So finally, you teach yoga, don’t you? After an amazing, brave and surprising switch from your previous job to yoga teaching, how do you feel? I am not asking about the emotional and spiritual rewards, as for sure, teaching yoga and sharing this practice to people is one of the best things to do. What I am asking is more of a practical aspect: how do you feel making an earning out of yoga teaching? Not that easy, would you agree?
If you need a complete guide for yoga teachers to earn, learn and grow, head on to this complete yoga teacher guidebook. It is consolidated and summarized from my 3 articles below:
- Yoga Teacher Guide – Part 1 – How to increase earnings as a yoga teacher
- Yoga Teacher Guide – Part 2 – Resources for yoga teachers
- Yoga Teacher Guide – Part 3 – Best tools for yoga teachers
Yoga Teacher Guide – Part 1 is NOT to show you how to become a millionaire as a yoga teacher, but to show you how to make a decent living as a yoga teacher. Yoga Teacher Guide – Part 2 is a database of amazing resources that help yoga teachers learn and grow. Yoga Teacher Guide – Part 3 shows you different set of tools that make your life, as a yoga teacher, much easier and more productive.
Now, let’s get back to this article about yoga teachers’ earnings (Part 1). This article is NOT to show you how to become a millionaire as a yoga teacher, but it is to show you how to make a decent living as a yoga teacher. I believe yoga teachers should not struggle to make ends meet, especially when they dedicate so much of effort, time, energy and good intention to share something beneficial to communities. Yoga teachers all deserve better rewards.
Some yoga teachers have earned plenty of money. But you know what? Either it is their karma that they were born into wealth, or they are celebrity teachers, or a big part of their income is not from teaching yoga directly.
You wonder “if not from teaching yoga, where the other incomes come from?” Before addressing this question, let’s take a look at the current situation of yoga teacher’s earning and the strategy of a successful yoga teacher (in terms of wealth).
Summary of Contents
Current situation of a yoga teacher’s earning
According to CNN, it estimated that the median income for yoga/pilates teachers is about USD62,000 per year, which is more than USD5,000 per month. It sounds good, isn’t it? $5,000 per month is a decent amount of earning for an average working person. But would you believe that number? I am not unless that teacher has a full schedule of 5 classes per day and 6 days per week. Do you know any teacher who has this kind of crazy busy schedule? Rarely! Simply because yoga teachers won’t be able to keep up with that scary schedule which eventually burns them out, physically or mentally or both.
So, the real earning figure should be half of the CNN estimation, for most yoga teachers. Again, I am not mentioning those celebrity teachers who have thousands of thousands of followers and students. Their earnings are, probably, 5 times of that estimation, given the fact that 1 Instagram post can give them monetary rewards of USD20,000. So you do the maths to derive their income.
The income can range significantly from the top to bottom of yoga teachers. While most teachers earn less than $30,000 per year, some teachers (not many of them) earn $300,000 or more. But for those teachers who earn a lot, they all have the same success formula: diversify the income outside teaching for yoga studios. Put it another way, they receive incomes from other sources.
The strategy for a successful yoga teacher (in terms of wealth)
This strategy is more for new yoga teachers who find themselves struggle with making ends meet.
Now let’s go straight to each of the strategies.
Back to basic. Back to where you started. You have become a yoga teacher. So your main thing is to teach. But don’t limit yourself to only teaching for yoga studios. Expand your horizons. Below are some suggestions that you might consider for your yoga teaching.
1. Teach at local studios or gyms
You know, I know, everyone knows that this is the most common way to work as a yoga teacher. It is an excellent way for any yoga teachers because you don’t have to further invest in any facilities to start teaching. The studios or gyms are already well-equipped with all the necessary setup for a beautiful yoga class. It is also a great way to brush up your teaching profile and resume. However, if this is the only source of your income, you will be burnt out sooner or later. You might have heard that some teachers earn $80 per class, while your pay is $40 or even less? It might be true. But it is also true that it takes them 5 years or more to have that kind of pay, and they are now kind of popular teachers in the area, you know. So first, you have to survive for another 5 years to reach that, right? Continue to teach at studios, but don’t put all of your effort and energy there, move on to other sources of income.
