If you don’t have enough space at your home to open a full yoga studio you can always adapt a small space for private classes.
All you really need is space for two yoga mats, maybe you even have the luxury of converting a whole room or study into a small one-on-one yoga studio, in which case you can just follow all the ideas for setting it up like a regular studio. Our full program will give you lots of inexpensive, beautiful ideas to adapt and decorate your space.
However, do not discard the whole idea if you don’t have a room to spare.
I have taught many private classes at people’s homes and all they do is move the furniture around to accomodate the mats. So maybe you could use your living room, your dining room, the sunroom, your kids playroom, a rumpus room or even a hall.
In this case you would need more setup time for every class.
The benefits of private classes at your home:
You can start your business straight away
You will not need:
- Neighbours approval
- Extra parking
- Permission from your landlord
So you will be saving a lot of precious time to get your business started.
We l talk about this at length on the full program, but basically this is all you will be needing:
- A few decorative pieces
- Some basic yoga equipment: bolsters, cushions, mats and straps, but only for 2-3 people
- Social Media
Freedom and flexibility
Since the core of private classes is sorting it out one by one, you are free to choose your working hours and even who you want to teach. It is also fairly simple to cancel a class if you get sick or just don’t schedule any classes if you are planning a holiday.
You will still be able to claim your business expenses against your taxes, however make sure that you comply with the ratio of space and time that your house is dedicated to your business, so that you don’t make the taxman angry.
Planning your space:
The room has to have enough peace and quiet during your classes, so you will still need to consider your children, pets and roommates, we talk about this at length on our full program. It is not so difficult to plan and book your classes when your home is the most quiet. Also, if it is too close to the kitchen make sure that there’s no smelly cooking happening right before or during your classes.
Make sure that there is access to the bathroom and that it is in good shape before your classes.
The entrance to your space will not play such a big deal because your student will already know that this is your private home and not dedicated just to yoga, so in this case I wouldn’t mind taking the students through a bit of the house to the designated space, however, make sure you receive the student at the front door and take him/her to the yoga space yourself, or have the door open and make sure that there are clear signs throughout your house for them to reach it.
I wouldn’t worry too much about the flooring, worst comes to worst you have concrete or tiles, you can always throw a rug on top of them or use two yoga mats per person. I would rather go with the rug because it will look cozy and inviting and there are a few cheap alternatives.
You will still need to do:
A full Business Plan
I know it sounds like a lot of effort but it will pay off. A full Business Plan will allow you to know your long, medium and short objectives and strategies, maybe you plan to grow your business until you have a bigger house and can run classes with larger groups, or even move it away from home and open a stand alone yoga studio.
Your every day decisions will be made accordingly, you know where you are heading and what you need to do.
Even if you don’t plan on growing into a larger studio, you will still have objectives like saving for retirement, or even a family holiday, you will know how many classes you have to teach and how much to charge to be able to accomplish your goals.
This is an extensive subject on our full program.
Insurance and liability
You will always have to plan for the unknown, knock on wood you will never have to use it, but what if you do?
Without being properly insured, you can potentially face a lawsuit, bankruptcy or even legal charges. Please be prepared. You can find the full Insurance and Liability chapters and checklists in our program.
Finding your market:
First of all you will have to define yourself as a yoga teacher:
- What are your strengths, your weaknesses, your passions. If you don’t have the patience to teach elderly people on a chair, then, that is it, they will not be part of your market, if you love restorative yoga or Iyengar yoga is your style maybe you can help people recover from injuries and diseases, and so on.
- Notice what the people around you, need. Maybe you live in a community with a lot of Chinese people and you speak the language, you could offer classes in their language.
- Locate your students. Once you have defined your market, then find them. Consider that they have to live close to you because they may not travel a lot to find you. What activities are they involved in? What social media do they use? Where do they go?
You will find a lot of yummy information in our full program.
Advertising and Promotions:
Here are a few ideas (a lot more in our program):
- Flyers in your local supermarket, church, gym (if they let you), doctors, schools, hospitals, cafes. You will be able to read how to put together a flyer in our full program.
- Business cards. Remember that this is a one-on-one business, so bring them always with you and talk about your business wherever you are and hand them out everywhere and to everyone!
- Tell your friends and family about your new business. Word of mouth is very powerful.
- Website: don’t underestimate the power of the internet. People who are looking for yoga classes will start there. We have done a chapter full of tutorials on how to build your own, so you don’t even have to spend a lot of money to be online. click here to gain free access to our tutorial.
- Social media. I reckon this could turn out to be your most powerful way of advertising. The word is easily spread this way and all you need to do is open accounts in Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat and dedicate a few minutes everyday to post something about your classes.
- Signage. We also talk about it in our full program, but even a small sign outside your home or on your car could drive students to your studio.
This seems simple, however you could specialize if you want. Just what we talked about earlier, you could just dedicate yourself to help people with injuries, or pregnant women, or beginners. Think about what you really want to offer.
You do not need to be strict about the length of your classes, you can accomodate to your student’s requirements. I actually have a student who wants to learn the Asthanga primary series and we do a 2 hour session every week. If they are willing to pay your price… why not?
Pricing, payments and bookkeeping
This is important!
Do not undercharge. I know it is difficult to place value to your own time, especially at the beginning, when you feel new and insecure, but trust me, you, your energy and your time are super valuable!
Think of a massage, which provides a moment of pleasure… for how much? You are providing a lifetime of health and peace!
I charge $75 Australian for an hour of private classes. But I have fiends who offer packages of 5 or 10 private classes at a discount.
Handling money should be a lot easier, since you don’t have 15 people paying at the same time, but registering the income every time will turn out to be very important. Resist the temptation of using the money without the proper entry in your books, it is important to be clear and straightforward when tax time comes.
There is an easy way to accept credit cards, we talk about it in our program.
Planning your class:
Private classes are awesome! I love them; you really get to know your student, his/her body and the best approach for their own self.
It is scary to have the first one, or the second, or the third, you have no idea of the knowledge or the expectations of the person in front of you.
The first thing I do is I ask them if they have any issues I have to be aware of and then I ask them if they have any special requests. I try to do this before the class so that I can plan ahead. You can always ask them everything you want to know when they arrive for their class, but since you need to have contact with them to sort out the times, you might as well ask in advance so that you can be properly prepared.
Adjust, adjust, adjust
Once in the class, I actually perform the class with them, that way they can copy if they don’t understand my cues, I also always adjust; there is always some adjustment that will help understand the pose and their body better even if it is an enhancement, to make them get deeper into the pose. People want this kind of personal approach in a one-on-one.
Talk to them
Always talk to them, ask them how they are feeling, is this good? Does this feel better? Where in your body are you feeling this? Do you want to release the pose? Do you think you can go further with my help? And so on…
Praise and build confidence
I try to praise them when they do it properly, to bring some sense of achievement; you want your student to feel good and motivated. I try to pick the poses that are easy first, building their self esteem and confidence.
Then I get into the poses where they feel challenged, that way they are already feeling stronger, mind body and emotionally, before the big moves.
I always finish with meditation, either seated or in shavasana; this helps their bodies take from the poses and the movement all the benefits before hitting life again.
Get feedback at the end, so that you can be better next time, and see if they are ready to join a regular class at your studio or if they want to book another private class, don’t let them go without trying to keep them yogaing with you.