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How to Create an Online Yoga Cancellation Policy

online yoga cancellation policy

As an online yoga teacher, having an online yoga cancellation policy is crucial for saving you both money and time. 

But if you’ve never created one before, it can be hard to know where to start. That’s why we’ve compiled the ultimate guide to writing an effective yoga cancellation policy, including:

Before we get started, why not take your yoga teaching career to the next level with OriGym’s Level 4 teacher training course? Enquire today, or download our free course prospectus here to browse the full range of courses we offer. 

What Is A Yoga Teacher Cancellation Policy and Why Do You Need One?

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A cancellation policy for yoga teachers puts terms and conditions in place to prevent clients from cancelling their online yoga sessions at the last minute.

For example, they may be charged a cancellation fee if they fail to give enough notice for being unable to attend the class.

Last-minute cancellations can cause a lot of hassle for you, as you’re unlikely to be able to fill the space in your class at such short notice. 

This then means that you will lose money by being a student down in your class. If this then becomes a regular occurrence, it could begin to have a huge impact on your overall yoga teacher salary

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Having a clear cancellation policy reduces the likelihood of this happening, as clients will be deterred from cancelling their sessions if they are aware of the consequences. 

A yoga cancellation policy therefore acts as an incentive for clients to attend, except in unavoidable circumstances. 

If they do need to cancel yoga sessions, they are more likely to give you plenty of notice with a policy in place, so you will have time to fill the empty space.

It also means that you will only attract the most dedicated yogis to your classes, as those who are unreliable and often cancel at the last minute may not have the right mindset for yoga!

What To Include In An Online Yoga Cancellation Policy

So, now you know why it’s so important, here are some essential things that you should include in your yoga teacher cancellation policy:

#1 - Set A Cancellation Timeframe In Your Online Yoga Cancellation Policy

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Our first tip for writing an effective cancellation policy is to include a cancellation timeframe. 

This means that students need to inform you a certain number of hours before the class if they can no longer attend.

As you are running online sessions rather than in-person classes, it doesn’t have to be 24 hours- so choose a timeframe that works for you.

If your classes are in high demand, you could even set a timeframe of as little as 2 hours if you feel that you can allocate the place to another student within this time.

For example, Unwind Yoga Studio’s online classes have a 12-hour cancellation window, which increases to 24 hours for morning classes.

online yoga cancellation policy

This is outlined at the top of their online yoga cancellation policy, which ensures that it is clear for students.

Having a clear and concise explanation of your cancellation window ensures that you have plenty of time to fill the space, meaning that you will not lose any revenue. 

Although this timeframe is important to establish, you should be flexible when it comes to cancellations and treat them on a case-by-case basis. 

This is because family emergencies or illness may mean that a last-minute cancellation is unavoidable. In these situations, it’s important to be sympathetic to ensure that you can build good working relationships with students.

After all, treating your students as individuals is one of the things that makes a good yoga teacher!

So, rather than penalising them, you should instead encourage students to get in touch as soon as possible.

However, if this becomes a regular occurrence, you should remind them of your cancellation policy and give them a warning. You can then charge them for their missed class if they cancel at short notice again in future.

 

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#2 - Explain The Consequences For A Student Who Fails To Cancel Yoga Sessions In The Timeframe

Within your online yoga cancellation policy, you should also explain the consequences for students who fail to give 24 hours’ notice without good reason.

If a student does not give 24 hours' notice, you could explain that they will then lose the money that they have paid for the class. 

For example, Ocean Flow Yoga’s cancellation policy states that the cost of a session is non-refundable if a student fails to give notice within the allocated timeframe:

online yoga cancellation policy 2

Alternatively, they may incur a no-show fee, depending on the pricing structure that you have in place.

Many online yoga teachers offer a monthly pricing package, where students pay a fixed amount via direct debit each month to attend an unlimited number of classes.

Therefore, if a student cancels at the last minute, you may choose to charge a penalty fee that is near the price of one class.

For instance, as shown above in Ocean Flow Yoga’s policy, they charge a £5 fee for late cancellations or no-shows.

For more tips on pricing your classes, check out our guide to online yoga class prices here

#3 - State What Happens When You Need To Cancel A Session In Your Yoga Cancellation Policy

yoga cancellation policy

It’s not just students who may need to cancel a session at the last minute. As a yoga teacher, you may be faced with unavoidable emergencies which mean that you cannot make your class.

