As a yogi, you’re all about the bhakti (devotion). But if you decide to devote your life to teaching yoga, how much money can you actually expect to make?
Many yoga teachers test the water by teaching part-time in addition to another job. But if you want to become a full-time yoga teacher, you’ll eventually need to make the leap and open up your schedule for every group class and private session out there.
How much do yoga teachers make? In this short guide, we’ll go over the factors that will determine your yoga instructor salary and the best ways to maximize your income as a yoga teacher.
Yoga teacher salary ranges
First, we’ll start with the statistics.
According to CNN, the average salary for a full-time yoga teacher in 2015 was $62,400.1
That number can be incredibly encouraging for prospective yoga teachers. However, it’s important to note that some estimates are much lower for this fitness instructor career.
An analysis based on Glassdoor’s average yoga instructor salary suggests that most make about $25 per hour spent teaching yoga.2 However, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll spend 40 hours a week teaching in a yoga studio:
- 67% of yoga teachers teach less than 10 hours per week
- Each hour of yoga teaching requires unpaid preparation time
- Many yoga teachers often travel between different studios, adding travel time
By this math, someone who teaches three classes a day, five days a week would only make $19,500 per year—and that’s without taking any time off for vacation.
As you can see, the income for yoga instruction can vary widely between less than $20,000 to over $60,000.
Factors that impact yoga teacher salary
Many seasoned yoga teachers insist that how much you’ll make as an instructor is all up to you.
While your hustle plays a huge role in your yoga teacher salary, there are many other factors that impact it. Some are in your control, and some are outside of it.
Location – Yoga is a competitive industry, and some cities are full of free or by-donation classes. It’s hard to get paid even $25 an hour when the teacher down the street is offering classes for free! Research average teacher salaries in your area before you commit to being a full-time teacher.
How you’re paid – Some yoga studios pay teachers a flat fee per hour of teaching (i.e. $25). Others pay based on attendance (i.e., a base rate of $10 + $2 per student).
Education & experience – A yoga teacher who has 500 hours of teacher training including specialized training (like prenatal yoga or aerial yoga) can charge more for group classes than a less experienced teacher.
What you offer – While group yoga lessons are an essential stepping stone on your path to a full-time job as a yoga teacher, other services pay more per hour. Consider adding the following to your repertoire:
- Private lessons and duet sessions
- Private group classes (e.g., corporate classes and bachelorette parties)
- Workshops focused on advanced yoga concepts and poses
- Teaching in a yoga teacher training program
- Online classes, workshops, and series
Reputation – Some yoga teachers are successful on a bigger regional or national scale. As you build your reputation, you can start to secure brand sponsorships, guest teaching spots, and other high-paying opportunities.
Inviting in prosperity
While you may feel that teaching is part of your dharma, your life’s path, you should still get paid what you’re worth.
How can you grow your business as a yoga teacher?
To succeed, try out the following three tips.
- Increase your rates over time —If you sell out your studio’s Saturday morning class or you’re close to fully booked with private sessions every week, it’s time to raise your hourly rates by $10/hr.
- Prioritize efficiency — When considering taking on a new class or private client, make sure you’re actually making a profit after you factor in the planning and commuting.
- Grow your social media presence — While in-person classes are the number-one way to meet new students, creating a bigger following can open up opportunities for online teaching. And when you find new private clients through your own channels, you won’t be limited by your studio’s payment structure.
Protect your growing yoga business
As you start to make more money as a yoga teacher, it’s essential to protect your earnings.
But what could go wrong?
Yoga teachers are exposed to significant liability. Because you give students instruction on how to use their breath and bodies, there’s always the risk that you’ll be blamed for their physical injuries. And worse than blaming you, they could sue you for bodily injury.
This is one good reason why so many yoga studios require their teachers to take out insurance. Your private sessions and advertising efforts open you to other kinds of liability too.
- Should you damage a clients’ belongings when teaching a class, they could sue you for property damage.
- Should another yoga teacher accuse you of borrowing from their advertising campaign, they could sue you for personal injury.
- Should you help a student through an exercise, and they incur an injury, (as bad as this sounds) they could sue you for bodily injury.
To that end, Yoga Teacher Insurance via Thimble is designed to provide coverage and legal defense for client and third-party claims of bodily injury, property damage, and personal injury. Our insurance is specifically designed for entrepreneurs like yourself. Take out coverage by the hour, day, or month so that you’re only paying for insurance when you actually need it.
Additionally, our monthly policies come equipped with an optional Business Equipment Protection add-on. This will help cover your yoga equipment too, from mats and blocks to expensive audio gear.
Balance your books as a yoga teacher
So what can you expect to make as a yoga teacher? It all comes down to your market research, your drive, and your business acumen.
- Salaries for yoga teachers range from $20k to $60K and up
- The local market plays a role in your pay
- As you expand your experiences and add services, you’ll make more per hour
- Grow your business by raising your rates and finding new leads
- Protect your business with insurance
Follow these steps along with the eight-fold path and we have no doubt you’ll be well on your way to a balanced lifestyle and rewarding career.