The Tool That Sets the Tone for Private Yoga Lessons

Kate Connell
The Tool That Sets the Tone for Private Yoga Lessons

The in-take assessment during your first private yoga session with a new client lays the groundwork for your time together and serves as a foundation for your boundaries, tone, and relationship.

Having items that you wish to cover during an in-take discussion will allow you to weave through the points (their lifestyle, patterns of work, sleep, eating, their desired outcomes, their will to create a personal practice, and other forms or modalities they engage in) while having a fluid conversation instead of passing over a clipboard that asks for the same info. Dialogue allows you to dive deeper where you need to and keep the conversation moving when it should.

Setting up your signature in-take process requires you to consider what things you want to know to best provide skillful and multi-dimensional private yoga lessons for your clients while delivering them value-based benefits and outcomes according to their desires and yoga-focused dreams.

As you consider what your in-take discussion should include, review the following topics and subcategories.


Their Background

Understanding why your client comes to the mat (their obvious reasoning and their deeper intention) is one of the first keys to unlocking the potential of your work together. Uncovering their background starts by asking for their backstory and getting a bit of depth to their previous attempts at doing similar work.

Ask them:

  • To discuss their yoga and movement experience.
  • About past pursuits in the same vein.

Their Health History

You’ll want to ask targeted questions that help you understand on a multi-dimensional level the health and wellness of your client. Although we traditionally think of physical items on the mental checklist of their health background, there are other layers to uncover, like their mental, emotional, and spiritual wellness.

Ask focused questions that allow you to dive into their history while leaving room for you to clarify and ask questions. Try to stick to open ended ones so you can get a more detailed answer than yes or no.

Focus in on questions that uncover:

  • Injuries (acute or chronic) and surgeries.
  • Mental and emotional health.
  • Ongoing medications, supplements, providers, etc.

Their Limitations

As you dive deeper into conversation, clients will willfully share information with you about their perceived and understood lack of balance in their body, life, and practice -- take note of these elements.

Ask questions that help you understand, and later test, their:

  • Imbalances in their body.
  • Lack of strength, symmetry, flexibility.
  • Follow through and willpower.

Their Lifestyle and Schedule

Customizing sequences and homework assignments to an individual requires you to understand their lifestyle and schedule. Although your role is that of private yoga teacher, you can uncover a lot about how to work with and provide support for your clients by focusing on these key lifestyle indicators:

  • Sleep, movement, and eating patterns.
  • Stress levels.
  • Day-in-the-life preview.

Their Goals

Not every yoga client will have the same goal in mind, but uncovering what the core desire is of our students will help us teach to them and their needs.

Consider the following areas when discussing intentions with your clients:

  • Short term and long term desired outcomes.
  • Yogic and life-wise.
  • Your perceived areas of focus.
  • Benchmarks and assessments.

Your signature in-take conversation will evolve as you get clearer about the answers you are looking for and run through this format with new clients. Consider using this as a framework and incorporate your own questions and topics while navigating your in-take process and dialogue.

How has your in-take conversation helped you connect with your private yoga clients? Share with us below!