If you are planning to make a living as a yoga teacher, this post is for you. A full-time yoga teacher is a lucrative career if implemented correctly. If you are an inspiring yoga teacher and worried about the challenges of starting out as one, this post is there to help you.
In India, the value of the wellness industry has crossed Rs 85,000 crore. The yoga industry in the US is expected to become an $11.5 billion industry by the end of 2020. According to statistics, the US has around 37 million people practicing yoga and the number will keep on increasing exponentially.
How to make teaching yoga a sustainable career in the long run, how to become a full time yoga instructor, and how to make good living out of it are some questions to be answered.
Challenges As A Full-Time Yoga Teacher
For most teachers, the perceived career trajectory is to build up a following in the beginning and get a foot in the door. And then, more and more people will start joining the classes and their income will grow exponentially. They don't think about the hardships. In reality, a lot of yoga teachers are teaching 12-18 yoga classes a week and travel from studio to studio. Their schedules are all over the place with no time for themselves. Hence, it's not that simple.
You might be able to pay your bills and make a decent amount of money by following this challenging schedule but forget about becoming wealthy in the long run. You need to differentiate yourself in some way.
Like any other career, a yoga teacher needs to roll up his or her sleeves and toil hard initially. You will have to pick whatever classes yoga studios are offering you and not be too picky. The same applies to students selection as well. Some students may be content with basic yoga poses while others would want training in advanced poses. As a yoga teacher just starting out, you can't be selective in students. So it's about giving up your preferences initially and focus on building a loyal customer base.
It's time to cut yourself some slack and to redesign what it means for you to be a full-time yoga teacher. Doing 12-20 classes a week is not the solution, especially if you are getting older, have retirement plans, working on family planning, or want to become wealthy.
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Find A Niche
There's a sea of yoga teachers who are becoming certified every day. Everyone can teach the basic poses and yoga asanas. To become a yoga teacher, it's essential to know how to teach and preach about the basic positions. To make it big as a full-time yoga teacher, you will have to find a niche and specialize in it.
Yoga is a competitive domain now. There's a huge demand for it. You have to be a realist and notice that tons of yoga teachers are advertising the same thing. Being known for a particular service is extremely powerful and saves you from becoming the Jack of all trades and master of none.
Something to get your creative juices flowing: HIIT is all rage now. Can you come up with a HIIT-yoga combination? What about power yoga? Or meditative yoga but with a differentiator? Think and bring some innovation as a yoga teacher.
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Business Model For A Full-Time Yoga Teacher
Teaching 20 classes a week is not a business model. There's more to it. Business models don't have to be super complicated. You are asking yourself, "How do I plan on making my income as a yoga teacher?" For most teachers, teaching public classes and a few private classes as a way to increase income constitutes a business model. And that's okay. But you need to think if it's sustainable. One powerful exercise you can undertake is to design your ideal workweek.
Taking cognizance of efforts and time, how many yoga classes would you want to teach every week? How many workshops would you want to run, how many private clients would you accommodate, and what else can you squeeze in your schedule? Once you have an ideal week, start eliminating everything that looks beyond reach or infeasible. You need a tiered business model.
The first tier brings in the least income. That would be your public classes. Odds are of making anywhere from twenty dollars a class to 100 dollars a class while teaching yoga publicly. Variations arise based on the city.
Then, there's the travel time to get to the public yoga studio. You'll have to reach before time and spend an extra 15 minutes to clean up the space once everyone has left. Of course, this is applicable only if there's no support staff. And then, it's time to scurry to the next class.
Most teachers might have two or three classes a day. You want to get to a higher tier of income. That's when the second tier comes in. It consists of offering private classes where you teach a small group of students.
Now, you're getting more value for your teaching efforts. Add in another activity or job to at the mid-tier level: workshops. If you can offer workshops either at your local studio or in any other place, nothing like it.
Finally, the higher ticket items at the third tier. This would be yoga retreats and yoga teacher training. As a yoga teacher, if you are going to be in this career in the long run, you should start thinking of these activities. These higher tickets are going to supplement your income and make your career and life more stable.
At the same time, you don't earn big money from the third tier so easily. It requires commitment and investment as a teacher. You'll need to work a lot. You can offer some retreats; they can be local, international or some teacher training down the road. Just make sure there is integrity in your offerings.
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If you have been certified last year, it's probably not the time for you to host teacher training. So plan the tiers depending on your current expertise and experience.
Think about teaching yoga online. A lot of teachers are hesitant to do this but it's a blessing for people to learn yoga online. Align your ideal target audience with your strengths, create a package, and offer it online.
Pick one or two social media platforms. Set up a website to publicize yourself as a yoga teacher while leveraging the reach of these platforms.
Yoga can help alleviate several illnesses. As you practice yoga, it establishes a solid relationship between the mind and the body. And yoga teachers are seen in a new light today. A profession that has a wider reach and influence. It's a competitive world, but it's possible to make a good living as a full-time yoga teacher.
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