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January 16, 2024

Last updated : April 5, 2024

The decision to take the leap from student to teacher is a rewarding and challenging one. But, if you’re passionate about pursuing yoga as a full-time profession, then what comes next is even more daunting: starting your own yoga business.

During this stage, it’s crucial to intentionally redefine your relationship with yoga. This new journey isn’t just about being at the front of the class, designing sequences and memorizing transitions; you also step into new roles as an entrepreneur and yoga ambassador. But how do you start a yoga business and what’s the secret to a successful and sustainable career in the yoga industry?

Drawing from 11 years of experience as a teacher trainer, studio owner, retreat host, and business coach, this simple guide shares key insights on how to build a yoga business from scratch. So, stick around as we explore the fundamentals of yoga marketing and business management, as well as a few costly mistakes to avoid.

The Entrepreneurial Mindset: Launch Your Yoga Business with Confidence

A yoga business coach teaches students how to start a yoga business - the entrepreneurial mindset

Teacher training courses will equip you with a range of abilities, such as knowledge of yoga anatomy and philosophy of yoga. On completion, you should be able to lead a yoga class with confidence and even design targeted sequences like yoga for lower back pain.

But, when it comes to actually making a living as a yoga teacher, most of us are complete beginners. From choosing a studio space to promoting your yoga business online, running a successful yoga studio requires an entirely new skillset that’s rarely covered extensively in teacher training courses. 

Your business has to be profitable and sustainable. This means that you have to apply the same energy and focus you spent on your sequence into planning a strategy for your business, right from the start. One way we do this is by adopting an entrepreneurial mindset.

When we talk about the entrepreneurial mindset, we mean the qualities that make entrepreneurs tick. It's all about being creative, willing to take a leap of faith, and having the knack to turn challenges into opportunities. Here's how this go-getter attitude comes into play in the business of yoga:

  • Spotting Opportunities: Keep an eye out for what's missing in the yoga world. Maybe busy professionals need yoga in their office, or there's a demand for specialized classes like yoga for moms and babies or therapeutic sessions.
  • Taking Chances: Starting your own business is a bit of a gamble. You’ll need to learn how to take more risks, calculated of course, with confidence. This might mean investing in a new studio space or trying out new yoga practices to keep your clients coming back.
  • Being Adaptive: Sometimes things don't go as planned, and that’s okay. Maybe you need to switch up your yoga business plan, find a fresh angle or niche that hasn’t been tapped into, or even pivot to the virtual mat and host online classes and courses.
  • Knowing Your Clients: Business is all about giving your clients what they need, whether that's one-on-one attention, a variety of classes for different levels, or just creating a safe studio environment where students feel comfortable.
  • Making Connections: Networking isn't just a buzzword. Connecting with other businesses and your local community can open up all sorts of doors, from partnerships to a loyal client base.

Get a copy of our Wheel of Self-Coaching Exercise directly into your inbox! Start defining a vision for your yoga career today.

How to Build a Yoga Business from Scratch (& Make It a Success)

In my early 20s, I left Italy for an adventure in Ireland. There, I found yoga, igniting a lifelong curiosity for its philosophy and mindfulness. After meeting my partner, we embarked on a transformative yoga course in India.

When I returned to Ireland, it was clear yoga was my calling. We moved to Italy with dreams of sharing wholesome living. Despite my passion, as a new teacher I lacked the confidence and funding to start my own business. So, I started small, teaching 10 students in a home studio.

A decade later, my impact spans three yoga schools and an online academy with over 700 students. I specialize in Prenatal, Therapeutic, and Restorative Yoga, now focusing on yoga teacher training in Milan.

However, over the years I’ve learnt many fundamental lessons—some the hard way. Here are a few notable ones to help you on your journey to becoming a thriving yoga business owner.

