Most people pursue yoga training to become teachers because they love yoga. They have found physical health, happiness or even spiritual bliss through the practice of yoga, and they want to pass their joy on to others. Yoga is a powerful way to help people build strength, enhance flexibility and meet their health and fitness goals.
Following your passion for yoga may lead you to your dream career, but yoga training can be a significant investment of time and money. So as you consider your yoga teacher training options, it's a good idea to spend a little time thinking practically about what you will do with your education.
Teaching in Yoga Studios
Yoga studios often hire former students or train their own yoga teachers, so it's not always easy to get this type of job. Many yoga studios emphasize a specific yoga specialty, so advanced training in that area will make you more competitive. It helps if you're open to filling in as a substitute teacher on a trial basis to demonstrate your flexibility and reliability. You may also be able to get your foot in the door by volunteering or accepting a work-study position. Having a specialty, such as working with pregnant women or children, can help you stand out and will allow you to charge more as well.
Yoga studios generally pay between $35 and $75 per class depending on your yoga training, your teaching experience and the type of studio. Teacher payment may also be determined on a per-student basis, with teachers receiving a percentage of the fees paid (usually 50 to 70 percent), with the studio keeping the rest. In other cases, studios pay a base rate that guarantees the teacher a minimum income, for example $40, plus an additional amount per student. As you can see, payment arrangements for yoga teachers can be complex, so it's important to cover all the financial details before accepting a yoga studio position.
Teaching in Fitness Centers
In this environment, a broad knowledge of many yoga styles is ideal. Most fitness centers cater to a diverse audience and they definitely focus on the physical aspects of yoga rather than the philosophical or spiritual teachings. Small family gyms may pay yoga instructors as little as $12 per class, while high-end gyms may pay as much as $1 a minute or $75 for 75-minute class. In a mid-range health club, $35 to $45 per class is typical.
Giving Private Yoga Lessons
One-on-one instruction is one of the most profitable career paths you can follow after completing yoga training. You can offer private yoga lessons in your home, in client homes, or in another location. The challenge is getting regular clientele. You may need to teach in other settings to build up your reputation before people are willing to pay top dollar for your undivided attention. Private yoga lessons typically start around $50 to 75 for new teachers and go as high as $250 an hour for in-demand celebrity yoga teachers.
Group Yoga Lessons
From schools and corporations to nursing homes and community centers, there is a growing recognition that the benefits of yoga can have a powerful impact on people's lives. Corporations may offer yoga classes to employees to reduce stress, lower insurance costs or enhance productivity. Students of all ages—from elementary schools to universities—are being encouraged to practice yoga to improve their health and prepare them for more effective learning. Group yoga classes in all these settings are typically provided on a freelance basis, giving you the flexibility to negotiate your rates with employers. If you choose to take this route, you'll probably want to offer some classes for free, or by donation. This is a great way to build your reputation.
Yoga classes have become an integral part of the resort experience and are often included in package rates. In addition, yoga students often take "yoga retreats" to resorts to deepen their practice with daily classes and private instruction, while enjoying rest and relaxation. You may be able to get a part-time or full-time job as a yoga instructor working for a resort. Once you have some experience, you may decide to start your own business leading yoga retreats. You could also do this in collaboration with a yoga studio.
Sources: eHow, Inc., Yoga.com, LoveToKnow Corp., Cruz Bay Publishing, Inc.