Yoga Is Not Just For The Experts
Number one, being a yoga teacher is not about being able to do all the fancy, complicated poses, like headstand, or forearm stand, or some of the arm balances.
What its actually about is cuing, which means effectively using your voice to tell people what to do with their bodies, and compassion.
So cuing and compassion.
So dont get down on yourself if you cant do all the super fancy things, because really good teachers are about great cuing and being extremely compassionate and loving with their students.
After all, yoga is a form of healing arts.
This doesnt always come naturally to everyone and thats okay. You can develop it with hands-on experience and will likely learn it in your teacher training education.
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 instructors 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 , 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 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.
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Create Your Own Hybrid Yoga+music Act
Its no secret that many people like music with their yoga. Consider creating an experience that incorporates live music with yoga and performing at festivals and other events.
Claire Thompson created Yoga of Bass allowing her to perform at conscious festivals all around the globe. We attended her yoga class while being bathed in bass music at Oregon Eclipse Festival in 2017.
Related: How to Teach Yoga at a Festival
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Does Yoga Teacher Training Guarantee A Job
Earning a yoga instructor certification certainly improves your job prospects, but it does not guarantee you a job. Your ability to get a part-time or full-time job as a yoga instructor depends on several factors, including your certification, your skills and knowledge, yoga teacher openings in your area, and whether or not you can find a studio thats a good fit for you.
Remember, though, that becoming a registered yoga teacher also opens up self-employment possibilities. Many yoga instructors make money by creating content online for Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, and blogging platforms. You can also create your own website to host live yoga classes or sell yoga courses and programs.
Membership Dues Training Dues And Other Travel
The yoga instructor training dues are deductible in the year they are paid, even if you have not earned income yet. Generally, the yoga instructor training programs will not issue a tuition tax form to claim as a tuition tax credit. As a result, this can be deducted as an expense under this expense category.
If you do some training or subscribe to a yoga teaching membership those are considered deductible if they help you continue to earn Yoga instruction income. The travel expenses incurred to attend the yoga training programs can also be deducted however, there is a catch, if a program is closer that is similar in nature to the course you are attending you cannot deduct those expenses. For instance, if you were to go to Hawaii for a generic yoga training program, you cannot deduct the cost of travel and accommodation as there are generic yoga training programs in Canada. So, unfortunately the travel costs to Hawaii would be unreasonable and likely denied. But if it is a unique course that cannot be found any where closer then you are able to deduct the travel costs.
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Start Making Money Teaching Yoga
Step five is charging money for people to take your classes. This could mean that youre teaching in a studio, or maybe youre hosting events in your home.
Maybe youre teaching in corporations, like youre going into businesses, and teaching there, or partnering with local restaurants to have yoga and wine nights.
You could lead retreats.
You could teach yoga online, like me.
There have never been more opportunities to find success as a yoga teacher in the way that you really enjoy, and are passionate about.
The Financial Realities Of Running A Yoga Teacher Training
One of the scariest parts of launching a teacher training is the paralyzing thought: Will I make enough money? Creating a 200 hour teacher training is a big investment, and its wise to do a little legwork in advance to have a sense in advance of your return on investment. This process can give you a sense of how you might approach planning a ytt, and it will also give you sense of the minimum number of students that you need to run the training successfully.
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Create Your Own Certification Program
Do you have your own unique style of yoga? Or maybe your own creative/artistic style? Consider creating a certification program and teaching others your style! Certifications can range from a full on program down to a laser focused weekend intensive. Many programs count towards the Yoga Alliance continuing education credits.
Our dear friend Sofiah Thom is offering a Temple Body Arts certification program coming up in June of 2018 in Costa Rica. The program is a tantric path to reclaiming your feminine power.
Frequently Asked Questions About Becoming A Yoga Teacher
Once youve decided to become a yoga teacher, there are A LOT of things to consider. Besides the fact that youve got to do some serious inner work and introspection, you also need to choose the right teacher training program. Here are the most frequently asked questions when it comes to becoming a yoga instructor.
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Teaching Yoga Online Vs Teaching In Person
Teaching yoga online isnt new. As soon as there was YouTube, there were YouTube yoga teachers. And nowadays, anything can be taught via Zoom and yoga is no exception.
Teaching groups or private classes online requires clear and precise cueing.