However, it’s important to remain professional in these situations. You should clearly explain what students should expect if you are forced to cancel with little notice.

For example, you may state in your policy that if you do need to cancel within 24 hours, you will provide the next session free of charge.

You could phrase this as:

If, for any reason, I am forced to cancel a class within 24 hours, you will receive your next session completely free of charge.

This may not always be financially viable as a self-employed online yoga teacher, so instead you may prefer to reschedule the session for another date.

Alternatively, you could make students aware of the fact that you may make alterations to the class schedule at short notice.

For example, this is shown below in Lake View Yoga’s cancellation policy:

online yoga cancellation policy 3

If you make this clear within your cancellation policy, this will allow you to cover yourself when unavoidable situations arise that mean you need to cancel at late notice, whilst still remaining professional.

Enjoying this article so far? Here’s 3 more that we think you’ll love:

#4 - Outline The Consequences For Late Arrivals In Your Online Yoga Cancellation Policy

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Another important point to include in your yoga cancellation policy is the consequences for students who are late.

Although you are not teaching in-person classes, students arriving late on Zoom will disrupt the flow of the session. 

This is particularly the case with yoga, where students need to be in the zone and focused on themselves to ensure that they get the most out of their practice.

Late arrivals will also be inconvenient for you. 

If you have a certain number of students booked in, you may want to wait for them all to arrive before commencing the session to avoid having to repeat instructions for these late arrivals.

However, this cuts the session short for other students and means that you may have to rush through things such as savasana at the end.

The quality of practice will therefore suffer, and students may not want to come back for more sessions. To prevent this, you should set clear consequences for late arrivals.

An effective example is this cancellation policy from The House of Yoga, which states that students who are late will not be allowed entry to the class.

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If you would prefer to be a little more flexible with your lateness policy, yet still firm, you could enforce a ‘3 strikes’ policy.

This allows a student to be late twice with good reason and on the third time they will be charged a penalty fee for their ongoing lateness.

#5 - Emphasise Your Contact Details For Students Wanting To Cancel Yoga Sessions

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One of the main things to remember if you want to be a successful yoga teacher is to set boundaries between you and your students. 

It is important to set these boundaries early on with your students so that everyone knows where they stand from the beginning.

One of these boundaries should be how students can contact you when they need to cancel a session, which should be clearly set out in your cancellation policy.

It may seem logical that students should contact you via professional channels, such as email or a work telephone number.

However, if you regularly share yoga content on social media, they may see this as an appropriate way to let you know that they cannot attend a session.

Communications like this can be difficult to keep a record of and you are at risk of missing direct messages on platforms such as Instagram, meaning that you will be unable to fill the empty class spot.

Therefore, clearly stating the method that students can use to contact you on your cancellation policy is a necessity, whether that is via:

  • Text
  • Phone call 
  • Email
  • A booking system on your website

The instructions for cancellation should be highlighted clearly on your online yoga cancellation policy, to ensure that they cannot be missed by students.

For example, The House of Yoga’s policy shown below provides a step-by-step guide to cancelling classes through their online booking portal.

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Earlier on in the policy they also make it clear that they do not accept email or phone cancellations, using bold capital letters to draw the reader’s attention.

#6 - Explain The Terms And Conditions For Payments And Refunds In A Yoga Cancellation Policy

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Although you may have a separate policy for this, you should also include your payment policy within your cancellation terms. 

This is the case particularly for those yoga teachers offering monthly membership packages, where students pay upfront for an unlimited number of classes per month.

If you do not receive this payment before the month ahead, you could potentially be filling up your class spaces with students who have not paid for them.

This takes up spaces for students who may have been willing to pay in time and could affect your earnings for the month. 

For individual classes, payment must be made a certain number of days or hours before the class date to confirm a student’s space, otherwise it may be allocated elsewhere.

This guarantees that you will be able to fill your classes up and receive payment for them, which ensures a steady stream of income.

When writing a cancellation policy for yoga teachers, you should therefore make it clear how to cancel monthly memberships.

For example, Unwind Yoga Studio makes it clear that memberships should be cancelled at least a month before the next payment is due, as well as providing an email address for students to use.

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If you fail to do this, students may not cancel in time and will be unhappy when their membership renews via direct debit. 

This could have a negative impact on your relationship with students and may damage your reputation as a yoga instructor.

Check out our guide to payment methods for more tips on how to set up your payment cancellation policy. 

 

Take your yoga career to the next level with OriGym!

