So you’ve completed your yoga teacher training… now what? In order to have a successful career as a yoga teacher, you’ll have to apply the things you’ve learned in training in real life. Read on to learn about the fundamentals of building a successful career as a yoga teacher.
Employment as a New Yoga Teacher
Finding your first job is tough in any field. The yoga industry is no exception. Finding employment as a new yoga teacher may be the toughest step of your teaching journey, and one you might not feel prepared for fresh out of a YTT. Are you eager to share your newly acquired knowledge and passion with the globe? Great! Just know that it may take a few attempts to get that first yoga job. It takes persistence, effort, and regular practice. With the growing number of yoga teachers in the industry, you may come across several obstacles trying to find your first job. But don’t let that affect your confidence! Searching for yoga-related jobs is going to be tough initially. Accept it. You’re going to require a level of diligence you’ve possibly never experienced before. Besides, you have to build up a thick skin to face rejection. To help you excel as a new yoga teacher, here are some ways to help you land your first job.
- Personal practice. Whether you’re a new teacher or an experienced one, personal practice is mandatory. Sure, it can be difficult to find time for yoga, even if you are disciplined. But to make yoga into a permanent career, you must have a developed physical and meditative practice. Set aside the time to get on your mat. Make it a priority, and it will support your development in numerous ways.
- Don’t limit yourself. If you’re trying to build a successful career as a yoga teacher, expand your search. Yoga studios are an obvious choice, but don’t limit yourself to studios alone. You can teach yoga everywhere, from local gyms and community centers to schools and corporate spaces. You can even teach at festivals and conferences. Use your creativity when applying for yoga jobs.
- Seize the day! For your first job, grab whatever you can get. At the start, your opportunities may be limited to volunteering or interning. You might be teaching at a local charity or at community events. Take whatever chance comes your way. Take advantage of these jobs. Building a network within your local yoga community will pave your path to success. Ultimately, a small contribution will lead to significant opportunities, and your worth as a teacher will grow.
- Spread the word. Let everyone know about your work! You cannot expect a job offer unless you let people know you’re looking for employment. Use social media to promote your classes and to get yoga teaching jobs. Be involved in your local community. Social media is a great approach to communicate with people worldwide. Your personal connections are a great tool you can use to spread the word about your aspirations. So go ahead and inquire. You can get remarkable opportunities as well as an excellent salary. An opening can happen anytime. Don’t miss it.
- Don’t do it alone. If you’re a new yoga teacher, find an advisor who can help you. It can be one of your yoga teachers or someone from the yoga world whom you value and respect. Having someone with experience to turn to makes a huge difference. Practice yoga with your mentor, take their classes, and keep in touch with them. Run ideas by them, chat about yoga and beliefs, and absolutely use them as a checklist for fresh ideas or any ventures that you’re not sure of.
- Build a network. Connecting with people in any business is an essential element of professional networking. Use all available netwroking tools at your disposal. Explore Facebook groups for yoga teachers in your area. Dedicate some time to promote yourself from the very beginning of your yoga career, because it will help you move towards a permanent yoga teaching position. Initiate your online promotion now, if you haven’t by now. Create a professional Facebook page, an Instagram account, and a website to make it easy for future employers and students to find you. Invite your friends and family to promote your business online and in person.
Building Confidence as a Yoga Teacher
No matter how long you’ve been practicing, it can take some time to find confidence as a yoga teacher. Transitioning from being a student to a teacher is an exciting journey. Nothing can replicate that feeling when you finally realize your calling. However, the transition between yoga teacher training and actual teaching is far from easy. Teaching yoga for the first time can be daunting. You might question the extent of your knowledge and the depth of your personal practice. Do you genuinely know enough to direct a group of people from different backgrounds safely through a yoga class? Do you have the right personality to keep the students engaged? Will you be able to make money as a yoga teacher? It takes time to find confidence as a yoga teacher. However, confidence is essential to help you achieve a successful career as a yoga teacher. But as long as you keep moving forward, you will succeed. Follow the tips below to help you through your journey.
- Never stop learning. When we stop learning, we stop growing. There is a reason why continuous education is a requirement, and luckily there is no shortage of opportunities! Continuing your training as a yoga teacher is an excellent way to keep up with yoga trends and to build up your confidence as a yoga teacher.
- Be authentic. You cannot fully flourish as a yoga teacher unless you present as your authentic self. It’s very common for new teachers to “fake it ’til you make it”, but that will only contribute to your imposter syndrome. Your confidence as a yoga teacher will only come from having a total realization of who you are and projecting it to your students. So take your time. Discover what yoga feels like in your whole system, and you’ll be able to guide your students with confidence.
