Liv and Learn - The Spot Protector

Thursday, February 4, 2016
Fitness Business

Liv advises a fitness instructor with a client who guards her personal spot in class.

Liv and Learn is a collaborative advice column for us and by us. Join the fray! Got a question for Liv? Send it to

Last time we saw this question from a group fitness instructor…

Dear Liv,

One of my regular clients likes to stand in the same spot during each class.  That would be fine…but she has been too aggressive in defending “her” spot.  In the latest incident, she was downright rude to a brand new client.  Now I’m worried I’ll never see the new client again!  I don’t know how to address this with her since she is quite touchy and clearly not afraid of a confrontation.  I’m hoping one of your readers has dealt with this problem & has some constructive advice.  I’m at a loss.

- Timid in Toronto

This answer was submitted by a helpful member of our Punchpass community…  

I have SO been there.  In my situation (I’m a yoga teacher), the client was a little less openly confrontational & more passive aggressive.  Like she inserted herself right where she wanted to be, even if she was right on top of her neighbor.  Then her neighbor would feel pressured to move.  Two of my other regulars approached me about how uncomfortable they were with the spot-saver.  I’m not big into confrontation, either, but I felt like I had to do something.  

For a few classes after that, I started the class by laying a few ground rules for EVERYBODY.  

  1. Respect the personal space of your fellow yoginis.  Work around the folks who arrived before you.
  2. Don’t put your mat smack dab in front of or behind someone.
  3. No saving spaces.

Even though this didn’t directly confront the person who was the problem, it created more of an atmosphere of respect for personal space.  All you need to know is, the client took the hint & stopped pushing herself into a space she didn’t belong.  

Good luck, Timid! We’re all in this together, right?

Special thanks to “Been There” who provided Liv’s answer to “Timid in Toronto”

Now it’s YOUR turn to help!  __Read below for a question from another member of our community who’s in need of advice…

Dear Liv,

I have a lovely client who only shows up for about half on the classes she registers for.  I have a small studio, and I am losing money on her no shows!  Like I said, she is super nice, but she either forgets about the class (really?) or she cancels at the very last minute.  Not quite sure what to do & thought I’d try your new column to get some advice from someone else in my boat.  

Nice in NYC

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