Teaching yoga is a dream career for many dedicated practitioners. We often get the questions: is it possible to make a living as a yoga teacher? And: how much can a yoga teacher earn? Or in other words: how it is possible to make teaching yoga a financially rewarding career?
Like in any hobby/ passion-turned career, it often is challenging to earn enough to make a decent living. Making a living as a yoga teacher isn’t an exception to this trend.
The often irregular working hours, as well as constant travels from studio to studio, can make the life of a yoga teacher stressful and exhausting. Passionate advocates of self-care and a healthy lifestyle themselves, yoga teacher burn-outs occur more often that you’d think.
The transition from your current job to your yoga teaching career
At the very start of your career as a yoga teacher, it is a safer bet not to jump into full-time yoga teaching right away. Many entrepreneurs feel insecure about their financial situation in the beginning. Maintaining a part-time job during the transition to teaching yoga gives you more security. The longer you teach, the more you discover how much you can teach and earn in the long term. It allows you to find out what works for you. It also gives you time to build a network for long-term teaching opportunities.
The advantages of maintaining two different jobs
At some point you will have a stable income from teaching yoga and you will be able to make a living as a yoga teacher. This might enable you to drop your current job and focus solely on teaching yoga. For a lot of yoga teachers that is dream come true. On the other hand though, keeping a job next to your yoga teacher career might work better for you, as if offers you different ways of working: at the office and on the mat. This is especially nice for all of you, who like variety in their working days. Balancing your career in this way will keep teaching yoga exciting for you, and prevent you from feeling overwhelmed with the number of classes!
Corporate yoga classes
The positive effects of yoga have reached the awareness of the corporate world, and companies are increasingly open to offer yoga classes to their employees. Research shows that yoga is effective in the prevention and recovery of common stress-related health issues. Sick employees, due to stress and an imbalanced life, cost companies billions of Euros every year. If you have been working in the business world yourself, you might benefit from your own network and experiences to teach office employees and help them get a little break in their often stressful and sedentary lifestyle. Due to the often large budget that companies have, teaching corporate yoga classes can be a lucrative and steady source of income for yoga teachers.
Private yoga classes
Students in your group classes might seek individual guidance, especially if they have special needs. And some students simply want to dive deeper into their practice.Teaching private yoga classes allows you to guide your students much more individually, and help them to reach individual goals.
Although a 200 hour yoga teacher training gives you an in-depth understanding of the foundations of yoga, teaching one-to-one yoga sometimes might require specific extra skills. If the student requires special attention due to a medical condition or injury, make sure that you feel confident to offer individual guidance, modifications and adjustments. If you have any doubt, do not hesitate to ask the student to check with their physician. Especially when you teach one-on-one, remember to maintain professional boundaries in the teacher-client relationship.
When offering private yoga classes, also understand the increased value that you offer and do not hesitate to price your service accordingly.
In the modern digital world, there are countless opportunities to earn money through online services. You do not need to be an expert in audiovisual media to make your your own yoga videos or online courses. Do you like to write or create content for social media? Then this is a nice way to reach a wider audience. You can work on sponsored content, cooperating with yoga brands and organizations. Some yoga studios offer paid jobs for content creators or social media marketeers -a great opportunity to add a financial standing leg.
Do you like managing and organizing? Then consider running your own studio, spa or wellness center. These possibilities require quite some investment of time and capital in the beginning, but will pay off in the long run and enable you to make a living as a yoga teacher.
The best way to gain experience in this field, is to start working as a yoga teacher at retreat centers. Many wellness centers around the world offer jobs for yoga teachers. A lot of yoga teachers combine travel with temporary teaching positions at yoga retreats, allowing them to teach at the most beautiful places and to gain insights into the running of such a center. Additionally you can learn complementing skills such as massage, counseling or nutrition that will help you when starting your own retreat or wellness center. Do not forget that next to the ‘soft’ skills of the trade, you will also need to acquire ‘hard’ skills, such a making a solid business plan, marketing skills and financial planning.
Would you like to share your knowledge and teaching skills with other yoga and health professionals? Especially, if you have a professional or educational background in a field that relates to the applications of yoga, such as health care or anatomy, this could provide you with an interesting professional challenge and can turn out to be financially attractive. You can choose to offer workshops and trainings, designed especially for yoga teachers and other health and fitness professionals. Training other yoga teachers in specific areas, can be professionally challenging and can be a great way to make a living as a yoga teacher.
While considering all the different options you have as a yoga teacher to create a sustainable and financially rewarding career, keep two questions in mind: What are your unique skills and talents and how can you combine them with teaching yoga? And, which way of working and living suits the lifestyle of your dreams?
If you have completed a 200 hour yoga teacher training at Arhanta, you heard Ram talking about creating ‘your vision of life’. Where do you see yourself in five to ten years, in terms of career, relationships, lifestyle, health, spirituality and leisure? And how can you work towards this lifestyle you are dreaming of? Once you know have a vision of your life, you can create concrete goals for getting there. Realizing you are on the right path might already make you feel content in the moment, even if you aren’t there yet.
Kalyani Hauswirth-Jain is a senior teacher & the Creative Director at the Arhanta Yoga Ashrams since 2013. She is a lead trainer for the 200 hour Yoga Teacher Training, 300 hour Yoga Teacher Training as well as a variety of 50 hour courses like Yin Yoga and Vinyasa Yoga, for more than eight years now.
She has also co-authored the internationally acclaimed book Hatha Yoga for Teachers & Practitioners: A Comprehensive Guide to Holistic Sequencing.