I think most of my colleagues and Yogifriends started with yoga as a second career. Yes, I will call it a “career” in this blog post and not only here. Many people don’t see the job as a yoga teacher as a real job. For them it’s more like a passion or a hobby.
Well, it started as a hobby and turned into a passion and then later into my profession.
From the age of 16, I worked in the cosmetic field. When I turned 31, I felt that this is a pathway I don’t want to follow for the rest of my life.
Career as a Yoga Teacher
When we practice Yoga, we start feeling the connection to our true self again. This is such an amazing process and a gift many of us want to share. I guess because of this, it is quite popular now to become a yoga teacher and participate in yoga teacher training. Don’t get me wrong: I truly believe that doing teacher training is something really beneficial for almost every person who has an interest in yoga. What we should consider when becoming a teacher of yoga is that our practice and the career as a teacher is something completely different. In fact, I have a few friends who lost their own passion while teaching or even burnt out. One of these friends would recommend you not to do it for a living if you want to keep your own practice and passion for yoga alive.
I will share my experience with you and try to give some recommendations.
When I started teaching, I was so happy to get the chance to step up as a teacher that I taught a lot of classes. I used to live on a small island in Indonesia and had to make some money somehow. Luckily I’m a hairdresser, so I was able to make some money from cutting hair for friends and others living on the island too. I did a course for yoga and Thai massage and taught at two different studios on this tiny island.
So I had these jobs: yoga teacher, massage therapist, hairdresser and I was baking vegan bread and selling party boat tickets to make my life living.
Honestly, that was a fantastic time but also very draining and exhausting. I remember one week where I taught around 17-20 yoga classes. During that year, I met amazing people and learned a lot. I went to Bali and India afterwards to do more teacher training courses, which was an amazing experience.
Back in Germany, I set up my first company “MikaYoga“. In Munich, I taught around 10-12 classes per week under this brand, plus I worked an additional 20 hours as a hairdresser.
To start as a new teacher in a big city isn’t the easiest task, but it’s doable if you have some endurance. I taught for two different studios, rented a room and taught Yoga for various companies during the day for their employers.
It is possible to make some money with it, but you won‘t get rich. Unless you‘re one of the lucky ones and meet the right people at the right time and place. 🙂
After 1.5 years in Munich, I felt the urge to travel again. I signed up with the platform Yogatrade and was looking for yoga jobs all over the world. Quite soon I got in contact with Vagabond Temple in Kep, Cambodia. I was super lucky to get a job at this amazing retreat place. Even more lucky that Rayk was joining me.
We both had the idea to create our own centre, and so Futurehippie was born after a few months.
Options for a career as a Yoga Teacher
Yoga Studios or Gym
You can teach yoga classes in a gym or a yoga studio. This will bring you some experience but most likely not so much money. It is, for sure, great to meet new people and students. Maybe you can convert some of these people into your longtime students?
These jobs are great if you don’t want to interact with your students too much or you’re a little bit more introverted.
Many teachers working part-time as a yoga teacher and have other jobs as their main income.
Your Own Studio
Well, that’s a big step! A studio in a city or smaller town means a lot of work and a lot of classes to teach. With the growing yoga market, it is really competitive. You need to do a lot of research and marketing to find your niche and your students.
Pairing up with other teachers or renting your studio for workshops or events might help to fill less booked spots.
In the position as a studio owner, you will have lots of administrative work to do. People want to get in contact with the owner and have tons of questions. If you just want to teach yoga, consider this carefully.
Travel and Teach
This is a wonderful idea, but you’re not the only one. Sign up with platforms like Yogatrade or yogajobsallovertheworld to find a job or volunteer position. Most jobs are not paid very well, but if you have some spare money, it can be a great experience. Travelling and teaching have gotten really popular. Prepare a good CV, pictures and introduction letter to get in contact with hotels, spas, retreat centres etc.
It is important to know in advance if you will need a visa and work permit. In many countries, it is illegal to work or volunteer without a work permit. Thailand, for example, doesn’t allow you to volunteer or take part in any exchange programs, unless it’s with a non-profit organisation.
Teaching for Retreats or Host Your Own Retreat
As a teacher for a retreat, you need different skills then a studio teacher. Ask yourself if you can hold space for others and if you’re outgoing enough to be present most of the day etc. Depending on the retreat, you might be asked to do additional jobs. This is mostly a full-time position and can be challenging. You will learn a lot from others and discover new skills.
I don’t know much about this way of teaching yoga because I’m not a technical expert. But some people are making decent money with it. They have their own channels via youtube, social media or other websites where a user can sign up for a particular program.
The good thing is that you can do this almost anywhere in the world, but you have less personal or direct contact with your students.
Teacher in a Yoga Teacher Training Centre
Of course, there are a lot of schools now who offer yoga teacher training, but this is the way most yoga teachers make money. Putting the money part to the side it can be really rewarding to work with committed students who want to learn all about yoga. Many schools offer a 4-week intensive program or students can take the course in different modules. This way of teaching is super intense, and it forces you to keep on studying to be able to share your knowledge to the best of your ability.
I’m sure there are more ways how you can work as a yoga teacher, but these are the ones I know so far.
Keep in mind that teaching yoga is a real job and that it will take some time – like in every other job – until you feel safe and confident. To step in front of a group requires self-confidence and it’s ok to be a little bit nervous.
I’m curious what you think and if you have had similar experiences. I am also always happy to chat if you have any questions.
If you now feel vindicated in becoming a yoga teacher yourself start your career as a yoga teacher with 200H Yoga Teacher Training.