- Preparation is key. Have you ever been in a situation when somebody asks you to tell a joke, and suddenly you forget every single joke you’ve ever heard? It’s the same with yoga lessons. Don’t let your mind go blank. Instead, prepare your lessons in advance. Have a clear plan for your sessions, and be ready to make changes as you go. Be sure to arrive early enough to set up the room and greet your students. Put together a playlist, or perhaps prepare a quote to set the direction of your yoga class. The more energy you spend planning, the more confident you’ll feel.
- To each their own. Everyone has a favorite yoga teacher, so don’t be upset if it’s not you. People are drawn to different yoga styles, as well as different teaching approaches. Some people like to be given options, and others prefer strict sequences. Some people learn from visual cues, and others listen to your verbal instructions. It’s impossible to please everyone, and that’s perfectly fine! Instead of trying to tick every box, concentrate on what you’re good at. That will make your classes much more enjoyable and give you the confidence you need.
- Find support. One of the best ways to gain confidence as a yoga teacher is to find someone to support you. When you feel overwhelmed by your new role as a yoga teacher, it’s important to have a support network. It can be one (or few) of your yoga teachers, a family member, or a friend who will encourage you. You can also run ideas by them, perform practice lessons, and get honest feedback on how to improve.
- Try to relax. Finally, try to relax. Students can always tell when you’re anxious or tense. It’s not easy to do, but remind yourself not to worry. Discover that grounding pose, and be yourself! You have the education, you have the knowledge, and you’re passionate about your craft. You need to calm the negative inner voices and actively select a more fruitful path in thinking.
Making Money as a Yoga Teacher
In recent years, teaching yoga grew to be a highly coveted career. However, if you want to have a successful career as a yoga teacher, creating revenue is a must.
Becoming a yoga instructor may seem like a dream come true. That is until you struggle to make money as a yoga teacher. And let’s face it, your earnings as a good indicator of your success (or lack thereof). If you’re new to teaching yoga, or you’re looking to expand your teaching horizons, this guide is for you!
- Yoga studio. This is usually the first step for new teachers. Most studios pay on an hourly basis, which means your income doesn’t depend on attendance. You also get to learn via helping out other yoga instructors, while you are finding your style. Depending on the size of the studio, you might also have the additional opportunity to work on reception or perform admin tasks.
- Private lessons. Once you have more experience, you might venture into the world of private yoga lessons. This option is suitable for someone who has already acquired a customer base. It provides a more significant income potential, as private lessons are worth more (based on your customer base). Depending on your training and qualifications, you can further help to guide your customers to wellbeing (e.g., personalized training plans, food plans, etc.).
- Corporate yoga. Employees’ happiness is the company’s wellbeing. In recent years, many companies started facilitating yoga lessons for their employees. This is your chance to help people in the office become healthier and make some money at the same time! Besides, it helps you build a wider customer base for the future. Note that while the company usually provides the practice space, you may be expected to provide yoga mats, props, a speaker for the background music etc.
- A class of your own. This is a great option for more obscure locations with fewer yoga studios. The truth is, many people would love to practice yoga, but they don’t want to travel very far! You can rent a suitable space, e.g. sports hall, community center, or even a church! Create your own routine for the classes, and set your own prices. You can also design a prepaid class program for customers to sign up ahead. For this option, you will definitely need to invest in all the necessary equipment. But it will be worth it! Teaching your own classes is a great way to build a community and make money as a yoga teacher.
- Yoga workshops. Alongside your regular classes, it’s a good idea to teach occasional workshops. A workshop will usually focus on a particular aspect of yoga, such as backbends, inversions, or hamstring stretches. You can also teach meditation and breathing workshops. Due to their nature, workshops tend to be longer than an average yoga class (2-3 hours). It will allow you to get in touch with more clients. If you don’t have access to your own venue, you can hire a space or approach a studio. Many studios are happy to promote a guest workshop if they think you have something to offer.
- Online lessons. This is a great option that will provide you with a more significant customer reach. When teaching online, you’ll be able to connect with students all over the world. In fact, some students prefer online yoga because they can do it in the comfort of their homes.
- Online courses. Another great way to make money as a yoga teacher is to design a prepaid course, which customers can access through the web. It will help you to get in touch with customers who cannot attend your online workshops or face-to-face lessons due to scheduling conflicts. Once you have created the content for the course, this actually becomes a passive income. To attract more students, you can upload some free lessons on YouTube or social media to get more people interested in your offline course.
