Teaching a private yoga class is very different from teaching a group yoga class. First, you typically get paid more money. Second, your private yoga class has to be tailor-made to the individual you are teaching. It may sound easy at first because you’re only teaching one or two people., but people who book for a private yoga session have particular needs. So before you start looking for private yoga students, here is a framework for a private yoga questionnaire you can use. You will also learn some tips on how to teach your first private yoga class by the end of this article.
Interview in Person or Fill Out a Form?
Some yoga teachers don’t like preparing forms for their students to fill. I am this type of yoga teacher. Whichever channel they found my class, I talk to them and ask questions instead of sending them a form to fill out. At the actual class, I start the first class with a bit of getting to know more. Then, I ask more personal questions such as their injuries, if they have a mindfulness practice, or currently exercising.
If you are using a Private yoga session questionnaire, I suggest that the student fill it out before you meet for the first class. Then, if they have answers that you need to clarify, you can ask at the start of your first class.
Private Yoga Class Questionnaire: The Questions
General Personal Details
The first questions in your questionnaire should be personal details such as name, age, address, and contact details. These are essential details that may be basic but help you get to know your private student.
Body History and Presently
Whether this is in a form they need to fill out or an in-person interview, you should ask questions about the student’s body history. Include questions such as:
- Have you had any major injuries in the past?
- Have you had any major surgeries in the past?
- Do you have any current pain, discomfort, or diagnosed injury?
- Do you currently follow an exercise regimen?
- Do you have any movement or mindfulness practice?
Asking these questions will help you have a general idea about their physical strengths and weaknesses. In addition, asking these questions will help you create a class suitable for their current body while not aggravating any past injuries.
The current lifestyle of a yogi may affect her practice. So, it is also essential to ask about it. So, here are some questions to ask:
- What is your line of work? (The potential private yoga client may have a very stressful job, making her a perfect yoga student.)
- Do you work full-time or part-time? (The yoga student’s workload will affect how much time they can spend on yoga. Asking this question will help you decide when to do the class.)
- What are your responsibilities outside work? Are you a spouse, a parent? (Other duties may keep them from practicing yoga.)
- What is your sleeping habit like? (If the student doesn’t sleep well, progress may be slow.)
- What do you usually eat? (Eating habits of the student can also affect her progress)
- Do you cook your food? (Eating out, especially ultra-processed take-out food, may slow down their progress.)
What They Need Yoga For
Each individual has their reasons for wanting to practice yoga. Ask your potential private yoga students questions that will give you an idea about their goals to create classes that will help them achieve these goals.
- Do you have any yoga experience? If yes, what did you like and didn’t like about it?
- What is/are your goal/goals for this private yoga class?
- What barriers have you or are you currently facing to reach your goals?
7 Tips to Teaching a Private Yoga Lesson
Once you have all the answers to these questions, it’s time to teach your private yoga class. Here are tips on how you can do it:
Start with Centering
All my yoga classes start with centering; may it be a group or a private yoga class. The centering part is just a quick self-check-in to get the body ready for yoga. Unless the student specifically wants to focus on meditation, the centering will last up to five minutes.
Don’t Forget to Practice Seated Joint Loosening
Joint loosening exercises such as neck rotations, shoulder rotations, hip rotations, and ankle rotations should be done at the start of the class. These rotations are just a way to lubricate the joints that are most likely not ready for complex static movements.
Start With A Few Easy Poses
Once you interview the student or see her answers to the questionnaire, you will learn her physical strengths and limitations. But it’s still best to start the class with simple yoga poses and movements to gauge their capacity.
Create a Private Class Toolkit
Most private classes are held at the homes of your client. Furthermore, most clients don’t have the right tools for a yoga practice at home. At best, they have a yoga mat. To create a private class toolkit with all the props your client may need. Include yoga blocks, a strap, and a bolster.
Always Make Time to Communicate
Clients who book for a private yoga class want to have a personalized service. So, don’t just go to the class without communicating with your client. Communication is vital before you take them on board as a client. But it’s more crucial once you meet them at the actual class. Because you want to build trust and rapport, so they continue booking you. Moreover, their feelings, energy level, and physical strength changes every time. So it would help if you communicated with them to know their present state. It will help you in creating a class appropriate for that day.
Create a Clear Contract
Before you book your first private yoga class, make sure you know your boundaries first. As a yoga teacher, you are a service provider and a business. So, set the price, cancellation policy, and if there are extra travel charges. Have the client sign this contract before the first private class.
Get a Liability Insurance
You need to protect your business and yourself from the threat of litigation. You can waive responsibility in your contract, but that won’t hold up in many courts. If a client gets injured, the court can still hold you responsible. You can prepare for that with liability insurance.
A private yoga class is different from a group class because you only have to personalize your class to one or two students. Therefore, ask your private yoga student the right questions to create a yoga class suited for their goals, needs, strengths, and limitations.