What I Earn as a Yoga Teacher in the US

6 min read

When I first started teaching in Marin County, California, I was broke and miserable. The cost of living is pretty tootin’ high around here, so I had to move into my friend’s spare bedroom and, eventually, my boyfriend’s parents’ house. I was exhausted from teaching (sometimes) over six classes a day, seven days a week. My body hurt, I was grumpy, and my bills were past due. It had to stop. This was supposed to be my dream job!

This all changed for me when I sat and realized some basic business truths regarding teaching Yoga as an occupation.

What and where can I earn money from Yoga?

I have only been teaching for five years. Yoga alone brings me between $ 4,500 and $ 5,000 a month. My second career is as an acupuncturist. This blends well with my teaching and gives me a unique perspective on anatomy, injury treatment, physiology, and more. But even if I only taught Yoga, I’d still be financially secure.

I teach only eight classes per week these days because I am making enough money. My main money-makers are a few workshops/special events a week. I also teach private sessions for beginners or special events. I do some social media marketing for my studio and write for an excellent online yoga magazine. Every year, I assist with teacher training as well as the occasional retreat.

I earn more money by teaching than I did when I was slapping Instagram with my face and counting “likes.” I also feel much better not rushing around town to seven different studios every day.

What I learned and how you can quickly increase your pay scale

In my first and a half years of teaching, I struggled with finances and exhaustion. After I asked my teachers for their advice, it became clear that I had a lot of misconceptions about yoga teaching.

Never Negotiate Your Pay

My misperception: When I was a yoga teacher, I did not think they could negotiate their salary or get “raises.” I felt that teachers only got more money “per mat” if their class size increased.

Find out the average pay in your area. Starting wages for new yoga instructors are $35 in a small studio or gym and $45 in a larger studio. Teachers with more experience or additional training and skill sets can earn between $50 and $75 a class.

You can get $100 per class if you are willing to work with the studio for a long time and you’re open to their media campaigns.

It doesn’t matter how long you have been teaching. It’s about your work ethic and what you can offer.

As an incentive for you to increase your class size, some places charge a fee per mat. This can range from $1-3.

I didn’t know that there was a pay scale in my area or that we could bargain pay. I began teaching for $30 per class at the gym and $45 per class with a mat incentive. I was so excited to be teaching that I did not advocate for myself. I was hungry and broke. I needed to teach many classes per day in order to survive.

Later, I used my experience as an acupuncturist and writer, as well as my Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga training, to negotiate a salary.

Use your additional skills to negotiate a better rate per class. As a yoga instructor, this is not greedy or “going against the path.” It is what pays for your bills, fills up your fridge, and allows you to teach.

Be Reliable Outside the Classroom

My mistaken conception: When I was younger, I believed that my job was teaching Yoga. It’s not. It’s much more.

Studio rewards are based on the level of your student’s liking. How many of your events have they attended? How often do they return to your classroom? What’s the general opinion about your teaching?

They did not just teach and leave. They arrived early to help check in people or chatted with the water station. They knew names. After class, they stayed and provided fresh towels for sweaty students.

They gave their opinions on their favorite mats and leggings. While chatting about the eight limbs, they mopped the floors. They made friends with students and employees. They became more integrated into the studio community.

In a number of ways, it also benefits your bank account. More students will attend your classes if you’re more friendly and present at the location where you teach. Your paycheck will be bigger if you have more students.

You will be more reliable for both your studio and students if you show a total commitment to your space.

Your paycheck will dependably increase the more reliable you are.

You will save time and money by not having to drive across town. You can also ask for an administrative rate between classes and do other things for the studio. For example, I handle the email marketing while another co-worker handles the retail ordering in between classes. Both are great items to include on your resume for future negotiations.

Since 2005, I’ve been teaching almost every day at the same studio. I not only know the names of my students but also the names and preferences of the students in the class next to mine. If a teacher is sick, I will sub. I will sit with a student who has a question. I help the front desk staff if they need assistance with checking in.

My consistency and commitment are rewarded with love but also the green stuff, which pays my bills.

You are not just a teacher. Be An Entrepreneur.

My misperception: When I was a young yoga teacher, I believed that I needed to be physically there and teach Yoga to make money.

I was burned out from teaching and had to take a break for a month. I became very creative in finding ways to earn money. You can make money teaching Yoga in more ways than just adding classes.

I’m responsible for putting together the email newsletters and yoga newsletters in my studio. Tutorials helped me learn how to use email programs.

Online yoga classes. I did this for some time and made a lot of money.

I also do some basic admin work from home for studios and social media.

My workshops are linked to local or well-known yoga brands. I create affiliations that help me market the events even when I am not present. These events are the most lucrative items I sell all year. Some of these brands offer clickable buttons that you can place on your website to earn royalties for purchases made via the button. This can also be used to do trunk sales. You can also get Instagram discount codes if you become a brand advocate.

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