Talking about money is sexy and a little bit controversial in the yoga world. On the one hand, a new sensational post lands daily on the topic of making a living (or not) teaching yoga and on the other, it’s the metric so many of us are using to answer questions like:
1. When can I leave my full-time (potentially soul-sucking) job?
2. Can I do this long-term and support myself and my family?
3. Is it yogic to make moolah as a yoga teacher, any way?
4. Am I a kickass human being if I can’t make this yoga biz thing work?
It’s also something I’m passionate about teaching on for many reasons—the main falling between the latter question and this simple fact: You can make money teaching yoga, specifically private yoga, but it takes a lot more than sending a prayer up to the Universe.
The more I work with private yoga teachers, the more I uncover some of the thought patterns we collectively have as yoga professionals. And the more I want to unravel the scarcity mindset. Here are the things every private yoga teacher needs to know about making the green.
Articulating The Benefits
Clearly and concisely communicating the benefits, outcomes, and takeaways your client will have after working with you individually is as important as being able to show up and teach meaningful private yoga sessions.
Even if you rock at selling your private sessions and packages if you aren’t delivering life-changing yoga sessions (and truly letting the healing power of yoga do its magic) then you will be in chronic sell mode. Plus, kiss that coveted word-of-mouth momentum goodbye if you aren’t working to be an incredible yoga teacher.
Being able to talk about why someone should invest in one-on-one work, and what can shift for them (get to the heartbeat of their goals and frustrations) roots your money talk in real talk—the problem solving kind.
Wanna do this? Practice! Have a lot of conversations about the benefits of private yoga, the work you do individually, and chat with people who are the kind of clients you’d love to have a handful of. We all start in this practice phase, but here is where you build confidence and clarity at articulating what you do and why you do it.
The Koshas Of Value
I like to bridge together esoteric concepts with private yoga teaching points—like the koshas and what the heck they have to do with ‘value’ for us private yoga teachers. The koshas are like the layers of an onion. Each one peels back to reveal another form of working towards our truest nature and to complete bliss. We use our yoga practice to move through each layer or sheath until we’ve arrived at the innermost part—ananada or bliss.
Like the koshas, the value our client places on the work they do with us one-to-one moves from the most outermost sheath and moves inward until we get to our fullest potential or see the greatest value of the act of being a yoga practitioner and taking part in private yoga lessons.
Wanna do this? Ask yourself what is the outermost point of benefits or value your perfect-fit client is seeking. Once you’ve outlined (probably) a physical benefit, dive deeper into a breath-centric one, then a benefit specific to the mind, and so on. It can be hard for our clients to put into words their ultimate goal or objective—but we can help them uncover it by using the koshas as our guide. Keep digging!
The I Factor
A private yoga experience is not the same as a group class—but how? Uncover how your one-on-one sessions differ (no need to downplay the benefits of group classes—but we can all acknowledge there is a difference on a few different fronts) differ from other popular ways to practice and get to the heart of what your sessions and packages include.
Understanding The I Factor requires you to communicate what is included in the private yoga instruction you teach and it better be more than an hour of yoga. Do you include homework (you should)? What about packages that include more value like tangible products or elements that deepen your clients experience? Do you offer support beyond your one-on-one session?
Wanna do this? Start by making a list of the things that you do during a private yoga session (nothing is too small) and add to the list the things you can include to add more value. Delivering value and being able to talk about it (see #1) increases your hourly price point and eventually, your demand as a private yoga teacher.
The Ignore The Rest Test
How often do we feel pulled into the status quo of the yoga world? We’re all guilty of buying into limiting beliefs and the version of the yoga teacher as a starving artist model, but it’s crap. Getting to the core of your price points, package costs, and your hourly rate as a private yoga teacher means ditching the story every other yoga teacher has about making money and doing it fast.
Ask yourself: Are building a practice and pricing structure based on someone else’s website? If you answer yes, read on.
Wanna do this? Stop looking at other people’s price points to gauge your private session costs. Instead, look at the value you bring from years of training and experience, consider the convenience factor of getting to and from your client, and pick a price point per hour that is parallel to that of other helping and healing professionals (the ones that make at least $60 an hour!).
Money doesn’t have to be your main hang-up on your path to teaching private yoga sessions or cultivating a sustainable private yoga teaching practice. I’d much rather spend my time learning more about sequencing, spending time building my trust with could-be clients, or building in some afternoons off from my thriving client docket. Wouldn’t you?
Kate Connell is the private yoga teacher's best friend. Her work at You &amp; the yoga mat provides mentorship, trainings, and tools for yoga teachers interested in mastering the art of teaching individualized yoga and the business behind a sustainable private teaching practice.
You can find Kate at www.youandtheyogamat.com