How much do yoga teachers make?
If you are thinking about a yoga career, or if you have completed a yoga certification and wonder if you should make the career jump, the question is unavoidable: How much does a yoga instructor make?
The answer is not straight forward, and several factors can impact your yoga teacher salary: your location, experience, specialization or niche market, how many hours you are willing to teach, and whether you are independent or associated with a studio are all variables that will impact your yoga teacher income.
But the good news is: Yes, with the right strategy and dedication, you can make a 6-figures income as a yoga teacher!
According to Glassdoor, a leading job and recruiting service, the average base pay for yoga teachers in the US is just over $46,000. It comes above the average salary for personal trainers ($33k) and slightly below group exercise trainers ($50k). So, if wellness is your career goal, yoga is an excellent option to consider.
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Yoga teacher salary per hour.
A typical yoga teacher’s wage at a yoga studio is around $35 per hour. Many studios offer additional incentives for larger classes, like a few extra dollars per student above ten students. Other studios or establishments work on a pure revenue split model, ranging from 50:50 to 70:30 for the teacher.
And while this hourly rate can seem attractive, remember that your schedule and energy reserves will unlikely allow you to teach more than three classes per day.
Many yoga teachers earn additional revenue from private classes, often charging the market rate for personal training. Online courses, workshops, books, and other income sources can help you substantially increase your yoga teacher salary.
Is money a taboo?
Money is a taboo topic in yoga, and many yoga teachers get uncomfortable talking about salary and earnings. Significantly, this comes from the fact that teaching yoga is an act of service. Many yoga teachers found their path in a strong desire to help others, and as such, earning a high yoga teacher salary can challenge our core values and make money feel wrong.
The opposition of yoga as a spiritual practice and the materialistic world represented by money is another source of discomfort. Many will refer to traditional Indian teachers (gurus), offering their knowledge freely. However, we need to understand that this model involves a whole societal structure. Holding a notorious position in society, the teacher is supported by the community through donations and services. In our modern (and more individualistic) days, yoga teacher salaries and wages have replaced the support system and donation basis.
I always invite my students to view money as a form of energy exchange. If you are giving more than you receive, you will soon become depleted. If you are tired, stressed that you couldn’t make the rent, or cannot afford to eat quality food, it is unlikely that you will be the best teacher you can be for your students. So, in the end, nobody wins.
Charging a just amount of money for your work, on the opposite, will ensure that you take care of your body and mind while continuing to serve your purpose. Many yoga teachers will adopt price scales to allow less fortunate people to participate in yoga while charging their full amount to those who can afford it. Other teachers will participate in weekly charity classes to give back. There are many ways to reconcile your beliefs and purpose with abundant life and a successful career.
How much can you earn as a new yoga teacher?
How much money new yoga teachers make depends on their skills, confidence, and willingness to ask! When you begin your career, it is essential to set yourself for success right from the start. Yet, most graduates feel that they should teach free classes to gain more experience before charging.
The sad reality is that around 70% of graduates from yoga schools don’t feel confident to start teaching. If this is your case, consider acquiring the skills and knowledge to gain confidence and become a successful teacher. Zazyoga launched a Bridge program for yoga teachers to address this exact situation.
If you prefer to build your confidence on the ground gradually, make sure that you have a clear plan on when, how, and how much you will start charging so that you don’t find yourself in years from now, still not earning a yoga teacher salary.
I always coach my students to earn an income as a yoga teacher right from the beginning. Why? First, I want them to be in a position where they have to give themselves the best and not see their work as a practice ground. Second, I invite them to honor the efforts in time, energy, and money they invested in becoming a yoga teacher.
And finally, I want their students to be committed so that they stay motivated to teach. As a general rule, people don’t value what is given for free. Just think of the number of freebies cumulating dust in your house vs. how much you use the same items when you have paid for them! By paying for your classes, your students will put more value on your work, be more motivated, and therefore you will serve them better.
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If you have another job, it might be wise to keep it for a while as you gradually build your career and increase your yoga teacher salary. For many years, I was holding a corporate job and teaching a few classes each week. While it took me longer to earn a sustainable yoga income because of my day job, I felt the right balance.
The job was paying the bills, and yoga allowed me to fuel my passion and serve others. Only when yoga began to take a larger part of my life (and income), I felt ready to remove the safety net of my corporate job.
Ask, and you shall receive
If you wish to create an abundant life and earn a good salary as a yoga teacher, it only depends on you! Most yoga teachers are entrepreneurs and independent contractors, which means that the passion, confidence, and skills you put into your work will influence the results.
Don’tDon’t be afraid to ask for what you believe your time is worth; you will be surprised by the responses. If you undercharge, you will have to work a lot more and put yourself at risk of joining the increasing yoga teacher burnout trend.
It’s simple math: if you charge, say, $100 for a private class instead of $50, you now need half the clients and have to work half the time for the same amount. With this extra time, you can dedicate yourself to your practice, take additional training, study. All of these will contribute to making you a better teacher for your students.
What makes you unique is also what will create your success and support how much money you make as a yoga teacher. Don’tDon’t be afraid to share out loud your strength, what specialized knowledge you have, and what unique experience you offer. If you don’t say it, who is going to guess?
Network and nurture the relationships with your students to build your community. Find what you are most passionate about and create your unique offers. Become business savvy and embrace your entrepreneurial side.
While the average yoga instructor salary in the US stands at $46,000, it is truly in your hands to build your ideal and abundant yoga career. The more skills and expertise you develop and the stronger your community is, the more success you will create.
In the end, it is not so much about how much money you make as a yoga teacher, but rather how fulfilled you are in your career. Remember that being successful and earning a good yoga teacher salary does not contradict your spiritual practice, as long as you remain authentic to your path and teach from a place of love and service.