We are tired of watching extremely talented yoga teachers burn out trying to make a living. What other industry has experts who work 60 hours a week and barely pay the bills? Not many. But why does this happen in the world of yoga? A world of healing and constant giving...
The fact is that after a yoga studio has paid the rent, the heating/air conditioning bills, the teachers' salaries, etc... there is simply not enough left to pay the teachers a decent salary! The economy simply doesn't allow for it. If teaching in a studio is not enough to support us as yoga teachers, it is harder than we think to earn an income as a yoga teacher.
Are you saying that yoga teachers should give up the studio all together? No way! But get this straight... it is almost impossible to make a sustainable living teaching ONLY in yoga studios. Instead, use yoga studios as a place where you can hone your skills, build your practice and test your ideas.
Full-time yoga teachers can achieve three results:
- Running while teaching 20 classes a week while living at the poverty line (inevitable exhaustion).
- Marry a wealthy spouse who pays all your bills so you can teach yoga for fun (part-time only).
- Diversify your income by earning money outside the studio (successful career)...numbers 1 and 2 are not ideal or possible for most people.
Fortunately, diversifying your income IS possible for most yoga teachers! And this is the subject we are addressing today.
How much does a Yoga Teacher earn?
This is a very common question and yet difficult to answer. Experts say that the median income of yoga teachers/pilates is $25,000 per year. The teachers who earn the most all have one thing in common... they earn most of their income outside the studio. In other words, they are paid through a combination of workshops, trainings, online sponsorships, etc.
The most successful yoga teachers :
- The advantage of technology, create a website, a business card and sell yourself with it. Easy to access, your site will allow you to be credible and sell yourself better.
- Leverage email marketing and have then diversified their income.
- Learning how to make money as a yoga teacher should really be taught in every teacher training program.
Okay, let's dive into how to make money as a yoga teacher. We've divided these income opportunities into three categories to help you focus on what makes the most sense for your unique situation.
- Beginner Income Opportunities
- Middle income opportunities
- Advanced Revenue Opportunities
Yoga teachers who build strong businesses almost always have multiple sources of income. Keep this in mind when considering your next move. Always look for ways to diversify income. As always, take what works and leave the rest.
Favourable Income Opportunities for Beginners
These income opportunities are perfect for new teachers and for those just beginning to diversify their income. Most of them are low risk and you can start now!
1) Teach at nearby colleges
Some universities hire yoga teachers to offer classes to their students. Usually the school takes care of the bill, which makes the classes free for the students! Try to contact "student services" or the "recreation center" to inquire about employment opportunities. Schools are often looking for yoga teachers to supplement their curriculum.
2) Teach Yoga for Businesses
It is increasingly common for companies to offer yoga as a benefit to their employees. Check with your local network to find out which companies would be interested. Most successful teachers in this space charge a flat fee of X €/class (regardless of how many people show up). Anne does this in Angers.
3) Write articles on Yoga
Yes, that's right. Many well-known online publications are not very (or not at all) paid for. However, some do, and if you enjoy writing, this can be a great way to make money while networking with the yoga industry. Bonus points if you already have your own website. Every article you write freelance has a "backlink", which means that your articles will have links to your personal website. These "backlinks" have SEO benefits and will send traffic to your site.
4) Do themed yoga sessions
Starting a complete yoga studio is a difficult and extremely expensive job. A popup studio is a great way to create the community atmosphere of a studio without any initial investment. You can also rent your favorite local space to offer a unique experience!
5) Offer private yoga classes
Do you like to work 1×1? Private yoga classes are a great way to increase your income while helping your students change their lives. Private classes require a greater investment of time than group classes. Keep the price structure simple and don't undercharge! Private classes typically cost between $60 and $200 per hour... we never recommend less than $80 per hour. Some even offer private yoga classes via Skype!
6) Do Podscast Yoga
Podcasting is like blogging: it's a great way to build an audience, but it takes a lot of time to make a lot of money. Fortunately, it's easy to get started: all you need is a microphone and an interesting topic to talk about. In addition to creating traffic to your website, podcasts can earn you money by selling sponsored ads at the beginning of your episode.
