One of the most common questions I receive is about what to charge for private yoga lessons. In today’s blog, I’ll be diving into what you need to consider before setting your rates.
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When it comes to setting your rates for private yoga, or one-on-one sessions, there are four factors to take into consideration. I cover those in Part 1.
Prefer videos? Watch What to Charge for Private Yoga Lessons, Part 1:
factor #1: Location
The first factor to think about is location.
Where are the private lessons going to be held? Is this going to be in your home or in the client’s home? Is it going to be at an outside place like a gym, a yoga studio, a church, or some other kind of facility?
If you’re doing it in your home or the client’s home, then there’s likely not going to be that additional charge of having to rent space. But if you’re needing to use an outside facility, there is probably going to be a cost associated with renting that space for the hour long session that you’re doing.
So you want to make sure that you’re including that cost when you’re setting your rates.
Other questions to ask yourself when it comes to the location:
- How far are you going to have to drive to get to where you need to do that session?
- Is it close by or are you going to have to drive 30 minutes in traffic?
- How much gas are you going to spend in order to get to that location?
factor #2: prep time + duration
The second factor is going to be prep time and duration.
How long does the client want to go for a private session? Do they want to do 45 minutes? Or do they prefer 60 to 75 minutes, or even longer? On average, people usually want to meet for about an hour.
For prep time, you want to take into account if your clients have any special needs. Are you going to have to do some outside research to feel prepared and comfortable providing yoga lessons to that individual?
factor #3: region
The third factor is region.
This is something you’ll want to do some market research on.
- What is the market charging in your area?
- What are other teachers charging for private lessons?
- What do massage therapists in your area charge?
For region, also consider city versus country. If you’re doing a lesson that’s more in an urban area, that’s going to bear a little higher price than if you’re located in a more rural setting.
Also I know I have a few individuals in the collective who are not here in the US. So that’s going to go into consideration too because other countries may have a higher cost of living.
You may need to factor in a little bit more based on where you are in the US. The East Coast and West Coast usually is going to be a little bit higher than the midwest.
factor #4: clients
The fourth factor to consider what to charge for private lessons are the clients themselves.
One-on-one is going to be you and one other person. But a lot of times a private lesson can be a couple or partners. They live in the same house and the payments are coming out as the same pocket.
So a lot of times, if it’s just a one on one, or if it’s a couple, I may charge around the same rate. Sometimes if it’s a couple I may add five or $10, just depends.
If you’re doing something that’s closer to what I call semi-private, which is two, three, or max of four people, then I’m definitely going to add to my base rate. I might add on $5-10 per person.
The other thing to think about with your clients is again their needs. What are the coming to you for?
- Are they just wanting some general yoga lessons to get familiar with postures and breathing without having to be thrown into the deep end of a group class?
- Or do they have some really specific needs? They have an injury that they’re having to deal with. Or they need variations and lots of help in order to make yoga accessible to them.
what to charge part 2
Now that we’ve covered the four factors: location, prep time + duration, region, and clients, let’s see how that might look in numbers.
Prefer videos? Watch What to Charge for Private Yoga Lessons, Part 2:
set an Hourly base rate
In my region which is North Texas I always recommend a base rate of $60 per session. That’s the average for private lessons and one-hour massages.
There are two exceptions to going lower than $60/session: The first one is if you are actually brand new, maybe you don’t have any kind of certification yet, or any kind of experience.
If charging $60/hour makes you hesitant, decrease it by $5-10. But no more than that because it’s very hard to move people up, and you don’t want to burnout charging less.
The second time to only go below $60/session for your base rate is if you’re doing a package deal. I’ll talk about packages in a moment.
If you are a more experienced or seasoned teacher, I would recommend your base rate be a little bit higher, especially if you have a specialty. Maybe you’re known for doing yoga for multiple sclerosis or Thai Yoga. You might have a base rate of $75/session and go up from there.
👉 And remember this is the BASE rate.
now add in the four factors
We’re starting with our base rate at $60/session. Now we’re looking at those four factors in deciding whether to stay there or bump it up.
