How to Calculate Your Hourly Rate as a Yoga Teacher (with infographic!)
Navigating the financials of teaching yoga is hard. Figuring out how to make a career out of yoga is even harder. When I finished my yoga teacher training and set out into the world, I had no dreams of leaving everything behind to teach yoga full-time, but even then I had so many questions. And sometimes it feels like everyone’s got this all figured out and no one wants to share their secrets. With that in mind, we created this infographic to help you get from your ideal salary to your ideal hourly rate (click for full size):
Maybe you’re looking at this and you’re like, “Wow, I’d love to make $50,000 a year teaching yoga but I teach 3 classes a week at a studio where I make $20/class.” That’s totally common and totally OK! A lot of teachers look at those numbers and try to make ends meet by teaching as many studio classes as they possibly can. We’ve probably all known a teacher like that (or been a teacher like that), and we know that it just isn’t sustainable. Teaching yoga can be physically and mentally exhausting, and teaching dozens and dozens of classes every week will probably put you on a quick path to burnout (unless you’re a total superhero!).
So, what other options are there? Here are five ideas to make more money through yoga:
- Teaching studio classes probably won’t go away — it’s a great way to get consistent experience as a yoga teacher and build up a group of students who adore your teaching style. With some time and experience, you can try to negotiate a higher hourly rate for your studio classes, especially if you’re drawing a crowd. Some studios also pay a small bonus when you attract more students to your classes, so you can drive that number up!
- Private and small group lessons are the secret moneymaker for a lot of yoga teachers. Clients who want extra attention or have very specific goals are usually willing to pay several times what they would for a drop-in class at a studio, and that money’s all yours to keep.
- Teaching workshops, series, or trainings. These can be at a studio, outdoors, at a local school, or anywhere else you can think of. Look at your community and see where folks could benefit from a little yoga, and you’re in.
- If you’re crafty, make and sell some yoga-related products (mala beads, mat bags, bolsters, yoga mat spray, anything you can think of!) at a studio, craft market, or online.
- Get online. Start a blog or podcast and sell ads and sponsorships. Pitch articles about yoga to large publications that pay well. Create videos for a niche and put them on YouTube. Build up a social media following so that everyone and their mom wants to take a class with you. There are lots of ways to grow your yoga biz from your laptop.
There’s also always the possibility of teaching yoga part-time while you do other work to sustain yourself. You get no less cred around here for rocking a 9-5 and teaching some yoga on the weekends. Spending your days teaching and doing yoga does sound like living the dream to a lot of us, but keeping yoga as a part-time gig can be just as fun and sometimes even less stressful.
Yogis and teachers, share with us! How do you navigate the financials of teaching? How do you supplement your teaching career outside of the studio?