Most Yoga Teachers Don’t Charge Enough for Private Clients

Recently, one of our past Yoga Teacher Prep – Yoga Business program students reached out to us wondering what to charge for a private lesson. This is a very common question for yoga teachers and of course, the answer depends on many factors. This YTP business student was shocked at the private yoga class rate we suggested. I believe too many yoga teachers completely undervalue their offering.

I’m going to lay out the aspects that you should consider if you are thinking about taking on private or semi-private clients. Consider all of these things before setting your rate.

How Much do you Make Teaching a Full Class at a Studio or in a Gym?

This should be considered your base hourly rate. After all, this is what you could make if you weren’t spending your time with a private client.

Did You Sign a Contract with your Employer that Prevents you From Teaching Elsewhere?

Make sure you read your contracts carefully. Yoga is a small community and you don’t want to burn any bridges. One thing to also be aware of is whether this private client found you through the studio. You don’t want your boss thinking you’re poaching clients from them. It’s best to be upfront about these things and communicate.  

Have You Purchased Liability Insurance?

Many teachers who work only at a studio or gym aren’t required to have insurance – usually because the studio carries the insurance. Once you start teaching outside of the studio, you need your own insurance. This is going to factor into how much you charge – so be sure you know what this cost will be.

Where Would You be Teaching the Class? Your Home? Their Home? Space you Need to Rent?

If you are using your own space, consider what the cost would be to keep it clean (whether that is your time or if you have to hire someone to clean). Also, consider how it will impact the other people in the house. Will they have to be quiet (and can you count on them to be quiet) or will they have to leave the house? What if you have out of town guests? Or, if your child is sick?. Plus, you’ll want to check with your home insurance policy that it covers you if you have people coming to your home. All of this should be factored into the price.

If you will Teach in Their Space, How Long Will it Take You to Travel to that Space (and How Much Will Gas or Bus Cost)?

Travel time is often calculated at 50% of your base rate. Once again, consider that this is time you are giving to this client that you are not in the studio teaching. It’s also time you’re not practicing yourself.

Is There Anything Proprietary About Your Style?

When you offer something that the client might not be able to get anywhere else, you have a premium offering. For example, is this a prenatal class? Or, is it in another language? These are special skills that you either had to pay to acquire or practice to maintain.

What do Other Teachers (with Similar Experience Level) Charge in Your Community?

This is less of a factor, but it’s good to know whether you can be competitive. If nothing else, it will give you the confidence to charge what you’re worth.

Are you Providing any Props like Yoga Mats, Bolsters, Straps, and Blocks?

These items cost you money. They will eventually need to be replaced. And, there is value to the student because they don’t have to worry about it or spend extra money.

Are you Spending Money Marketing Your Private Offering?

Marketing your private offering might be in the future once you realize how fulfilling teaching private classes can be. But, you’ll want to consider this off the top so that you can maintain some consistency in pricing. Your first client may very well bring you your second and third! Also, consider how frequently you’ll be teaching a client. Is this a one-time thing or are they booking regular classes with you like once a week?

Now, use the answers to these questions to figure out a rate. For example, if I make $40 teaching for a yoga studio, I might charge a little more for a private class because the class will be specific to my client’s needs. I’ll ask them in advance what their intention is for the class. And if they’re working on a specific posture or have an injury, I will spend some time researching what to teach them. If they want the class at their home and they live 30 minutes away from me, that’s 1 hour of travel time to factor in that I’m not teaching. I’ll also bring mats and extra props to serve them better. So, because of all these extra elements to consider, I’m going to charge more than my usual studio rate. Instead of $40, I would potentially charge $65 if I’m a new teacher or $80 if I’ve been teaching for a while and have spent years investing in my education.

Of course, in certain situations, you will want to factor in the person’s ability to pay that rate. However, you can’t set the price based on what someone can pay because it could end up costing you money and leaving you feeling frustrated and underappreciated.

Please keep in mind that these rates are arbitrary examples and may be different in the community you’re teaching. I’ve been teaching now for 11 years in my community and charge $100-$150 depending on the situation.

My primary purpose of this blog is to ensure that as a yoga instructor, you don’t undervalue your work. It is important to band together as teachers and ensure we can make a living wage wherever we are in the world!

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