Enquire today about our Level 4 yoga teacher training course

 #7- Include A One-Time Exception For Late Cancellations Within Your Yoga Cancellation Policy

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As we’ve mentioned throughout this article, it is important to be reasonable when it comes to a cancellation policy for yoga teachers.

This is to ensure that you build a good relationship with your students and that they keep wanting to come back to your sessions. 

You may therefore want to consider incorporating a one-time exception clause into your cancellation policy.

Giving some leeway shows students that you are willing to be flexible, but also allows you to establish clear boundaries. Students will gain respect for you and as a result are more likely to stick to the policy.

You should also make exceptions for emergency situations, such as:

  • Accidents
  • Bereavements
  • Sudden illness

These situations are often avoidable and showing some compassion towards students can benefit your relationship with students in the long-run.

Free Online Yoga Teacher Cancellation Policy Template

Now that we have covered what to include in a cancellation policy for yoga teachers, here’s an example of how to write one. 

You can use this as a template to write your own, of course filling it in with your own details and rules. 

If you should need to cancel a pre-booked session, you should do so with 12 hours' notice before the class is due to start. Failure to do so without a valid reason will result in students being charged for the session.

However, you are entitled to a one-time exception from this policy, allowing you to cancel a session with less than 12 hours’ notice without incurring charges.

If you arrive later than the start time of a class without good reason, you will be denied entry and charged for the session. To avoid this, I open the Zoom waiting area at least 15 minutes before the class start time, so please arrive within this time period.

As the teacher, if I need to cancel a session with less than 12 hours’ notice, all students will receive the next re-scheduled session completely free of charge.

In the case that you do need to cancel a session, please either email alansmith@yogastudio.com or phone 07890 123456. Messages on Instagram and Facebook will not be accepted as cancellation notice.

When purchasing an unlimited monthly membership, payment is required upfront for the month ahead, and I would ask that you set up a direct debit to ensure this.

If you decide to cancel your monthly membership, I require one month’s notice, and you should email cancellations@yogastudio.com to do so.

Please indicate below that you have read and understood these conditions:

Student’s Name

---------------------------------

Student’s Signature 

---------------------------------

Date

---------------------------------

As you can see from this template, the wording is clear, concise, and easy to understand for the reader.

The key points are put in bold to ensure that they cannot be missed, and the tone is kept firm, allowing you to come across as professional.

Plus, both you and your students are held accountable in the policy. By explaining the consequences of you cancelling sessions as well as students, students will feel that the policy is fair and are more likely to stick to it out of respect for you as their teacher.

We have also outlined the key points mentioned in this article, such as:

  • The cancellation timeframe
  • The consequences for cancelling
  • A one-time exception
  • Contact details
  • Membership cancellation policy

When Should You Bring Up Your Online Yoga Cancellation Policy?

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Once you have created your yoga teacher cancellation policy, you may now be wondering when you should tell your students about it. 

We recommend telling your students about your yoga cancellation policy as soon as they book onto a class, or sign up for a membership. 

Since you are teaching yoga online, the best way to do this is to email them a digital copy of your policy.  

This should be read and signed- either physically or digitally, before being returned for you to keep a copy of. 

Doing this before they attend a session ensures that you can set the professional tone for cancellations and payments from the very beginning. This reduces the risk of students conducting themselves in an inappropriate manner and covers you financially if they do so.

Your online yoga cancellation policy should also be something that you discuss with students after their first class, to reiterate your points and ensure that the policy is clear for all.

We would also recommend reminding them regularly of the policy, particularly for those students who have been attending your classes for a while and may benefit from a refresher.

Ensuring that you follow this process allows you to make every student aware of what you expect, as well as what they can expect from you. 

There is therefore unlikely to be any confusion when it comes to booking and cancelling sessions, as they will understand the terms and conditions of your service before their first session.

Before You Go!

So, we hope you now understand the importance of having an effective online yoga cancellation policy for your business, and how to write one! 

Feeling inspired? Expand your clientbase and increase your earnings by becoming a Level 4 yoga teacher with OriGym. Enquire today, or browse the full range of courses we offer by downloading our free course prospectus here

Written by Rebecca Felton

Content Writer & Fitness Enthusiast

Graduating from the University of Liverpool with a first-class degree in English, Rebecca’s combined passions for fitness and writing are what brought her to OriGym. Rebecca is a keen gym-goer and specifically enjoys lifting weights. Outside of fitness and writing, Rebecca enjoys cooking, reading, and watching the football.

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