Teaching a Private Yoga Lesson: The Essentials

I adore teaching private yoga lessons: there's something really special about being able to work with a student 1:1, and completely customize a class based on their body and mindset. I've learned that an effective private lesson has a lot to do with proper set-up, so I wanted to share what's worked for me.

What should you do before your first private yoga session with a client?

  • Confirm your rate: rates will vary by city, your level of experience, travel time, and more. Make sure payment has been confirmed before you show up to avoid any awkward post-yoga money discussions - not fun for anyone! I typically work with Venmo, Square, or plain ol' cash.

  • Confirm location: If you're driving to their home or workplace, budget in an extra 15 minutes or so. Being late causes unnecessary stress on both ends!

  • Plan your class: I typically talk to my clients before my first visit about where they see their strengths and areas for opportunity. I'll build a class around our discussion, but always, always stay present - work with what's going on in the moment!

What should you bring to your first private yoga session with a client?

This is the fun part! Since I do a few privates in the early morning before I head to work, I want to spend as little time as possible getting ready in the mornings. I've built up a Mary Poppins bag of goodies that I can grab and go! 

 THIS is how you prep for a private client.

THIS is how you prep for a private client.

 

  • Blocks - A yogi's BFF (4L). Bring at least one block, two if you can swing it. You want your student to be as comfortable as possible, and blocks are one of my favorite ways to deepen a client's experience. For newer students, I usually go with a foam block.
  • Strap - Just like blocks, straps allow students to access shapes that might not happen otherwise.  I always bring my 8 foot yoga strap; if you have taller clients, bigger is definitely better!
    • Pro Tip: If your client has open hips, bound supta baddhakonasana is an awesome, awesome release right before (or during) savasana. Throw two blocks under each knee so that it's nice and comfy for them.
  • Water - Just like when you're teaching a public class, you need to stay hydrated while you're yapping your face off about those eight limbs and all those poses. I'm currently obsessed with Gaiam's insulated water bottle - great for ice-cold water, or super-hot lemon tea.
  • Comfy Clothes - get your clothing ready before you head out, so you're not scrambling around for something clean. I'm all for a good leggings/sports bra combo with a loose tee thrown on top.

Then, of course, the extras: any oils you like, incense, crystals - whatever you use to make your practice special, that you think your client would also appreciate. 

PS - if you're looking to stock up on any yoga goodies, head on over to Gaiam. My code will get ya 20% off all orders over $50: AMANDA30 :)

What else do YOU bring to your client sessions? Let me know in the comments!