So, you’ve been considering training to become a yoga teacher? Congratulations! I can honestly say, after 12 years of teaching that it is the best ‘job’ in the world.
On the outside, the life of a yoga teacher may appear glossy (thank you Instagram), but the reality is that there is often a lot of competition for teaching positions and rates of pay vary massively.
Although career progression and earning a decent yoga teacher salary can take time, it is possible, especially if you can get creative and utilize different streams of income!
Whether you’re planning to teach full-time or as more of a side hustle, this article will break down the different avenues that may be available to you as a new yoga teacher, beginning with those that require less experience and progressing to income streams that will be more suitable when you have a few years of teaching under your belt.
This article will explore how much do yoga instructors make in:
- Studios and Gyms
- Independent Classes
- Leading Workshops
- Teaching Abroad
how much do yoga instructors make In Studios and Gyms?
As a newly qualified teacher, this is most likely where you’ll begin.
Working for a studio or gym is a wonderful way to gain experience teaching a wide variety of students with different bodies and different needs.
Teaching in studios will also help you to get in front of people and begin building your client base.
As a new teacher, you probably won’t be given a ‘prime slot’ right away which should mean smaller class sizes, enabling you to gain confidence in teaching groups when you’re starting out.
As studio and gym classes are often in the mornings or evenings, this is a great option for those who would like to teach part-time whilst keeping their day job.
Approximate Yoga Instructor Salary For Studios & Gyms:
Payment is usually ‘per class’ and ranges dramatically depending on the studio and location. There will be a big difference between the class rates offered at a top London studio compared to a beach retreat in Thailand. Typical rates of pay according to experience:
- Newly qualified teacher (up to 2 years experience) – £15-25 (UK/Europe), $20-$30 (USA)
- Experienced teacher (2-5 years experience) – £25-40 (UK/Europe), $30-40 (USA)
- Senior teacher (around 10 years experience) – £40- (UK/Europe), $35-50 (USA)
Commission-based teaching or Studios & Gyms:
A growing number of studios are offering a base rate with commission for each student over a minimum number. You will be expected to help market your classes to bring in students. A common example in the US:
Base rate per class $25 + $3 for every student over 8 students, up to a maximum of $55
Tips for landing a job in a studio or gym:
Competition for teaching jobs can be fierce. Start by approaching the studios you already practice in as they’ll know your face.
You’ll usually have to ‘audition’ or teach a trial class so have something ready. When applying to studios that are new to you, it can be helpful to include the link to a video of you teaching.
how much do yoga instructors make Teaching independent classes?
Got a big backyard or a beautiful local park, church hall, or community center nearby? Great! Welcome to your home studio.
Teaching independent classes allows you to charge what you wish and keep the revenue.
For outdoor spaces where you won’t have to pay rent (think parks or your own backyard), consider offering classes ‘by donation’. This keeps yoga accessible for all and allows people to pay according to their means. You’ll be amazed at how generous people can be!
For community spaces (church halls, community centers) you will probably need to pay an hourly rental fee so having a set price for your classes may be more suitable.
Depending on where you live, you could charge in the region of £5-£15 (UK) / $10-$20 (USA) per class.
Tips For Setting Up Independent Classes:
Firstly, find a beautiful space and check licensing and insurance requirements.
Begin by scheduling one or two classes per week and message friends, family, and neighbors to spread the word. Try scheduling classes on weekday evenings after work and Saturday or Sunday mornings for the best turnout.
To promote your classes try neighborhood forums (Nextdoor, Meet Up, Eventbrite, Facebook, and Instagram all work well).
Consider making a simple flyer using Canva to post up at your local grocery store/school/moms group.
how much do yoga instructors make Teaching Online?
Ah COVID … Remember the time when you didn’t know what Zoom was and you’d never taken an online yoga class in your life? Times are changing and many of these changes are here to stay.
