certified hatha yoga instructorBy Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

How much should your rate for a private Yoga lesson be? Does it vary by location? Why do some Yoga teachers schedule so many private lessons, while other Yoga instructors run Yoga classes, almost exclusively?

Private Yoga lessons do vary in price, and the average private Yoga session in Beverly Hills is going to be on the higher end, in cost. Yoga teacher experience is also a factor. So, experience and location does have a lot to do with your private session rates, but how do you know what is a fair market value?

How do you avoid “selling yourself short?” Your students do expect more value, and they realize private Yoga sessions are more expensive than a regular Yoga class.

One course of action is to compare notes, with local Yoga teachers, and personal fitness trainers. If you teach at a health club, or network with local Yoga teachers, and personal trainers; many of them will be happy to help you.

If personal trainers, with similar experience, are charging more than you, your rates are, usually, too low. Why? Some personal trainers might graduate from a 200 to 500 hour certification course, but many do not, unless they have a bachelor’s degree in physical education, which is more experience than most Yoga teachers.

Most Yoga instructors graduate from a 200 to 500 hour Yoga instructor training program. The hours of study involved to become a Yoga teacher deserves a similar private session rate, if the working experience is similar to a personal trainer.

How do you avoid Yoga students, who make appointments and do not show up for scheduled private Yoga session? You should have a firm 24 hour cancellation policy in place. Yoga students should be required to cancel before the 24 hour mark, if an emergency arises. Your time is valuable too, and you could be teaching Yoga to someone who shows up for their appointment.

Sometimes Yoga students make appointments, and do not cancel, or show up for them. Once a student has done this, he or she should reserve a private Yoga session with a non-refundable deposit or reservation fee.

This may seem harsh, but you make the commute to your Yoga studio, set everything up, wait, and the student does not show up. It truly is a matter of how many times a Yoga teacher is prepared to waste his or her time before reacting.

Here’s how it works: If my private rate is $80, we require a $40 deposit for the reservation and the $40 balance upon arrival. If the student does not show up, he or she loses the deposit.

This policy is only for Yoga students who have a history of not showing up for appointments. It took a lot of abuse before we implemented this policy, but now everyone shows up for their private Yoga lessons on time.

Why do some Yoga teachers schedule so many private lessons, while others run Yoga classes only? Two factors are involved. If your location, or your student’s location, is upscale, there will be a demand for private Yoga sessions in that geographic area.

Also, it has to do with your marketing efforts. You have to make it known in your literature and on your website. In your Yoga studio, you want to post signs to let students know that you teach private Yoga sessions. Some marketing studies show that people have to see the same message seven times before they react.


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