When I first started teaching yoga, I never said no to a teaching opportunity or a private client.
I didn’t really take the time to think about who I matched best with, or how my teaching sankalpa (or intention) aligned with that of my could-be clients. All I was focused on was sharing yoga with anyone and everyone who was interested.
As a new teacher, the motto of YES served me well (mostly). Over time, though, I found myself gravitating towards certain clients and enjoying some relationships and teaching gigs more.
I began to carve out a system that let me choose clients with care to ensure a mindful relationship and transformative change for my client.
Everyone has had a private yoga client who post-session didn’t seem like the best fit. Here’s why finding out more about this person before you work with them is key, and how you can adopt a systematic pre-session process for all of your potential private yoga clients.
Why Aligning With Private Yoga Clients Matters
The two most important reasons to have a system in place for learning about your potential clients are:
- To make sure you and the client are a good fit for each other
- To assess their investment in themselves and in the concept of private yoga on an emotional, physical, energetic, and financial level
Simply stated, you want to know:
- Am I the right person for the job? Is this the kind of person I’m uniquely designed through experience, education, and dharma (or cosmic order) to work with individually?
- Is this person ready to take the next step and fully commit to the work ahead?
The Method: Assessing Client Compatibility
As private yoga teachers, we may teach locally in our community: in studios, spaces, homes, our own home—or we may take our teaching to the virtual world and offer sessions through Skype or Google Hangouts.
Whichever way you deliver one-on-one sessions, it pays to have a method of getting-to-know your potential clients before they sign on for a package of sessions with you. When screening your could-be clients, consider trying one of these methods:
- In-person – Meet this individual for an in-person meet and greet. This is an especially good route if you do not know this person.
- Email – Vet your clients via email. Get to know their history and the goals they have for their private work with you.
- Form – Consider creating an application to send out to potential clients or that could-be students can land upon on your site. This is a great fit for local and virtual teachers.
In your assessment, ask your could-be clients these following questions:
- What is your primary frustration or issue in your yoga practice?
- What is your desired outcome by working with me one-on-one?
- What is your yoga or movement experience?
- What are you currently doing to work on your primary yoga practice frustration?
- Who are you, on a personal level?
Depending on how you screen your clients, you may ask these questions via a survey form or in a casual conversation over tea. Either way, repurpose these questions so they sound like you, but ask them so you can figure out who this person is and if they’re a great fit for working with you one-on-one.
Finding the Perfect Fit
One of the most important elements, if not the most important component, of a private yoga teaching relationship between client and teacher is connection.
In a world where there are more yoga students (and teachers!) than ever, it’s important to get to know exactly who you desire to work with one-on-one and then begin to show up for that group of people consistently.
I can’t promise that you won’t occasionally have a mismatch, but using a pre-session system to help you filter through perfect-fit private yoga clients will begin to align you with the students on whom you can make the most impact as a private yoga teacher.