2. Teach private lessons
After teaching at a studio or gym, you will gain some regular students and contacts. That’s where you can start to have private clients. Or you could advertise your private classes on social media or your own website if you have one. You will be surprised that some people might be so in love with your voice or your style of guidance that they just want to be taught privately or in a small group with you. After a while, you will see there is a positive impact on your earning.
3. Teach yoga for corporate / workplace
I used to work in the banking and aviation industry. I know there is always funding for the staff’s health and social welfare. And corporate people appreciate those health-related activities organized by companies. So there is a real demand for teaching yoga and meditation for corporate gigs.
Don’t ignore this opportunity because teaching yoga in the workplace is an excellent way to boost your earning. And think about it, it is rewarding to help people relax and go inward after a stressful period of work dealing with all sorts of external parties.
Also, teaching yoga for corporate is usually contractual for a period of time, and you can charge a premium price for these classes. However, it is not always easy to get this type of contractual classes with corporates. You need some internal contacts or referrals. Otherwise, do networking. Get to know more people in this corporate world. Ask around.
4. Teach yoga online
Take advantage of this digital world. Take advantage of the fact that not everyone can afford yoga classes at studios, or simply doesn’t have time to come to yoga classes. Yoga online has significantly grown for the past few years as there is a real demand for it. So if your teaching schedule is still quite empty, create a yoga course that can be sold online. A yoga course should be more in-depth and specialized at a particular topic, and usually has a higher selling price (compared to general classes). Consider your specific knowledge about some yoga topics and create courses based on the needs of your audience.
Some side note about the online course industry, it is over USD100 billions annually. So don’t just teach offline. Convert your knowledge and skills into an online yoga course. Another online format you can consider is to create a section on your website that can only be accessed via subscription or some forms of payment.
5. Host local retreats
As you work in the yoga industry for a while, you start to gain a network of regular students, followers, and teachers within the yoga community. Once you have these growing connections, you can choose to organize and facilitate your own retreat.
You don’t have to think about an extraordinary retreat which everyone is dreaming of. You know dreams hardly happen in reality. So be practical. You can start with a local retreat, which is 2 or 3 hours away from your city/town. I am sure there must be some places that are beautiful and peaceful enough for a yoga retreat.
You might be surprised that many of your students will want to go deeper into their yoga practice byways of retreat.
6. Offer workshops
Workshop is a way to enhance your income while combining your knowledge in a specific area. You can offer yoga and meditation workshops, or workshops on yoga Nidra, Ayurvedic diet, yoga therapy, aerial yoga, and sound healing.
Workshop usually runs from 2 to 3 hours. You can also run a half-day workshop if the topic is a bit broad. If you travel a lot, consider delivering your workshop to different studios where you arrive. You can also record your workshop and sell it on your website to reach more people.
7. Open a home studio
You just completed a yoga teacher training course and struggle to find a studio to start your teaching journey? Or you recently felt tired of running around to teach at different studios? Probably it’s time to think about setting up your own studio.
You might think of the capital issue that constraints us from opening our own studio. Yes, it will be a constraint if the studio is big. No, if it is a home-based studio. So if you have a bit of savings, consider this option to increase the number of your yoga classes; hence increase your income.
Refer to this article on how to set up a home-based yoga studio under a small budget.
8. Teach TTC (teacher training course)
I don’t find this point very relevant here for most yoga teachers, even though it is well known that the Teacher Training Course (TTC) is such an awesome source of income. The reason is that most yoga teachers who look for ways to improve their income would not be experienced enough to conduct TTC. If you are experienced teachers who already teach TTC, it is most likely that you don’t find this article relevant anymore. But to make this list more comprehensive, I add TTC here for our future consideration, maybe?
