Trying something new can be very intimidating, and yoga is no different. That is why offering private group sessions may be beneficial for both your studio and clients.
Private group sessions at Shanti Yoga and Ayurveda in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania are typically small groups of families wanting to practice together, corporate groups, wedding showers or bachelorette parties.
Larry Mangel, the co-owner of Shanti Yoga and Ayurveda, said they tailor to each group by teaching at the level of the group’s experience. This way they aren’t teaching beginner’s yoga to professionals and advanced yoga to those just starting out. At times, some private groups just want to focus on a certain skill, like arm balances or inversions.
Private group sessions can also be beneficial for students or groups visiting your city from out of town who need a place to practice.
Private group classes are not just beneficial for clients. Mangel said it helps bring attention to the studio and its philosophy. “Our program is deeply steeped in traditional Vedic values and the teachings of Krishnamacharya,” said Mangel. “It is very different from the core power and hot yoga centers.”
Tami Schneider, the owner of Cleveland Yoga Studios, in the greater Cleveland area, said there are no cons when it comes to offering private group sessions. “The ‘pros’ are the one-on-one connections and the development of new relationships,” said Schneider. “As a result, the time spent organizing private group sessions often lead to longer lasting client-teacher-studio relationships.”
When it comes to promoting your studio’s private group yoga sessions, Schneider recommends ensuring the fact you offer private sessions is listed on your site. Additionally, ask any groups if they are OK with having their photos taken to be shared on social media.
If they say yes, make sure they sign a waiver. You can also ask them for testimonials about their experience with private group sessions, to share about how yoga helped better or influenced the well-being of the group they were with.
One thing Schneider has learned about offering private group sessions is to be flexible when necessary regarding fees — as being non-negotiable can drive away some groups. “I leave room to listen to the needs and budget of the group,” she said.
Regardless, she recommends that other studios should offer private group sessions in their studios. “Our goal as yoga teachers is to share the practice,” said Schneider. “A group gathering that is tailored for health and well-being is a huge plus.”