Purists may shun the idea of teaching online but the truth is that online classes allow yoga to be accessible to more people. Online yoga is a wonderful option for:
- Those who do not live near a studio
- Those with limited time
- Those who do not have the financial means to pay $25 for a single yoga class
- Those who cannot attend classes at regular times due to work, family, or personal commitments
- Those who prefer to practice alone and may be intimidated by studios
- Those who simply love unrolling their mat in their pajamas and staying warm and cozy at home to get their yoga fix! So … all of us basically!
Approximate Yoga Teacher Salary For Online Classes
There are endless ways to take your offerings online.
To land a gig on one of the larger yoga platforms like AloMoves or Glo, you’ll usually need to be a senior teacher with several years of experience but you can start creating your own independent online offerings right away.
The simplest option is to get a Zoom account and offer donation-based classes. Students donate to you via PayPal or Venmo and you then send them the Zoom link – easy!
A suggested donation could be £5/$5 per class.
Another option is to offer an online course for a set price. Note that if the course is not live, you may need to work with a specialist platform such as Udemy or Kajabi to host your content and have marketing in place.
Successful courses can generate thousands in income and allow you to diversify your audience.
Those with more experience and resources may look into creating an online platform/app that houses a library of your pre-recorded classes maybe even with live streams combined. Set-up costs can be high but once you build a large client base, this option can be very lucrative.
how much do yoga instructors make Teaching Private Classes?
Working one-on-one with a student is a wonderful experience. Be sure to begin with a consultation and tailor the class plan to their specific needs/goals. As a rough estimate, charge 4x what you would for a regular class price.
For a new teacher, this may be £60/$80 per class.
IMPORTANT: remember to be safe. If you don’t know the client, meet them in a public place.
how much do yoga instructors make Teaching Abroad?
A route with a lot of competition. As a new teacher, you may begin with a ‘yoga trade’ position where you’ll teach in exchange for accommodation and food.
It’s very important to do a background check on any venue you are considering working with. Can they provide references from former teachers? Where will you be living? How many hours will you be teaching? Will any other duties be required of you?
Again … safety first is paramount here. There are some great websites like Yogatrade.com if you’re inspired to travel and teach
how much do yoga instructors make Leading Workshops?
Take a look at the schedule of any good yoga studio and you’ll notice they host specialist workshops, typically 2-3 hours in length.
Workshops address a specific aspect of the practice – physical, spiritual, or skill-based. To run a workshop you’ll need to be very knowledgeable in your chosen field and have the skills to create an explorative and interactive learning experience for your students.
If you have a niche skill or there is one aspect of the practice you’re super knowledgeable about, workshops could be a great fit for you! As a new yoga teacher (and an experienced one!) go to lots of different workshops with a variety of teachers to get an idea of how to structure your own
Approximate Yoga Instructor Salary For Workshops
Some yoga studios will pay a set fee for a 2-3 hour workshop – typically around £100/$150 and up. Others will require you to rent the studio by the hour but you will keep all revenue.
Workshop fees vary massively depending on the seniority of the teacher but start at around £30/$40. A packed class could earn the teacher as much as £800/$1000.
Where To Start
The biggest piece of advice I give to all Yoga Teacher Training graduates is to ‘just do it’. Before you leave the course, line up your first yoga class so you know exactly when it will be (no later than 2 weeks after you graduate ideally).
It doesn’t have to be in a studio. A session for friends in your local park or community hall is perfect. As a new teacher consider making it a donation-based class for a worthwhile charity.
Understand that it can take time to build your yoga business. Gaining real experience teaching will be your best friend, as will being open to feedback from your students.
A Note On Teaching For Free
There are increasingly more and more ‘yoga trade’ roles being advertised. This typically means that you will receive benefits rather than a salary as compensation.
While these roles can be a wonderful way to gain experience, there is a fine line between gaining experience and being exploited.
Understand that no matter how little experience you have, you have invested in your teacher training and your classes give enormous benefit to your students. With that being said, offering donation-based classes where all proceeds go to charity is a wonderful way to give back.
For more advice on getting started in your yoga teaching career, consider reaching out to your yoga teacher training provider or your favorite teacher to enquire about mentorship.