followers every once in a while that you offer private lessons. Don’t just tell them that you offer this. Show them why one-on-one time with you will benefit them (see above).

Create referral partners

A common practice is to reach out to practitioners in other fields—think physical therapy, acupuncture, massage therapy, personal training, etc.—who you know and trust and ask if they’d keep you in mind if they think yoga would benefit any of their clients. Similarly, you can refer clients back to them. This expands your reach exponentially.

Offer private instruction to individual students

When students ask questions after class, be certain to answer them to the best of your knowledge, but also invite them to take private lessons with you in order to go more in-depth.

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