Teaching a private session can be much different than instructing a group class.
Personal sessions allow for more detailed attention, advancement of poses and modifications for specific injuries or health concerns. Here are five tips to get you started on how to connect to clients and keep them returning for more after these special classes:
1. Find the challenge and fine tune it.
Private sessions are a great time to let your client dive into more advanced postures, especially if they have been longtime practitioners or have progressed to that point. With only one student to focus on, you can easily spot and help the client out of the pose if they get into it and realize they can’t get out. You can also use the extra session time to challenge their abilities and show them new challenge poses to try and work on over several weeks.
2. Collect background information before the session.
You know the ultimate convenience of booking sessions online or via email, but when you’re seeing a new client for a one-on-one personal session, calling them can reveal a lot about their expectations, goals and past history. By talking to them, you can also get a sense of what they’re looking for and what they would like to achieve from a session. Knowing that a client has a knee injury can help you better tailor sessions, be prepared to know what to do and what not to do. Also, if you’re unsure of a particular injury or its one you’ve never worked with before, this gives you time pre-session to look for deeper reference information to build a plan that is safe and effective.
3. Take your mind out of the time and be present.
Stay within the scope of your practice and teaching, but if you have clients who are dealing with multiple health problems, emotional issues or trying times, you may find yourself in the role of listener. Be present and just listen. Often, when people are dealing with things, they just need someone to tell. You shouldn’t advise them what to do, so just be an open ear.
4. Motivate and take on something new every week.
When your client leaves the session, don’t let the meeting stop there. Give them homework for the following week and make sure to bring it up the next time you see them. The homework could be holding tree pose for a minute or trying out a brand new arm balance. Either way, hold them accountable even out of the studio.
5. Tell them how it works and why.
During your session, it’s helpful to tell your student why you picked that particular sequence or pose. For example, Garland pose. Explain how it stretches the groin area, back and ankles. You can also talk about how it might help release tight tension in the hips and is good for balance, especially if you lower down and then raise up. If you are creating a plan designed specifically for their injuries, people usually like to know what the poses are doing for their specific concerns.
Author: Kelly McLendon
Assistant Editor: JoJo Rowden / Editor: Renée Picard
Photo: Nicholas A. Tonelli/flickr
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