- Write about yoga. A great way to go about making money through yoga is to share your knowledge with others. If you have a strong social media presence, you can write blog articles about yoga and yoga-related topics. You can even expand by adding recipes, mindfulness exercises, etc. Alternatively, you can sell your work to existing blogs as a freelance content writer. Once you have a captive audience, you can sum up all of your yoga knowledge by writing a book. Publishing has never been easier than now: on Amazon, you can sell an eBook, a hard copy, or even an audio version of your book! You can also reach out to publishers with a book pitch.
- Sponsorships. Once your name and your brand are out there, you can also get sponsorship from a variety of yoga-related companies. You can create income by advertising something yoga-related: equipment, food, books, etc. Usually, a brand or a product manufacturer would reach out to you with an offer. However, you can also contact the brands you like to enquire about their influencer program.
As you can see, there are many ways you can have an income as a yoga teacher. Don’t forget, building customer skills are a crucial part of being successful as a yoga teacher. Try to educate yourself in your niche as much as you can, and to keep in touch with the customer’s needs.
How to Retain Students as a Yoga Teacher
You can’t be a successful yoga teacher without students, so here are a few things you can do to retain your students! When you undergo yoga teacher training, you learn how to sequence, cue, and adjust. However, teaching yoga extends much further. To have a successful career as a yoga teacher, you need to be able to make your classes an amusing, enjoyable, enriching experience so that yoga students feel motivated to return.
- Give attention to new students. If the first impression is negative, students are not likely to come back. New students can feel disheartened if the teacher never takes notice of them. If a student encounters a problem with a particular pose, encourage them and share useful tips with them. Whenever you have someone new to your class, be sure to let them know you value them as a student. This will make any student’s experience worthy of coming back.
- Provide options. This advice is especially relevant if you are teaching a mixed-level class. Depending on their yoga experience, some people will struggle with specific asanas, while others find them too easy. So be ready with adjustments and alternate poses to make sure everyone is satisfied. People understand the value of a tailored approach to their practice.
- Take time to introduce technical terms. Experienced students likely know the majority of common poses by their Sanskrit names. That knowledge doesn’t come overnight. Don’t make your students feel left out when you use technical terms. Be sure to introduce the Sanskrit gradually, alongside the English names of asanas. That way, newer students won’t get confused in the middle of a flow. As well as teaching your students the Sanskrit terms, you should gradually educate them about their anatomy. It will assist them in understanding their bodies on a whole different level.
- Always be on time. By always being on time, you show your students that their time is valuable. Your students make the effort to commute, change clothes, and get ready for class. The least you can do is treat them with the same level of respect. Reach the classroom early to give yourself time to assemble your own thoughts, and to welcome students as they arrive. In the same way, encourage punctuality among your students. When a student is late to class, it is distracting to other people in the room. Set a boundary and make sure to follow through.
- Give encouragement. Adjustments, whether physical or verbal, can greatly enhance yoga practice. However, some yoga students might perceive an adjustment as a criticism. Therefore, you need to find balance in your teaching. Search for something you genuinely love in every student and let them know when they do well. If they struggle, encourage them to persevere. It’s easy to retain yoga students if you’re a kind and encouraging teacher.
- Emphasise meditation. For many people, yoga practice is the only opportunity they get to get away from the daily clamor. When you focus on meditation, you give your students a chance to reflect on their day. A few minutes of meditation at the start of your class, as well as peaceful Savasana, will make a huge difference.
- Create the right setting. Turning down the lights and adding some background music is a great way to make students attentive, which will encourage them to come back. You could take it even further, lighting some candles around the room or adding a source of pleasant aroma.
- Stay after class. The key to having a successful career as a yoga teacher is connection with your students. In the same way as you would be expected to arrive early, you should avoid rushing off. It is bewildering when the teacher is running for the door immediately after the class ends. Take a seat, smile, encourage people to ask questions and give you feedback. Check with new students and don’t forget to tell them what an excellent job they did.
- Prepare in advance. Improvisation can lead to fantastic yoga sequences. However, it’s a good habit to be prepared for your class in advance. Your regulars will appreciate a theme or progression in your classes. Anyone suffering from anxiety might feel more at ease when they know the plan. You may also prepare a quote or a poem from spiritual sources. Give your students food for thought, and they will definitely come back.
Don’t lose your enthusiasm, and don’t quit. If you continue to try, you have a successful career as a yoga teacher!