how much does a yoga teacher make?
If you are thinking about starting a yoga career or completing a yoga teaching certification and wonder if you should make the career jump, these questions are unavoidable: How much do yoga instructors make? What are some yoga instructor jobs available to newly certified teachers? What is an average yoga teacher salary?
The answer is not straightforward, and several factors can impact your yoga instructor 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. Also, there are many ways you can create additional payment as a yoga teacher during your career that don’t involve teaching classes at your local yoga studio.
But there is good news: Yes, with the right strategy and dedication, you can make a 6-figures income as a yoga instructor!
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). Back in 2015, yoga instructors were ranked number 10 on CNN’s top ten careers list. So, if wellness is your career goal, yoga is an excellent option to consider.
How much does an instructor make an hour?
A typical yoga teacher’s salary per hour at a yoga studio is around $35. 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. Burnout is a severe problem in the yoga teaching industry. Unfortunately, it’s not unheard of for instructors to leave the profession because their teaching schedules become more than they can sustain long-term.
Also Read >>> Best Online Instructor Courses Certification
While many yoga teachers feel pressured to teach as many studio classes as possible, remember that we can’t take care of our student’s needs until after we take care of our own needs first. You can’t pour from an empty cup, as they say. So how, then, can full-time yoga instructors earn a comfortable salary without depleting their energy and burning out of control?
What are yoga instructor jobs?
In addition to teaching at yoga studios, there are many other yoga instructor jobs out there. Community centers, local businesses, and even schools will sometimes hire yoga teachers to teach their employees, students, or patrons.
Many teachers earn additional revenue by taking on other yoga instructor jobs, such as teaching private classes. Privates can be a great way to increase your income, as many yoga teachers often charge the market rate for personal training for their private sessions.
Other yoga instructor jobs that can change a yoga teacher’s salary per hour include creating, selling, and marketing additional products and services. Online courses, workshops, books, and other such income sources can help you substantially increase your yoga teacher salary.
For example, suppose you like to write. You can raise your yoga instructor salary by writing articles for online publications. Or you might try your hand at writing a book: yoga teachers who become published authors can increase their yoga teacher salary by as much as $60,000 per book! Online yoga is having a big moment right now. With creativity (and a little tech-savvy), yoga teachers can now increase the overall volume of their salary by selling pre-recorded yoga sequences or live-streaming classes, sometimes even from the comfort of their own home.
Is it taboo to talk about making money teaching yoga?
Money is a taboo topic in yoga, as many yoga teachers get uncomfortable talking about their 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 emphasize making money feel wrong. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali touch upon greed in the Yamas: Aparigraha, or non-hoarding, seems at first glance to be in direct opposition with an instructor’s desire to make money teaching yoga!
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. Because they hold a prestigious position in Indian society, the community supports the yoga teacher through donations and services. In our modern (and more individualistic) times, yoga instructor salaries and wages have since replaced the support system and donation basis. Things change, and we have to be okay with changing along with them.
Also Read >>> How to Become a Yoga Teacher?
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.
Earning a comfortable salary teaching yoga isn’t about getting rich, but being able to follow your passion–without having to worry about whether or not you’ll be able to make ends meet. And to revisit that Yama, aparigraha teaches that we should never take more than what we need. Like it or not, it is inevitable that, in today’s society, a yoga teacher’s salary per hour needs to be enough so that teachers, like everyone else, to be able to make a living.
Charging a just amount of money for your work, on the contrary, 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 classes while charging their total 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.
What’s the average yoga instructor salary for a newly certified teachers?
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 up 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 of yoga schools don’t feel confident to start training. 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. Just be careful not to rely on training alone. No amount of yoga teaching certifications can replace the invaluable experience of teaching yoga to students (and making money while doing so is a win-win).
So, if you prefer to gradually build your confidence on the ground, make sure that you have a clear plan on when, how, and how much you will start charging for your services so that you don’t find yourself still not earning a yoga instructor salary years from now.
Know your (financial) worth as a yoga instructor
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 to their practice so that their instructors stay motivated to teach. As a general rule, people don’t value what they receive 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. And you’ll increase your teacher salary per hour, which means everyone wins!
Also Read >>> Ways to Make Additional Income as a Yoga teacher
And while it is possible to make a livable wage as a yoga instructor, it can take time to build your yoga teaching business. If you have another job, it might be wise to keep it for a while longer, as you gradually build your career and increase your yoga teacher salary. For many years, I held a corporate job and taught a few classes each week. While it took me longer to earn a sustainable yoga income because of my day job, I felt I could strike a good balance.
The job was paying the bills, and my work as a yoga instructor allowed me to fuel my passion and serve others. Only when yoga began to take a more significant part of my life (and income), I felt ready to remove the safety net of my corporate job and teach yoga full time.
Yes, you can make money teaching yoga: ask, and you shall receive
If you wish to create an abundant life and earn a good teacher salary per hour, it only depends on you! Most yoga teachers are entrepreneurs and earn their living as independent contractors, which means that the passion, confidence, and skills you put into your work will influence the results.
When it comes to charging for your yoga teaching services, don’t be afraid to ask for what you believe your time is worth; you will be surprised by the responses. Students want to learn from you, and if they are earnest and ready to embrace the practice, they will be willing to pay your rate. If you under charge, 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, and study. All of these will contribute to making you a better teacher for your students. Plus, the more you immerse yourself in yoga training and teachings, the more authentic your classes will become. And as you continue to build your skills and yoga teaching experience, you will attract new students—and increase your overall yoga teaching earnings.
Many newly certified yoga instructors are uncomfortable with charging $100 for a private session. But a private yoga session, unlike a studio class, is customizable. Many students are willing to invest more money in private sessions because they are paying for a quality service tailored to their specific needs.
Authenticity and individuality sell
What makes you unique is also what will create your success and support how much money you make as a yoga teacher. Carving a yoga teaching niche for yourself will enable you to be known for a particular yoga teaching specialty, such as the yoga instructor who earns their salary by teaching corporate yoga or yoga for athletes. Plus, if you decide to host workshops or write books and articles to increase your income, having a niche can make it easier to focus your ideas and teachings on specific practices or themes. Specialty yoga is more marketable and clarifies students what they can expect when taking your course or reading your book.
But even if you decide not to niche down, don’t be afraid to share your passion and personal strengths out loud, what specialized knowledge you have, and what unique experience you offer. When you define your yoga teaching specialty, you can become known for that specialty. Not only will students seek you out for your expertise, but when you identify your teaching strengths, you (and the owners of the yoga studios where you teach) can use that information to market your classes to students. If you don’t say it, who else will?
Another way to increase the volume of your yoga teaching salary is by networking and nurturing relationships with your students to build your community. Find what you are most passionate about and create your unique offers. Be creative but also business savvy, and embrace your entrepreneurial side.
The “secret” to making a decent salary teaching yoga is patience, passion, and dedicated work.
So how much does a teacher make an hour? While the average yoga instructor salary in the US stands at $46,000 per year, 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.
Success doesn’t happen overnight. Just like with any career, the longer you’ve been teaching, the more experience you’ll have, which could lead to more teaching opportunities down the road. It will take time and dedication to grow your yoga instructor salary. But yoga teachers are lucky because, for many of them, making money teaching yoga isn’t about getting rich but finding a sense of purpose in sharing their passion for yoga with others.
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 instructor 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.