While you always want your personality to shine through, keep your instructions straightforward and easy to follow since your students wont be in a room filled with yogis to copy if they misunderstand you.
If you want to create a permanent online presence on YouTube, I recommend studying SEO or search engine optimization for YouTube, so that the videos you work so hard to create are found by the students who need them.
No matter where you teach online, keep your background clear of clutter and make sure your audio is perfect.
If youre teaching group classes on Zoom, have students mute their mics and speak loudly. For YouTube and other online platforms, invest in a microphone. Audio quality will make the difference in how professional your videos turn out.
In the end, teaching yoga online versus teaching in person is a personal decision.
With Zoom classes, you eliminate the travel time between classes. You can also teach students anywhere in the world, allowing you to maintain long-term student relationships no matter where you live.
Cons Of Being A Yoga Instructor
Here are a few of the downsides:
1. Time Commitment
Youll likely be teaching in a few different studios or with a number of different private clients. When you add together the travel time between classes and the time you put into planning your sequences, more goes into your one-hour class than the hour you get paid for. Know your worth and calculate everything into your rate.
2. Lack of Benefits
It is not the norm for studios to hire teachers as full-time staff with benefits. In the United States, for example, this can be a major barrier for some who need health insurance.
3. Burn Out
As you start out it can be tempting to accept every teaching opportunity youre given, but be careful to avoid burning yourself out.
Running all over the city from one class to the next followed by a night of sequence planning can quickly run your body down. Keep your schedule as realistic as possible.
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Understand The Yoga Alliance
Number two, certification in the yoga world is something thats very much in flux. Yogas not really regulated by the state or at the national level.
So you can pay Yoga Alliance for permission to use their RYT trademark after your name, but it doesnt actually, really mean anything at the government, state, or national level.
So it may or may not be worth doing, based on your personal goals.
If you wanna deep-dive with me into what certification really means, I absolutely suggest you listen to this podcast, where I go into a lot more detail.
So what is an RYT certification for, then?
Its mostly for yoga and fitness studios in the US to assure that the yoga instructors they hire have completed a minimum level of education as a yoga instructor. It doesnt, however, ensure that you actually practice yoga, that you have any teaching skills, or that your training program was of high quality.
While it is certainly helpful when applying for a teaching job at a yoga studio, its not necessary for other more lucrative teaching gigs .
If youre clear about your goals for your training program, then youll be more clear about whether or not an RYT certification is necessary.
Best For Experienced Practitioners: American Viniyoga Institute 500
American Viniyoga Institute 500-Hour Teacher Training
Why We Chose It: For advanced yogis yearning for deeper, broader knowledge, the American Viniyoga Institute utilizes a comprehensive approach that covers multiple facets of yoga often taught in separate courses. Its also a stepping stone to a clinical yoga therapy certification.
Comprehensive coverage is challenging even for advanced yogis
Allows students to advance to clinical yoga therapy for more career opportunities
Highly qualified faculty
Tuition cost of some plans doesnt include accommodations
Significant emphasis on physical and structural components of yoga, which may not fit with those looking for more spiritual instruction
The American Viniyoga Institute applies an approach that combines the elements of yogaasana, pranayama, bandha, sound, chanting, meditation, history, and literatureinto one advanced training. This program is quite intensive, requiring a significant financial and time investment, so its best for current or soon-to-be instructors serious about advancing their careers.
The institute runs the program at the Ancient Yoga Center in Austin, Texas, and each session runs for 12 nights. Tuition costs $3,250 per session . So, if you opt for the complete 500-hour training, expect to remain on the campus for 48 nights and spend $13,000 plus some for lodging, travel, and food.
The American Viniyoga Institute expects students to have a consistent yoga practice of six to 12 months under their belts.
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The True Cost Of A Yoga Teacher Training
The price tag of a Yoga Alliance certified yoga teacher training program is dictated by the following factors
There is a whole range of different price points to choose from, to drill it down to the biggest determining factors it will be the type of the TTC and the standard of the school and venue in the location you are interested in.
Specliaized courses and further yoga education programs are usually shorter and cheaper. You can attend such a training as a short activity break, spending time focusing on an area that interests you such as meditation or Ayurveda or whatever it may be. These are perfect for those on a smaller budget or just looking for something to take part in for a few days and meet a new group of people. Often there is no certification included in such retreats.
