Why Private Yoga Doesn’t Work

Whoa! How can I say private yoga doesn’t work? Because it really only does in very few cases, at least the way we image private yoga as yoga teachers.

Let’s look at fitness in comparison, the personal training model in particular since that’s really what compares closest to teaching private yoga.

In fitness clients seek out a personal trainer for a reason. A person doesn’t just decide one day they will pay $50-$100/hr for “Fitness”. NO!!

The client who seeks out a personal fitness trainer wants results. And usually very specific results.

People who want to work wth personal trainers do so because the trainer promises a certain outcome in exchange for their time and money. In fitness often the results that people seek are weight loss, rehab from injury or a specific goal in strength or endurance, often related to a specific sport or athletic event.


Nobody is just going to pay a private trainer for “Fitness”. So why do we expect clients will seek us out for “Yoga”?

Can we be so presumptuous to assume that Yoga in itself is so amazing that offering private yoga is all it takes to attract paying clients to us like bees to honey?

So what would make someone chose not only to pay you more for private sessions then group classes, but also chose to work with you rather then the next private yoga teacher down the road? Because let’s face it … everybody and their kitty cat wants to teach yoga these days and it’s only a matter of time before your next door neighbour comes back all shiny and new from their YTT and decides to set up a studio in their oversized living room.

Here are some of the biggest factors that personal trainers do different (and that you should consider as a private yoga teacher):

1. Mindset

You will very likely not see many fitness people who struggle with the concept of taking money for their services. Why is that?

Well, for one we are quite used to the personal training model and everybody accepts and expects the fact that they have to pay more for a much more focused and personalized approach.

Sure, group classes at the gym will always be filled. But make no mistake, so are personal training sessions.

There is no question about why someone would pay premium prices to have one on one time with their trainer. The client knows they will get better results.

So, why should this be different in a Private Yoga model?

The main reason is that private yoga is still relatively new compared to the personal training model. Students are used to group classes in Yoga. So let’s do some re-educating. Best start with yourself!


2. Be Specific

When setting up your private practice consider very carefully who you wish to attract into you home studio or whatever space you chose to teach from.

Who do you enjoy working with? Middle aged women, runners, stiff guys (get your mind out of the gutter), kids with ADD, athletes … .

Who do you really want to help the most with Yoga? Where does your expertise lie, your preference, your passion?

Which additional training might you have taking in your Yoga teacher career?


3. Recognizing A Need

In fitness we carefully develop personalized programs that help our clients reach their goals and get tangible results.

For this we establish a baseline, where the is client now, that we can then compare to where the client would like to be in 12 weeks, or whatever duration their program is.

This means that clients can see results which will likely make them come back and may even get them to refer their friends or co-workers to the trainer.

In private yoga we tend to not work a result based model. But why not?

If your clients wish is to gain more focus and balance so they can deal better with stress, why not commit them to a six week program and have them track their stress levels while giving the additional tools they can use at home to achieve their goal , such as guided meditations or a mood journal?

Doesn’t this sound like a program the right client would happily be paying for?

I want you to think outside the box, and by that I mean think about what is really holding you back from being successful in your private yoga practice while the personal trainer down the road has a full schedule.

Why would we not employ the same business principles as a fitness trainer in our Yoga business?


I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on this topic. Please share below, and if you enjoyed this post make sure to share it with your friends and sign up for The Thriving Yogi Newsletter to get regular tips in your inbox!