Should You Tip A Private Yoga Instructor?

Taking private yoga classes can be a phenomenal way to boost your practice and gain insight into your study of this beautiful art. If you are contemplating taking a private lesson, you might wonder if you should tip a private yoga instructor, and you are not alone. This is a common question among yogis. We have done some digging for you.

It is not necessary to tip a private yoga instructor; however, any gratitude you wish to express will likely be accepted with a thankful heart. Yoga instructors charge more per private lesson than per class. They do not usually expect remuneration over and above what they have charged you. 

In the past, yoga students performed acts of service as payment for their lessons. Today, the fees we pay to our instructors are our compensation. Still, if we tip other service providers, should we not tip our yoga instructors, too? What about giving gifts or assisting them with acts of service? Read on as we explain it all. 

Should You Tip A Private Yoga Instructor?

When you are about to take a private yoga lesson, your mind begins to race. The awkwardness of the situation starts to kick in, and you suddenly realize that you have nobody else to watch for cues. 

One question that so many yogis ask is if you should tip a private yoga instructor. It is the norm to tip other personal service providers, so why not a yoga instructor, right? Well, some students do tip their private yoga instructors, but most do not. 

The simple reason is that yoga is more like taking a ballet class than ordering at a restaurant. You wouldn’t tip your ballet teacher, would you? After eating at a restaurant, you get a bill. After a ballet or yoga class, you don’t. Approaching an instructor with a tip could almost cheapen a profoundly spiritual experience. 

Concerning the spiritual element of yoga, some argue that yoga instructors should not receive financial compensation at all. While we feel this is a little extreme in today’s capitalist world, we can see the basis of the idea.

Initially, yoga students did not pay for their lessons with money. They would live with their gurus. The guru would impart yogic wisdom and knowledge over the years, and in exchange, the student would take care of the guru’s household needs, caring for him in every way. 

Today, most of us prefer staying with our families and learning yoga more casually. Since our yoga instructors need money to pay their bills, they charge a set fee for the lessons, and we gladly pay for their instruction. 

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It is a simple transaction. Yoga instructors calculate how much to charge based on the exchange of energy, expertise, and other resources like studio fees. Some studio owners employ yoga teachers and pay them based on their expenses. In that case, yoga teachers typically get 50% of the fees you are charged, depending on the studio owner. 

Should you be blown away by a particular session or feel overwhelmed with gratitude, it is just as heartwarming for an instructor to receive a heartfelt word of thanks as it is to receive a financial tip. 

Some yoga students feel it is appropriate to tip their private yoga instructors as they would a massage therapist or manicurist. Those who tip their yoga instructors tend to tip between 10-20% per class or give a large bonus once a year. 

For others, taking private yoga classes is a short-term venture. They may take private yoga classes while on a cruise, and once back home, they may revert to group classes. While on the cruise, they may feel generous enough to tip their private instructor since it is only for a short while. 

As with most situations, there may be times when tipping your instructor is the right thing to do. The best idea is to ask your instructor before commencing lessons to avoid any awkwardness.

When Should You Tip A Private Yoga Instructor?

Although it is not customary for a yoga student to tip a private instructor, there are instances when it is appropriate. 

Most yoga instructors and studios have their policies in writing on their website, on registration forms, or in the studio itself. If you cannot find a policy regarding tipping, it is best to ask your instructor directly before beginning classes. By doing this, you will know what to expect financially and avoid being overstretched since some instructors expect to be tipped. 

For yoga retreats that include other activities like massages, surfing, sightseeing, meditation, transport, and more, you will likely be expected to tip your service providers, yoga instructor included. In this case, the percentage will typically be stipulated in your package information, and you will be provided options for tipping. 

For a retreat-type yoga experience with a private instructor, the typical amount for a tip is anywhere between 18-35% of your total bill. In this case, you tip according to your level of satisfaction, and all the service providers split the tip unless otherwise directed by you. 

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If you take a private or group yoga class on a cruise, a tip will be automatically added to your bill. If you arrive at a group class and are the only one there, it will be deemed a private lesson and charged. The tip will also be billed accordingly. 

You can support your instructor at the yoga studio by purchasing your gear from them if they have any for sale. Many yoga instructors subsidize their teaching income by selling yoga apparel, mats, and more at the studio. If you are financially able, consider supporting your instructor further by purchasing from them instead of a large store. 

Another way you can tip your yoga instructor is to provide small gifts or perform acts of service. If you feel moved to thank your instructor, consider gifting something from the heart. This is often more meaningful than a monetary gift.

A handwritten note, piece of fruit, or secondhand book you have enjoyed are a few examples of gifts a yoga teacher might enjoy as a token of appreciation. 

Similarly, helping your instructor with an act of service can mean a lot to them. Consider supporting with something like tidying up after class, carrying something heavy, or asking what you can help with as a token of your appreciation. 

The end of the year is a fantastic time to tip your private yoga instructor. If you have wanted to tip your instructor, but it has seemed untoward, the end of the year is a perfect opportunity to gift your instructor a tip without seeming weird. 

Slip the tip into a thank you or Christmas card and share a heartfelt note of thanks with your instructor, wishing them a wonderful holiday. In this case, the tip can be the amount of one lesson if you can afford it. 

Of course, the best gift you can give is your ongoing support the following year, so commit to continuing your lessons if you can.

Conclusion

It is not customary to tip your private yoga instructor. Some studios, instructors, and organizations expect it, so you should inquire before beginning classes. If you wish to thank your instructor, consider giving a year-end gift, a tip, or helping them with an act of service. Yoga instructors usually charge a fee they believe is a fair exchange for their time and expertise.

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