How to Deal with Schedule Drama

Schedule DRAMA.

Do you have it? I would be surprised if you didn’t. I certainly do sometimes!

As yoga teachers most of us are freelancers, which means we run our own small business whether we realize it or not.

We piece together a teaching schedule and a business and a life one random class at a time. If you feel like your schedule is overwhelming or disorganized or changing all the time, I’ll tell ya…I think most of us feel like that. To an extent, that is just part of the biz!

There is a cyclical nature to this work, so there are busy seasons and slow seasons, and change is a constant possibility when you teach at many locations or work with several private clients. Impermanence is the only constant for EVERYONE, but in our work, the unsteadiness is heightened and exaggerated.

And in a field of work that REQUIRES we are well rested & well fed, grounded & focused, AND have time for our own spiritual practice, an unpredictable schedule can be a real detriment to doing good work.

Having a relatively consistent schedule is an absolute blessing, but it is HARD to create for ourselves, right?

The hardest part of creating some semblance of consistency in a teaching schedule comes when you are trying to shift into full time teaching. Or when you are going through a big life change. Which is pretty much all the time, huh? Okay, forget it. The most difficult time to create consistency in the schedule is all the time. 🙂

But I’ve got some things for you to keep in mind:


As a new teacher, you most likely have to take classes and clients whenever you can get them. That’s okay. That is part of it. Just make sure you have a plan in place so you have more control over your schedule EVENTUALLY.


When do you like to work? When do you like to rest and when do you like to play? I am a quintessential morning person. I feel creative and energized and focused in the morning, and I am almost useless in the afternoon and evening. I love working early in the morning {even 6am!}, but I am not my best self after 5pm. I try to organize my teaching schedule accordingly.


I always knew I wanted to work a version of a Monday through Friday, 9-5 schedule. I wanted to work when other people were working, and be off when other people were off. But that is a personal thing. Because we have the flexibility of creating our ideal schedules, that means you never have to teach before noon if you don’t want to! You can make Mondays and Tuesdays your days off, and go to the grocery store when it is empty! You get to decide what works best for you. Just have a sense of what that might be.

It took YEARS for me to get to a version of my ideal schedule, but I eventually did it! As I started to get busier during the weekdays {when I really wanted to be working} the first thing I did was drop my evening classes. Then as I continued to get busier in my ideal hours I dropped my Saturday classes. Eventually I was teaching from about 6am to 4pm on Mondays through Fridays and I didn’t teach at night or on the weekend at all.


I know that I prefer to batch my teaching slots together and then have bigger chunks of time for administrative and writing tasks. I try to book my clients together with enough space between clients so that I am not rushed, but also not so far apart that I end up wasting hours just killing time. Also consider: How much time do you need in the morning? What does your family need from you each day? How much time each day do you actually have open to teach?


Should I drop group classes to make space for more private clients, even if there aren’t any on the horizon? This is something I get asked often, but making this decision is a super individual thing and depends on many factors. For me personally, I always had to overpack my schedule a little bit, because I couldn’t afford to be short on cash flow. I had to be super full before I could cut any classes otherwise I couldn’t support myself. One question for you is, Where are you meeting your private clients and potential clients? If you are meeting them in your current group classes, you may want to hang on to them a little longer. If you are finding private clients in other ways and other places and you can financially afford to drop a group class, that can work too! Which brings me to Number Six…


{This is probably the most important part!}

When you are trying to decide if you are going to keep teaching a group class or private client, then take a look at this list. I want you to be able to say a resounding YES to at least three of the below statements:

  • This class is incredibly challenging to teach and I am learning so much.
  • I LOVE the students in this class.
  • This class pays really well.
  • I LOVE the material I get to teach in this class.
  • I am making great contacts for private clients or workshop participants in this class.
  • I LOVE the studio space and owners that run this class.
  • Teaching this class is a seva offering that fills my heart.


Having clients on a standing schedule is good for them and it’s good for you. It breeds consistency in their practice and supports consistency in your schedule. I find this works best for almost everyone. When it hasn’t worked for a client, because their work travel schedule is too unpredictable, I have made exceptions and allowed people to schedule week by week. I take it on as my job {this is KEY!} to check in with them by Thursday or Friday to get something on the calendar for the following week.

When students are gone for long periods of time {weeks or even months} I usually hold their standing slot for them. I don’t ask for a retainer, I just check in with them and assume their commitment to the practice will bring them back to the mat and to our lessons when they come back in town. I haven’t had anyone bail on me after being on an extended trip yet! People are always excited to get back into a routine! It does mean that in periods when people travel a lot, like the holidays or over the summer, I make less money. I just prepare for that during the other months and am grateful for my group classes that never disappear or change their schedule!

What thoughts or questions are coming up? How do YOU deal with your schedule DRAMA?

12 Responses to “How to Deal with Schedule Drama”

  1. Allie

    Perfect!! Thank you!! I decided to drop a class that was causing too much stress for my family life. (Evening class with a 40 minute commute). And I dropped two morning classes so that I can start teaching classes out of my home. I have created a home studio but I am super excited about! Such tough decisions to make, thank you for helping me see my crazy schedule much clearer. I think it’s always good to sit on your decision for a while, & not make a quick decision decision to drop a class.

  2. Suzanne

    I am still seeking the perfect schedule! I think it is one of the hardest parts of what we do! Thank you for this because seeing this in writing helps me to see I am not alone in this juggle. A schedule that is a poor fit for ones’ personal life or vibe can be enervating rather than uplifting.

    • Francesca Cervero

      You are so welcome! This is one of the tough, unglamorous parts of the job. You are definitely not alone! 🙂

  3. Jill

    I’m always concerned about not being found. If I’ve been consistent with a location and time then change it, I worry that either regulars or spotty attendees will think that I’m still there. I do try and keep everyone up to date via my website and Facebook but I just don’t want to tick anyone off and lose them entirely.

  4. Christine

    Everything you say really resonates and so good to know I’m not the only one! The constant change or impermanence is both a source of anxiety and liberation, bit like a cup being half empty or half full! So a timely reminder to know that I’m not alone and to choose the half full option! Thank you! Christine

    • Francesca Cervero

      Ah, you’re so welcome Christine! I’m really happy this resonated! It is like this for everyone, most of the time I think. What is important is that we find creative ways to work with the instability. A glass half full mindset is a good start! 🙂


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