7) Become the useful "Yogeek"!
The perfect job for the technologically savvy entrepreneurs among us. Most yoga studios are understaffed and need help with their marketing. Consider offering your skills as a part-time expert. You could earn your living remotely by working freelance in 3 to 5 yoga studios. As you offer a greater impact, you may be able to increase your prices. Here are some useful skills: Website development and design, email marketing, social media marketing, etc.
Intermediate Revenue Opportunities
This is your "bread and butter" as a yoga entrepreneur. By carefully implementing one of these ideas, you can dramatically increase your income and change your life at the same time. Don't rush into these opportunities, they require a business strategy and long-term planning.
Prerequisites: you have identified your niche, you manage a growing website + email list and you are making money from your yoga business. You have at least one year of teaching experience.
8) Create online training
The online course industry is worth more than $100 billion a year. Consider turning your knowledge / skills into an online course. Possibilities are infinite in the field of yoga: Introduction to Yoga, how to start a successful yoga retreat, how to create a yoga sequence,
If someone wants a million dollar idea: Create a "YTT class" without the "teaching yoga" part - perfect for people who want to learn and deepen their own practice (but don't want to teach).
You can accompany yoga teachers in the process of creating their own website and teach them the basic techniques of online marketing (social media, email marketing, blogging, etc.).
9) Organizing a trip abroad
Unless you have a thriving community and a decent sized mailing list, I would not pursue this option. Many "great" yoga teachers struggle to make money on retreats and end up getting free working vacations. Whatever you do, plan your vacation well in advance. Partner with another yoga teacher if this is your first international retreat.
10) Organize a local trip
A perfect opportunity for the first time to organize a yoga retreat! Less planning, less risk, and potentially more profit! Many of your students want to deepen their yoga practice but don't have the time/money for a retreat in Costa Rica. Create an attractive offer less than 3 hours drive from your city. Be creative about the location: ski chalet, in the wilderness, on a lake/river, etc.
11) Organize a "hybrid" trip
What goes well with yoga? We've seen tons of great hybrid trips, such as: travel+yoga, scuba+yoga, hiking+yoga, surf+yoga, etc. Hybrid/combo trips appeal to people with a wide variety of interests.
12) Offer Yoga Workshops
Develop a unique 2-3 hour workshop to be given in yoga studios. Consider your expertise and what yoga students are looking to learn. By focusing on a very specific niche, you will be able to increase the price of your workshop. Do you like to travel? Offer your workshop in studios while you're on the go! You want to reach more people? Register your workshop and sell it through your website!
13) Manage a corporate wellness program
Employees are beginning to wake up and demand wellness programs from their employers. You can make big changes in a company while earning a regular income! You can both teach classes to company staff while managing the company's wellness offerings (spins, yoga, meditation rooms, nutrition planning, etc.).
14) Create the yogi product that sells!
Have you noticed an unmet need in the yoga niche? Or perhaps you are very good at making jewelry? Either way, creating a physical product is potentially a lucrative venture. We have seen clothing, yoga accessories, jewelry and much more become successful. You can test the popularity of your product on Etsy before investing in your own website.
15) Sell courses on your website
Do you like to be filmed? Maybe it's time to record some classes or a guided meditation. You can offer these courses through your website!
Tip: offer a free course in exchange for subscribing to your mailing list! Mailing lists are the most effective way to establish remote relationships with your readers and ultimately sell your service/product.
16) Become THE director of your studio
Are you super organized and like working with people? Think about managing your favorite studio! Not only will you increase your total income and have more regular working hours, but you will also understand the inner workings of owning a studio. What if you owned a yoga studio? Unfortunately, it is a very difficult business to manage. The economics of yoga studios are not very attractive. In other words, they require a lot of work and are not very profitable. It is therefore not surprising that studios cannot pay their teachers a very high price.
