A career as a yoga teacher can be incredibly rewarding. There is nothing better than seeing a student progress through their yoga practice, increasing flexibility, and achieving a pose you have been helping them with. You are in the journey with your yoga students.
Teaching yoga as a viable career is also a journey. At first glance it looks like the most stress free, enjoyable, make your own hours, and report to no one type of gig. A lot of that can be true. However, it is also a lot of hard work, requiring a significant amount of behind the scenes hours, community building, and research.
The actual yoga teaching is a small fraction of time spent as a full time yoga teacher. Yes, the teaching is what earns the money. It’s the hours invested in training, developing interesting and dynamic yoga flows, social media, creating a community of followers, and building a strong reputation that takes up a majority of a yoga teacher’s time.
There are also a limited number of hours you can teach yoga in a week. It is very unlikely that you will be able to teach yoga 8 hours a day like a typical job. There is time traveling to studios, time in between classes to reset the room, and some hours of the day where it is plain difficult to teach due to students work/life schedules.
Here are some suggestions to make teaching yoga full time work for you:
Be financially prepared. Know how much money you need to live comfortably each month. Calculate how many hours you need to work to earn the money you need. Know your value and charge students accordingly. Have an emergency fund (or work toward building one).
Have a plan. Will you need to supplement your income with part or full time work as you build your reputation and following? There is no shame in that! It would be far worse to go into debt and live beyond your means.
Build a network of trust in your community. Everyone is a potential yoga client! Word of mouth recommendations are strong. Create an atmosphere that makes everyone feel included and connected, both at class and through social media. Be approachable.
Remember, you are running a business. Yoga will be your work, not your hobby. Treat it like a job, invest time and energy into making it successful. The more you put in correlates with what you receive.
Don’t lose your personal Yoga practice. This can be the biggest challenge. Stay connected to your mat and your practice; it will remind you why you chose this career in the first place.