For example, let’s say I’m going to instruct a couple and my base rate is $60. But I have to drive 30 minutes and it’s going to be at their house.
They’re opening their doors to me, so I’m not going to add anything for location, but I am having to drive 30 minutes and spend gas. I want to add on maybe $5-10 for that drive time.
The base rate of $60 has gone to $70.
I’m just going to say that my couple doesn’t need any extra prep time. They want to get comfortable with the names of the postures and feel comfortable when they go into a group class.
I wouldn’t need to do a lot of prep time, so I’m probably going to charge $70 an hour to work with this couple.
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One-offs are okay. That means a client is just interested in doing one session with me. If it’s a one-off session, I generally am going to add on to my base rate.
Back to the couple for example. They want me to work with them one time but I still have to drive to them. I may add on another $5-10 to become $75-80 to do that one-off.
And I do that for a couple of reasons.
With a one-off, it’s very easy for somebody to change their minds. The day comes and they tell you they’re busy, can’t do it.
When we make our rates a little bit higher, the client has skin in the game. At $80/hour you sound serious, you’re taking yourself serious and you take the lessons seriously.
Private yoga packages
Now let’s look at private yoga packages.
When I do private lessons, I am working towards getting them to sign up for a package. That package can be a set of four sessions, six sessions or even more.
My standard is to do four sessions. I like four sessions because you can get great commitment. You can get buy-in from the clients. It’s also a way to test the waters that you’re not over committing with a client, or a set of clients, that drive you bananas.
And believe me I’ve had a couple of those situations where I didn’t want to work with the client because they’re so frustrating.
So if a client asks you, “Hey, do you have any discounts, any way I could get a little bit less than what you’re charging me?”
I would respond with, “The best discount and best way for you to benefit is if you sign up for my four lesson package.”
(I’m just throwing out numbers for examples.)
If my base/one-off rate with this couple is $80, I’d offer: “Sign up with me do four sessions, and I’ll do it for $65/session.”
Private yoga package policies
When you offer packages have it prepared ahead of time. Know what your numbers are going to be before they ask and have your policies in place for your packages.
Your packages need to expire. It needs needs to be used in 30 days, 60 days, six months.
I wouldn’t go past six months. As soon as you’ve forgotten about dealing with this client, they give you a call at seven months and go, “oh, you know life got in the way, and now I want to finish up my package,” but you’ve mentally moved on.
It can be hard to backtrack that way so make sure your package has an expiration date.
You also want to make sure you have a cancellation policy attached to that package. If they cancel, will there be a penalty? Of can they cancel within X amount of time and be able to reschedule. Maybe if they cancel with less than 24 hours notice that session is gone. They’ve lost it.
Cancellation policies are good enough for health care providers, massage therapists, etc. It’s good enough for you too.
3G Pricing method
I want to mention one last thing when it comes to figuring out what you want to charge. And that is the Good-Great-Gulp method. This is from Kate Connell Potts.
The good rate would be that lower end rate that feels really easy, really doable. You have no issues charging this rate. Sometimes that good rate is always a little bit lower than what our true value is.
Then the great rate is where it’s starting to feel a little tight, but closer to the value you provide, closer to what you truly feel like you need to charge for these private lessons.
Finally, the third method is the gulp method that when you write that price down, or you express that price, it feels like like it’s a big gulp. Like you’re really uncomfortable with that price, but it’s also closer to the value you bring to the table.
FINAL thoughts on private yoga rates
Too often when people come to practice yoga postures, they undervalue the benefit. They want to get yoga for as cheap as they can get it.
They throw all kinds of excuses at you. “I can go here, or I can do it online, or I can do whatever for much less than that.”
You need to be prepared to let them know: “I’ve been teaching for 20 years. I can come in and help you get to where you want to be in this many classes. I can make you feel totally comfortable. You’re not going to get that same back and forth, Q&A, or one-on-one attention in those other places that you mentioned. So this is what I’m worth. This is why I’m worth it.”
Explain your worth without consorting to begging them to work with you.
Luckily, I have found with people who are doing private lessons, if they’re asking you about private lessons, they already have an understanding they’re going to pay a little more.