6 Reasons to Build Your Yoga Career around Private Clients.

yoga class teach

I’ve worked with countless yoga teachers who are trying to transform their teaching “hobby” into a fun, fulfilling and sustainable yoga career.

And, I see the same problem again and again: they structure their teaching (and therefore their income) around group classes.

While group classes are a great jumping off point—helping you find your teaching voice, enabling you to interact with students on a regular basis, and helping you identify the style you love teaching best—to truly build a lasting, flourishing yoga brand (that doesn’t burn you out!), it’s essential to factor private clients into the equation.

When we constantly trade time-for-too-little-money, as is the case with teaching group yoga classes, we trap ourselves. The only way to increase our income is to teach more classes, but the more classes we teach, the more burnt-out we get, and the less we enjoy teaching!

It can be a no-win cycle.

Most teachers I work with spend about 80-90 percent of their time and energy on group classes and just a measly 10-20percent seeking out and working with private clients. It’s time to flip that stat 180 degrees!

I see teachers who lead 20, 25, even 30 group classes a week and are barely able to pay their bills. No good! But those same teachers, when they drop some of their group classes to open their schedule for privates wind up teaching and working fewer hours while drastically increasing their income!

Yet, it’s sometimes hard to see our way clearly when we’re uncertain of the exact benefits that a new possibility can offer. So, if you need some convincing, here are six reasons (monetary and otherwise) to build your yoga career around private yoga clients:

(1) You can really ensure that they’re getting the intended benefits and see the progress they’re making.

(2) You develop a deeper bond and understanding of their needs.

(3) It allows you to expand your repertoire and teaching know-how by working with a number of different bodies one-on-one.

(4) You earn much more per hour than you do teaching public classes.

(5) You get honest and instant feedback about your teaching, assisting, demos, explanations, and more!

(6) Private students are loyal, love you and refer you to family and friends.

The benefits of working one-on-one with private clients are tremendous, for both teacher and student. I strongly encourage all my clients to pursue this avenue if they’re maxing out their time, energy and income.


Love elephant and want to go steady?

Sign up for our (curated) daily and weekly newsletters!

Editor: Renée Picard

Image: Evan Lovely at Flickr


You must be logged in to post a comment. Create an account.

amphibi1yogini Jun 29, 2014 9:19am

As a student, I long for the day when we could count on reasonably-priced yoga and movement classes to attend.

However, if the market must be two-tiered like this. [And, okay, I know it's "tradition", but even so]. I am glad you are pointing to this shakeout. I am all for this shakeout.

I guess it is now to the home practice mat, and to the part-time teacher that may welcome a primarily home practicing student. At the risk of having a practice that is "phoned in."

Privates are fully justified only if you injured yourself badly and want to avoid going with insurance/physical therapy, probably for purposes of going under the radar with your place of business. That's my take on it in this expensive, Affordable Care Act, worker-bee (at a straight job) climate … otherwise they are a luxury … best attempted at a fully appointed day spa …
And I am an old lady.

Read The Best Articles of March
You voted with your hearts, comments, views, and shares.

Cailen Ascher

Cailen Ascher is a marketing maven & yoga entrepreneur who wants to live in a world where everyone’s dream job is their day job and yoga pants are acceptable work attire. As an internationally-known marketing expert and entrepreneur, she’s been spotlighted on elephant journal, MindBodyGreen, Yogi Times, YogipreneurTV, My Yoga Online, LKR Social Media, and Gary Vaynerchuk’s “1 a Day Q&A”. Sign-up for Cailen’s free weekly newsletter to discover how to transform your yoga teaching “hobby” into a career and claim your FREE copy of Cailen’s Yoga Biz Essentials e-book.  You can also find Cailen on Twitter and Facebook.