Do you have one-on-ones at your yoga studio? Mindful Studio Magazine caught up with Jaci Stempski at Grace Yoga Studio in Green Bay, Wisconsin, about individual sessions. Stempski shares the benefits of offering one-on-one options to students:
MS: Why do you offer one-on-ones at Grace Yoga?
JS: We offer one-on-ones at Grace Yoga Studio because some people find it to be more appealing and beneficial to work individually with the instructor. Private sessions provide the space to work through injuries, focus on personal goals, gain initial experience and create a personalized schedule.
MS: What is the benefit for your studio and your students to have this offering?
JS: Private lessons provide another offering for the studio and also another way for us to connect with our clients. Our students love taking private lessons, whether it’s small group or one-on-one, because all the attention is on them. Private sessions allow our students to go deeper into and fine tune their practice so when they take a public class they are more comfortable and confident.
MS: Who teaches-one on-ones?
JS: All of our teachers, right now, are able to teach one-on-ones. They have all been teaching for two-plus years and have had private clients in the past. Sometimes our clients request certain teachers. One-on-one sessions require a high level of emotional intelligence, confidence, and thorough knowledge of the body and yoga postures. Every client is so different so it’s hard to pinpoint the criteria to know “when you are ready.” If a teacher can be helpful to students after class and answer questions with ease, it’s a good indication that he or she is ready to do a one-on-one.
MS: What are three things to keep in mind when having one-on-ones in your studio?
JS: Know why your client is there. Time is valuable and you want to make sure you are serving your client the best you can. We like to have a pre-session interview to understand their goals, limitations, interests and concerns.
Hands on assists. Be generous with correcting alignment and giving assists. This allows your client to feel the poses in a different or deeper way and will help them create a muscle memory to build upon. As always, make sure your client is comfortable with hands on assists; if not, use verbal cues.
Take notes. Create a client profile. After the session, take note as to what you did, what your client likes, what they don’t like, the name of her dog, etc. The details are important and make you stand out; especially if you are expecting this person as a repeat client, the personal touch goes along way.
MS: How could other yoga studios go about building their own one-on-one offerings?
JS: Market to your current students. Sometimes people don’t know what they need, and it’s your job to tell them. The benefits of private sessions are huge. You’d be surprised at how many people want to fine-tune their practice or host a private class for their family or friends.
Social media is another great way to spread the word. Host an Instagram challenge and offer a private session as the prize.
Create a special or promotion. Consistency is key. Offer a package of three or five classes at a discounted rate.
MS: Any other advice?
JS: Create a nice ambience. Ask your client what he or she likes. Heat or no heat, lights or no lights, what kind of music, etc. With private sessions you can take the guesswork out of making your students happy because you are able to ask them what they want.
Keep is casual. If they want to tell you a story, let them. Keep the class rolling, but make sure they feel comfortable and good about what they are doing. Give them something they are good at —this builds confidence — and something they can work on — this promotes growth and also lets them track their progress, and rebook. My goal is to always make sure my client feels better after the session than when they walked in the door.