So, these are 8 ways to teach yoga to increase our earning as a yoga teacher. It is all about TEACH. Let’s move on to the next favourite category: WRITE.
Not everyone loves writing. Why? Because it takes time, and it is not always easy to write. That’s the fact. So why am I highlighting this “WRITE” part here?
Simply because we all know people love reading, but they are generally too busy or too lazy to write. They love someone writing their thoughts on their behalf. Or they simply love to read an opinion from someone else. People love reading. And you do what people don’t want to do. You write!
1. Start blogging
Simple idea. We all get it. But where to start? First, you need a website. These days, it is super easy and quick to have a website up and running. Second, you need to know it takes time to build a blog, and make it more reachable and readable to a broader audience. But the rewards can be really amazing. Do you know bloggers can live a comfortable life by monetizing their blog from advertising, sponsors, reviews, and affiliate marketing? If your content is of high quality and relevant, people will appreciate and come back as regular readers. Naturally, your audience will grow day by day until you realize there are so many opportunities to boost your income based on this blog.
2. Write reviews
As mentioned above, people tend to avoid writing if they can, unless the topic is of their interest/ passion. People love a product, YES. They write a thoughtful review about it, NO. If writing, it will be something like this “amazing product. Love it!”. Does it sound familiar to you? Must you have read this somewhere right? This is where you can make a difference. Approach those brands that you have used and appreciated their products. Ask if you can write a dedicated review for these products for an exchange of a coupon discount or some other monetary benefits. Brands usually love honest long-form reviews.
3. Start affiliate programs
Affiliate programs are getting more and more popular these days. It might sound alien to many of us, but basically, affiliate programs are any programs that reward you with a commission for any customers you refer. For example, Beinks has an affiliate program that rewards a commission of up to 15% on any yoga mat sold. You need to register for the affiliate program, share your view about their products by way of writing quality contents and reviews. You will be surprised that people love hearing your opinion and reading your words. Some of them will be converted into buyers; hence your commission is paid, and your income will slowly increase.
I highly recommend you should have already used these products before registering for any affiliate programs. Once you really love and trust their products, it is most likely people will also appreciate these quality products like you.
4. Write an e-Book
Does it sound like “no way” to you? I used to think writing a book is only for writers or philosophers or some forms of novel people. That might be true for the past decade. But not now, not at the digital era where everyone can publish their own contents, including e-book.
Before writing, consider your niche market or a niche demand and write an e-book to help them with this niche topic. You can take advantage of the extensive and powerful reach of Amazon. Otherwise, you can also write your own yoga e-Book in the PDF format and sell it on your website for any price you think reasonable.
So maybe it is time that you can share your fountain of knowledge/experience on a topic that few people are talking about? However, don’t take this book-writing so lightly, it’s a considerable amount of work. The good part is self-publishing is becoming very accessible and effective! So go for it, if you can.
5. Write contents for publications and magazines
You can write health/yoga articles on a regular basis for local papers or submit one-off articles to magazines. You can also reach out to some online publications which can pay for every published article (for example Yoga International or Yoga Journal).
6. Write and post sponsored contents
Have you ever noticed “sponsored contents” or “sponsored partnership” on Instagram or Facebook? You can do the same. Once your profile gets a bit more popular, and your pool of followers starts to grow, consider partnering with yoga or health-related brands.
Some brands have a generous budget for marketing and will pay you for mentioning their names or reviewing their products on your website or social media. However, never ever work with brands you don’t connect or go against your values – it will hurt your profile and credibility.
You can do so much with writing and many chances to monetize it. Remember to refer back to the 6 ways above to write contents to increase your income as a yoga teacher. Are you still with me? Let’s move on to the next part “TALK”.
1. Start a podcast
Podcasting can be quite fun and also effective. Podcasting is another way to share your yoga expertise with people by talking about it. More and more people are listening to podcasts regularly. So don’t just limit yourself as a yoga teacher at a certain geographic location.
Podcasting is like blogging. But instead of writing, you talk, talk and talk. Some people love reading, some love listening and watching.