17) Do coaching / lifestyle
Are you listening? Do you master a specific process? Maybe it's time you started offering your expertise in a 1×1 format. Options include: health coaching, nutrition coaching, business coaching/consulting, etc.
18) Mentor new yoga teachers.
More than 15,000 people are certified to teach yoga every year in Europe alone, and that number is growing every day! Do you remember when you first started teaching? Imagine how much a mentor would have helped you! You could work 1×1 with yoga teachers or even create an online course that continues to learn the YT programs.
19) Create your own Yoga music proposal
It is no secret that many people love music with their yoga. Think about creating an experience that integrates live music with yoga and perform at festivals and other events. Claire Thompson created Yoga of Bass, allowing her to perform at conscious festivals around the world. We attended her yoga class while being immersed in bass music at Oregon's Eclipse festival.
20) Post sponsored content
As your online customer base begins to grow, consider partnering with yoga or niche brands. They will pay you to mention them on your website/social media. Remember: Avoid associating with brands you don't support - it will damage your credibility!
21) Create an online yoga studio
You can record the yoga classes in the comfort of your own home and then upload them to a website that takes care of the delivery and transactions for you. There are tons of "streaming yoga sites", but we like Namastream because you have more control (setting prices, deciding what type of content to stream, selling premium products, etc.).
Advanced Revenue Opportunities
These are the flagship products. They require years of experience, months of planning and a lot of work. Successful implementation of any of these opportunities can allow you to increase your revenues (and make a positive impact in the world) to previously unimagined levels. Most yoga entrepreneurs say that considerable personal growth has been necessary to get to this point.
Prerequisites: making a decent living from your business + having a thriving online community that you fully understand. You have taught or run your business for at least three years.
22) Create your certification program
Do you have your own style of yoga? Or maybe your own creative/artistic style? Consider creating a certification program and teaching your style to others! Certifications can range from a full program to an intensive laser-focused weekend. Many programs count towards Yoga Alliance continuing education credits. Our dear friend Sofiah Thom offers a certification program for Temple Body Arts that will be launched in June 2021 in Costa Rica. This program is a Tantric path to reclaim your feminine power.
23) Create a Premium Niche Online Community
You are super organized and like to host events? Are you planning to create a niche online community (like a forum) where like-minded people can learn, share and interact? Each member pays you a small fee, you provide quality content and facilitate learning and development on a specific topic. Calculating is pretty powerful... If 500 people each paid you $20 per month, you would earn $10,000 per month. Our friend Erica created YogaTrade.com which connects travelling yoga teachers with job opportunities abroad. We are big fans of their niche and love the Yoga Trade team.
24) Create your Advanced Yoga Training Course
It's no secret that yoga teacher training is very lucrative for yoga studios ($2,000 to $5,000 per person). If you have a mountain of experience and a strong marketing channel, this could be a great option. Before considering this option: we recommend that you either own a studio or have a large email list + a thriving online community.
25) Write a book
Do you have a source of knowledge/experience on a topic that no one else is talking about? Maybe it's time to share your gift with the world. However, don't take this effort lightly, it's a ton of work and only a small percentage of books make money. Fortunately, self-publishing is becoming very accessible and quite effective!
One last thing about money
Most people didn't start teaching yoga for money. We have already found ourselves in the sad state where the average income of a yoga teacher is above average. This does not mean that full-time yoga teachers have to live on the streets. On the contrary, yoga teachers should be able to make a decent living as long as they diversify outside the studio. Is it too much to ask?
It's time to take action
Your future will not create itself. Now that you know how to make money teaching yoga, it's time to take action. What is the one thing you can do today to get closer to your goals?
Here are some ideas:
- Create your own website.
- Send an email to 5 yoga studios (or companies) where you want to teach.
- Brainstorm a list of 10 problems your ideal student/customer faces (how can you solve them?).
- Start building your email list.
We feel very fortunate to be able to combine our love of yoga with our business skills to give other yoga teachers the business and marketing skills needed to build sustainable careers in the field of yoga.