a yoga instructor giving direction

How Much Do Yoga Instructors Make

Let's Clear Up The Confusion

Yes, you can make good money as a yoga instructor. But like any profession, success requires dedication, hard work, and a smart strategy for getting ahead. 

However, if you want to make some real money as a yoga instructor, you're going to need to look beyond teaching classes in a studio setting. Private instruction, like group and corporate arrangements, is vital for sustaining yourself in this occupation.

So don't expect to make six figures by just working as a member of a studio. You'll have a rough time of it and might end up discouraged (and very hungry) in reaching your goal.

Related: How To Become A Yoga Instructor: An Easy Guide

How to Become a Yoga Instructor Who Actually Makes Money

In order to make money, you'll need to diversify your roster of services. Some yoga instructors will become proficient in various disciplines to teach more classes and offer a wider array of clientele styles. Another smart strategy for success is to branch out into additional areas of expertise such as personal training, meditation, and aromatherapy to round out your services. 

Training

A yoga instructor's salary can be dependent upon the level of training that the instructor has received. If you want to make more money, you'll have to undergo further training. A well-rounded education in various styles and disciplines will increase demand for your services. 

To find a yoga school or teacher training program that appeals the most to you. Some of the most popular styles are Hatha, Ashtanga, and Iyengar, with introductory 200-hour training courses. Once you complete the initial course, you can choose to continue your training with more comprehensive tutelage. 

For great yoga equipment and tips have a look at the Yoga Society Website.


Be Humble

No one ever got ahead by minimizing the importance of the small things. When it comes to being a yoga instructor, every step of the process is absolutely vital for achieving success. That means staying humble and finding work in any and every capacity possible. Become a teaching assistant, work hard to engage with students, and look for ways to be a positive influence at all times. Don't expect to finish your first teacher training course and waltz into the nearest studio like some kind of rock star. It will not happen. Instead, plan on finding areas where you can contribute in a subordinate role. 

Becoming a yoga instructor is like any other profession - you need to work your way up from the ground floor. 

Get on a Schedule

When you ask, "How much do yoga instructors make?" the answer will depend largely on your schedule. One major challenge is convincing a yoga studio to include you on their class calendar. They're not going to come to you, so you need to approach them about any jobs that might be available. Do not expect them to simply offer you a series of open slots, as they likely won't have any, nor will they be willing to give an opportunity to unproven talent. 

But see if there are other jobs available that align with your skill sets outside of yoga. If you are good with social media and marketing, see if they have an open position in that department. Maybe you can help out at the front desk or in their retail shop. The bottom line is, find a way in the door, and you can work your way up to getting studio time as a teacher. 

Be Creative

You're going to find a myriad of obstacles along the way, but one of the best methods for circumventing those barriers is to be creative in your search for paying gigs. There are plenty of other places to practice yoga that are not inside of a yoga studio. You do not have to be an instructor on a roster to make money. You can offer classes at a local university or recreation center. You can hold online courses, you can even start a blog or a podcast about yoga. 

Not only are these interesting possibilities for making money, but they can help you build trust with future clientele. Experience is key in achieving your dreams of becoming a yoga instructor. Anything you can do to help you gain that experience will also give you credibility – and loyal followers! 

Related: How Many Calories Does Yoga Burn

Is It Worth It?

a yoga instructor conducting a class in the park

Let's be honest, a yoga instructor salary isn't going to make you rich. Not unless you're really hustling and devoting a significant amount of time to growing a yoga business. So is it worth all this work? Let's consider the important factors that every budding yoga teacher should acknowledge. 

1. Know how much time you're really putting in

Time is money. Be sure your expense of the former is commensurate with your earning of the latter. Sit down and think about how much time you're devoting to this pursuit and decide where you might find some areas for adjustment. Your investment of time must be delineated in a manner that allows you to make the most of your day and puts you in a position to maximize your earning power. This is particularly important when you are first starting out. 

2. Get private 

Ask any successful yoga instructor, and he or she will tell you that the real money is made in private instruction. Even those teachers with full classes three or four days of the week are not earning as much income in those sessions as they would through their private or group/corporate rates. Private classes can allow you to offer package deals at higher prices compared to the hourly or per-student rates at most studios. 

3. Crazy schedule 

Be careful: you can easily run yourself ragged trying to juggle all of your private clients and studio sessions. It's only natural for a young, eager, and hungry upstart to pick up as many gigs as they possibly can, especially if it means getting classroom time at a studio. Just know this is going in, and be prepared to find ways to help you avoid the inevitable burnout. 

Related: How Many Days A Week Should You Do Yoga: Everything You Need To Know

4. It's Who You Know 

This goes back to the earlier point about getting your foot in the door at a local studio. You need to build a following of dedicated, loyal students who want to take your class every week (or perhaps more often) consistently. You've put in your time at the studio as an administrative or teaching assistant, and you finally get that slot on the schedule. Now you need to fill the classroom, and if you are unable to do that, you will most assuredly lose the slot. So start to build a rapport with students early on, before you're teaching your own classes. 

5. It's the Best and Worst of Business and Spirituality

Always keep in mind, this is your career. The most successful teachers have the ability to balance the professional with the spiritual. This is especially true with the big chain studios, where they have a bottom line that must be met while maintaining an atmosphere of "namaste." Yoga instructors can often feel the squeeze between that rock and a hard place, where the communal aspect of spiritual enlightenment can sometimes be interrupted by the genuine concern of losing your job if you aren't bringing in enough students from week to week.  

6. Remember to Serve

At all times, you must never forget your primary purpose as an instructor – service to others. You provide a significant benefit for those who genuinely want and need it. Like any other service industry, it comes with perks, disadvantages, and plenty of challenges. It's essential that you remain focused on what really matters when you enter that classroom – providing the very best instruction and remaining present at all times. 

For more Yoga insights and tips check out The Yoga Society Blog.

Final Thoughts

a yoga instructor conducting a class outdoors

Now that you have a better grasp of what to expect as you embark upon a career as a yoga instructor, you can make the right decisions to help you achieve your dreams quicker and with more success. A yoga instructor salary may not have you living in the lap of luxury, but you can make a comfortable living doing something you love. 


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