And don’t let the technical part put you off. Creating a podcast is not that complicated. It is, in fact, easier than ever. All you need a microphone, a host platform, and an interesting theme to talk about. You can earn money through a podcast by selling sponsored ads at the beginning of each episode. Another way to get paid for a podcast is to conduct interviews with some brand owners or studio owners or some teachers who would like to advertise about their courses.
2. Become an Ambassador, Influencer or KOL (key opinion leaders)
Personally, I am not a fan of social media. However, I still add this point as a way to increase income as a yoga teacher. Some of you might find this way suitable and relevant to you.
If you are familiar with Instagram, you know that this platform can significantly increase your earning. Someone can be considered as Influencers or KOL on Instagram if they have over 10,000 followers with a good level of engagement (such as likes and comments). Brands and companies will approach you for content posting via your Instagram. Some influencers might get a free product, some might surprise you with the amount of pay they get for every posting.
As mentioned earlier, do things that help you boost up your income. But don’t lose sight of your values. Be always mindful of what you talk and share to your audience.
3. Create your own YouTube channel
If you are comfortable and passionate about making videos, go ahead and create a Youtube channel. I know some friends of mine created their channels and got a few thousands of subscribers for the first 3 months. That is to show you that people are still in thirst of information even though there seem to be abundant of videos on the world wide web!
Once your channel generates about 250,000 views and has a good number of subscribers, brands and advertising companies will approach you. Besides, you might also earn passive income from youtube ads shown in your videos. Many surprising opportunities will come to you. Who knows you just need to focus your time on this channel, as it already generates enough income for you to live a decent life!
So here are 3 ways to talk to improve your earnings as a yoga teacher. Pick one that is most suitable for you and get it started! But hang on for a minute. Let’s finish off this article with the final part “SELL”.
1. Sell products
Yoga teachers are still human. They can’t just breathe in the air to survive. Off the mats, we are all the same. We all struggle for a living. It is tough for yoga teachers to make a decent life without having another side job.
So don’t be shy if you need to sell a product to earn extra income. You share your opinion and recommendation for a small amount of income.
The important thing is you need to love and trust the quality of the products enough to sell them. Never sell things that you are not comfortable with.
Go ahead, approach brands for trial products. If you love them, apply for wholesale pricing so you can resell the products with a margin. Most brands (for example Beinks) have their wholesale pricing that can discount up to 40% the retail price. I would recommend you start with yoga mats, or yoga props (like yoga bags, yoga straps, blocks, bolsters, meditation cushions, essential oils).
2. Create your own brand
If you are someone that loves doing business and have a brilliant idea about a niche product, consider producing it under your own brand. However, starting a business and building a brand requires tons of effort. So be careful about this move. If you consider teaching is your main thing, I would suggest you leave this “business” aside, it will take all of your time and energy to the extent that you won’t have any left for teaching!
Still not sure where to start?
So much information, so many ways and strategies, you find? Don’t feel overwhelmed. Relax. The key thing here is time and determination on your yoga teaching path. At least you know there are many ways to make a living out of it.
And always remember teaching yoga is not about making buckets of money. It is never your objective when you started, isn’t it? Most people didn’t start teaching yoga for money, but many of them end up getting stressed for money. I believe yoga teachers should be able to make a decent living as long as they diversify outside the studio.
Just remember these 4 short, simple, basic words: TEACH, WRITE, TALK, SELL. Convert these words into action.
So what is next step?
Reread this article and pick a few strategies that are relevant to your current situation, to your personality, to your values. Start with one or two at a time. Don’t rush into everything and scatter your energy everywhere. All of these strategies take time.
If you can’t survive with the current income, consider taking another side job to support yourself first. Then continue to work on slowly and wisely until your income from yoga is sufficient for you to release the other side job.
If you decide to diversify your income as a yoga teacher, you need powerful magical tools to help you achieve the results better and faster. Read this article to equip yourself with the right tools. Lots of them are free to use.
Written by: Jivani