Pros Of Being A Yoga Instructor
Here are a few of the pros:
1. Work in a Field you are Passionate About
The main pro to teaching yoga is doing something you are passionate about. Youll be spending your time doing something you love and by teaching, you will help others fall in love with yoga as well, which is extremely fulfilling.
2. Create the Job You Want
If youre willing to put in the time and the leg work you can tailor the perfect job. If youre settled in a city, you can make connections at studios and build a community.
For digital nomads, you can take your yoga teaching anywhere in the world with you. Create an online yoga empire! Teach yoga in the jungle in Bali! The world is your oyster. Becoming a yoga teacher is a great job for digital nomads.
3. Its Active
It may seem obvious but a huge pro to teaching yoga, in my opinion, is the ability to move my body.
Say goodbye to sitting at a desk from 9-5. Youll be able to practice yoga as you create your sequences and as you demonstrate poses in classes. Moving from studio to studio and from class to class allows you to change scenery every day.
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Get Some Practice Teaching Yoga
Step number four is, you want to practice so teach. I think a lot of people think theyre gonna do their 200-hour certification and feel really confident right off the bat.
The reality is it takes years to build up that confidence, to have a presence in your teaching, to really have a strong voice.
So you wanna start practice teaching everyone you can.
Teach your mom, your dog, anyone wholl listen to you. Offer free yoga classes and practice yoga both on and off the yoga mat.
Just start logging those teaching hours, because, just like anything in life, the more you do it, the better youre gonna get.
While you certainly learn to teach in training courses, it doesnt mean that youre necessarily ready to do so. Just like knowing the yoga asanas doesnt mean that you can stick them, knowing teaching methodology doesnt mean that youre ready.
So get as much experience as you can!
Body Work & Treatments
On a daily basis we talk to acupuncturists, reiki masters, masseuse. This is no surprise. We also talk to nurses, psychologists, personal trainers and other physical and mental health professionals and healers. These future students flock to yoga because they seek a more natural, homeopathic and holistic form of self care, the benefit being not only can the practitioner benefit from the training, but countless other people will benefit as well.
Why not use your skills as a healer to pay for your yoga teacher training. A recent student opened up her Saturday schedule to raise money doing weekend massages. Another student has been offering body treatments like sea salt foot scrubs, body wash, and other body treatments. Looking to acquire some of this yumminess for yourself, reach out to .
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How Much To Charge For A Yoga Class
If youre setting up your own group lessons, Im not going to lie to youunless you have an already established group of loyal students, you arent going to make a ton of money on these initially. HOWEVER, once built upon, nourished and shown a lil lurveee, group yoga classes can be one of the big earners, so hang in there!
Factor in your venue rental and any equipment so that you know how many students you will need to simply cover your costs.
Eg. If your venue cost is $30 an hour and youre charging your students $10 a class, you know you need at least 3 students to break even.
Try and cover this as best you can from the offset.
Once again, do your research, have a look at other classes in your area and try and place yourself somewhere in the realms of what they are charging.
You can also choose to introduce the block booking system here too to guarantee students attendance.
Eg. $10 for a drop in or $50 for a 6 class pass
Phew we did it! We talked about yoga AND money in the same context. Lets all dive straight into a yoga practice to help ourselves through the trauma of this day.
Seriously folks, time to put our big girl yoga pants on and earn what is rightfully ours. Our yoga practice is sacred and to be able to share the benefits of yoga with others is such a blessing but it doesnt come without its cost.
Remember your worth.
Remember people keep coming back for not only the practice but also for YOU and your teaching experience.
Our Ytt Course Design
The overall course design was created by Rachel Scott , a yoga teacher training instructor with seven years of YTT teaching and design experience, extensive academic training and over 4,500 hours of teaching under her belt. Her cumulative experience as a trainer, teacher and mentor helped her build this robust and transformational program from the ground up.
Each course has been designed to be engaging and relevant, helping you deepen your understanding of yourself, yoga and what it means to teach. We have strived to make it fun, professional and accessible, helping prepare you for what could be a lifelong journey as a yoga student and teacher.
To learn more about the program, take our free Level 1 Orientation. To learn about aspects such as the Cohort Schedule, Faculty Interaction, Certification Requirements and our Cancellation Policy, check out our How To Take The Teacher Training page.
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