Embrace Multiple Roles

A yoga business owner consults with her students, learning how to embrace multiple roles

Starting a yoga business is not just about guiding classes or hosting retreats in India. You’ll need to be able to shift into various roles as a business owner, whether that’s a smiling receptionist welcoming new students, or an inspiring teacher guiding your students with care and expertise. Beyond that, you’ll also take on the role of cleaner, accountant, social media manager, customer relations agent, and the list goes on.  

This might all sound very overwhelming, but by wearing these different hats, you'll always have a finger on the pulse of your business. When you understand the financial intricacies of building a yoga business, you can ensure your business secures its sustainability. Marketing isn’t just advertisements and promotions; it’s about sharing your story and life vision so that it resonates with the right audience.

By integrating the art of teaching with some foundational aspects of entrepreneurship, you’ll be able to build the career of your dreams and amplify your impact.   

Find Your Work-Yoga Balance

Being an entrepreneur requires a combination of contrasting and complimentary skills like determination, creativity, passion, and good judgement. However, an article by the Harvard Business Review found that entrepreneurs had an increased risk of burnout because “they tend to be extremely passionate about work and more socially isolated, have limited safety nets, and operate in high uncertainty.” 

Striking a balance between nurturing the passion that fueled your journey for teaching with the daily demands of running a business is challenging, but as a business owner, your personal practice will become more important than ever.

Firstly, keeping your personal yoga practice alive ensures that you maintain your authenticity as a teacher. Secondly, keeping in mind the high potential for burnout as a new business owner, science confirms that practicing yoga for burnout can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression while improving brain functioning. Remember, we have to practice what we preach!

Create Engaging Spaces

A Yoga Business Owner Create Engaging Spaces for her students at Arhanta Yoga

We’ve all walked into studios where your heartbeat seems to slow down immediately because everything—the music, the lighting, the person at the front desk—has come together perfectly to create an environment that puts you at ease. This doesn’t happen by accident.

Creating a studio that feels “right” is an essential part of running a successful yoga studio. Designing the physical space that reflects your personal values and style is one of the more creative aspects of building your yoga business, and don’t worry if you’ve decided to teach solely online, you still get to make design and ambiance choices.

Every aspect of your studio design should reflect the experience that you’re trying to create for your students. The environment you create should be infused with the type of energy that supports your chosen yoga practice and resonates with your students. This will also increase the chances of them coming back to you. And student retention is crucial for sustaining your business.

Leverage the Power of Business Coaching

The transition from yoga practitioner to yoga entrepreneur can be financially overwhelming. Startup costs such as teacher training certification fees, professional memberships, equipment, and building rent require a significant investment of capital. For most, positive cash flow management is an immediate priority.  

In my online Yoga Business Coaching Course, I blend the personal development and goal-setting exercises used in one-on-one business coaching with essential yoga-focused marketing strategies. With this professional guidance and support, you’ll be able to explore your personal and professional goals, identify how you want to impact your community, and discover your niche.

Final Thought

It’s possible to turn your passion for yoga into a sustainable and thriving business with the right guidance and mindset. As a teacher and business owner, discovering a direction and industry specific strategies were vital to my success.

If you’re considering taking the leap and starting your own yoga business, I’d highly recommend enrolling in my Yoga Business Coaching Course. Not only will it provide you with a solid foundation in running a successful business, but it’ll also help you build the life you've always dreamt of.

Get a copy of our Wheel of Self-Coaching Exercise directly into your inbox! Start defining a vision for your yoga career today.

About the author

Lucia Seglie

Lucia Seglie is an experienced yoga teacher and yoga teacher trainer. Lucia started her yoga journey in India with traditional teachers. During her 10-year teaching career, she has worked with various anatomy and physiology experts and has developed a comprehensive approach to yoga and Restorative Yoga in particular and including teaching, adjustment, and modification techniques.

Lucia runs successful two yoga studios in Italy and guides a team of more than 10 yoga teachers. She has taught Restorative Yoga for many years and collaborates with Arhanta Online Academy in offering an Online Restorative Yoga Teacher Training.

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