As I’ve started teaching private yoga classes, one of the more awkward (and most important) practices that I have found myself establishing has been a cancellation policy.
I was first introduced to this idea by Samara from Mindfulness Matters in a business of yoga workshop I took with her a couple of years ago. And, as painfully awkward as it may feel to establish boundaries, it’s territory I’ve had to cross as a teacher who respects my own time, and the time of my students.
Here’s what my cancellation policy looks like today:
- The student is responsible for the cost of the class if cancelled within 24 hours. Obviously, I take the reason for cancelling the class into account and can use my own discretion, but this saves me from being cancelled on last minute without the opportunity to book another class. When teaching yoga is, or is part of, how you pay your bills, there’s an opportunity cost for every class you agree to teach. Currently, this policy is included in the waiver that my new privates sign when we first practice together, so that it is a clear expectation from the get go.
- If I cancel the class within 24 hours, I’ll offer the next class for free. While this isn’t expressly stated in my waiver, I do think it’s entirely fair that the 24 hour window applies to both me and my students. I had to uphold this side of my policy this week when I called-in-sick for a private. It gave me the opportunity to handle my cancellation professionally, and also made our exchange a positive one.
So I want to open up the floor: Do you have a cancellation policy? If so, what has that been like to enforce?