I taught a class last week that sent me into a panic…and got a new private client!

I taught a class last Friday that scared the shit out of me. (Yes, after 10 years of full time teaching, that still totally happens.)

It all started out like a normal Friday. It was my noon Advanced class, and as the only advanced alignment- based vinyasa class at the studio, I am honored that many teachers come to it. It is one of my absolute favorite classes to teach. On this particular day there were many regulars there, about 7 teacher and 7 advanced practitioners. Then in walked two lovely teacher friends of mine. They knew me from my online work and wanted to come experience my teaching in person. (This is fun, but a little nerve wracking!) Then at least 5 students I had never met before came in, several with injuries, as well as questions about whether this was the right level for them.

So now I had my regular students, teachers (some I knew, and some I didn’t) and brand new (to me) students with injuries and uncertainty if they were prepared mentally or physically for this class.

Shit…I was nervous. I wanted to teach a class that was meaningful and useful for everyone and all their unique needs. Teaching a room full of people with wildly different needs and abilities is one of the hardest {and most fun!} parts of teaching public group classes. Don’t you think??

Luckily, I often teach really well under pressure like this. The fear and intensity brings me directly into the present which is, of course, the place from which I am able to do my best teaching. I had a blast. I taught a fun sequence that built into a peak pose that had so many steps along the way, everyone had a place to stop and work that felt both safe and challenging. Since there were so many teachers in the room I often made a note of why we were doing what we were doing to deepen their experience in the class.

And then because I was feeling so fired up and happy and “on” I did something I rarely do, but often recommend other teachers do when they are trying to build their private practices. I said,

“And just one more announcement before you go: As you know, now that I am living in DC full time, I have been taking on some new private clients but those slots are filling up pretty quickly and I only have 2 or 3 open slots left. If you or someone you know wants to have me as your private teacher, come talk to me 🙂 ”

I didn’t expect anything to happen after that, I just made the announcement to show the teachers in the room how it was done.

And then…!

One of my most devoted regular students said, in a totally off the cuff way, as she rolled up her mat…and her eyes:

“I wish you could teach my husband yoga. He really needs it…”

And I said,

“Hey! I would love to…”

And she said, ” Oh god no. He hates yoga. He tried one class, and said it was the lamest thing ever.” And I said, “Sharon! You’re in luck! Husbands Who Hate Yoga are actually my specialty!”

We continued our conversation and I told her about many of my NYC clients. They were type A, aggressive, successful businessman who hated yoga before they met me. She was excited, she thought if anyone could help him, it would be me. I was excited!  The teachers watched eagerly as I spoke with my student about how I could help her husband and talked about rates and schedules.

I saw him for the first time this week, and our session went really well! He challenged me but I am used to students with questions like he asked, so I was able to connect with him and really enjoy myself. He is excited about our second session and so am I!

One of the things that gave me the confidence to “sell” myself in that way is the time and money I have invested into my business continuing education. It has helped me see myself as a business person, and has given me the skills to put that feeling into action.

Justin Michael Williams and Karen Mozes have teamed up with Yoga Journal and created an online yoga business training for you. With the right tools, it really is possible to succeed and create meaningful work in the yoga community. I know this course will make a big difference for you. You will never think the same way about your yoga teaching and you will enjoy the rewards, both personally and professionally.

This is important to me because I know that your teaching will help change the lives of many, many people, but without a strong business foundation it will be tough to keep going.

If you check out this video you will also hear from teachers from all over the world who have transformed their businesses by working with Justin and Karen. And I get to offer you an exclusive $100 OFF – just use this code: BOY100FC  🙂

Tell me friends…would you have been nervous teaching a class like that? Do you ever announce your private offerings after a group class?

12 Responses to “I taught a class last week that sent me into a panic…and got a new private client!”

  1. Anita

    This class for sure would have freaked me out and I’ve never mentioned my private practice in class like that. Although it seems like a perfect idea and I know I need to get more comfortable with it. Since I am such a seeker – I always go out and find what I want and need I expect others are the same but that is just not the reality. I’m curious with those A type men – do you start off with vinyasa style and then slow it down over time or do you just always stick with vinyasa?

    • Francesca Cervero

      Yes, thanks for your thoughts here Anita! The way I teach varies dramatically from person to person, even with people that fall into similar categories like these “type A men”. I don’t often do vinyasa with them in the beginning, because that much moving around is hard to do skillfully when someone is brand new to yoga. I will write a blog post all about how I teach those kind of people. Stay tuned! XO

  2. Susan

    That’s awesome! That type of diverse group can really send a teacher into a panic! Do you mind sharing a pointer or two about how you connect with these “husbands that hate yoga” so that they become fans (of you and of yoga!)?

    • Francesca Cervero

      Teaching classes like that can be nerve-wracking, huh?? I think a blog post on teaching “Husbands Who Hate Yoga” is forthcoming since there have been many questions about it. Look out for it soon! 🙂

  3. Hanne

    Just wondering how much a teacher should charge for privates? I am a teacher for 15 years and I am currently charging $65/hour. My teacher who has 30 years more experience than I do, charge $108/hour. what do you think? Thanks for the inspiring stories!

    • Francesca Cervero

      Hi Hanne! I get asked this question all the time, and it is a tricky one to answer because it varies so much depending on the cost of living in your area, and the amount of training and experience you have. Here are some thoughts on how to come up with prices for private sessions.

      If you are coming up with prices from scratch, here are some places to start…
      Do as much market research as possible and find out the pricing for comparable services in your area:
      personal training at gyms
      personal training at private homes
      private yoga sessions at yoga studios
      private yoga sessions offered in-homes
      massage at a spa
      massage services offered in-home
      physical therapy

      If you are really coming up with prices with little to go on, you can take the average of all those numbers, take into account your training and experience, and then pick a number somewhere in the middle that feels good to you.

      In New York City {which has some of the highest rates and cost of living in the country} private, in-home yoga sessions with new teachers start around $75. Experienced teachers charge as much as $150 {and sometimes higher} per session. I hope this helps!

    • Francesca Cervero

      Missing you! Can’t wait to have you back in class. <3

  4. Quinn

    Francesca, thank you again! I have never mentioned my private teaching practice in class, because I feel like there is never a right time. I always want to cherish and honor that time after savasana and closing, and “selling myself” feels like it sort of oozes icky all over. However, I’m putting together a series class and I HAVE to mention it or how else will my students know?? Your experience here helps me realize that students aren’t going to feel the ick I imagine, and some may really benefit from the announcement. Wish me luck getting the confidence up.

    • Francesca Cervero

      Exactly Quinn! You got this. Confidence and trusting yourself is a skill that takes practice just like anything else. Sending you so much love dear. <3

  5. Suzanne Muro

    Great post! Thank you. I really want to get to your class soon!!!! Maybe we’ll run into each other again . . . .


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