“The biggest challenge for yoga instructors is making enough money to turn a pastime into a viable career.”
This article in the Globe and Mail supports many teachers concerns about how to make enough money as a yoga teacher. At an average pay of $50 a class and 10 classes a week, you would be earning $26,000 a year (before taxes and other expenses). This is hard to live on.
I encourage my clients to calculate their potential salary based on average pay per class and the number of classes that they can teach, plus prep and driving time. This exercise is very helpful in realizing that at some point you need to find other ways to leverage your time.
The next step is looking at all your yoga related expenses. Some may include: training, mileage, yoga gear, insurance, membership to yoga alliance, music, business cards, website, class planning resources.
Figuring out how your yoga income is treated for taxes depends on if you are treated as an employee or independent contractor with the studios you work at. It may be a combination. You will need to talk to a local tax advisor or bookkeeper to find out how expenses are treated in your area.
Having worked with many entrepreneurs for the past 15 years, I have learned what it takes to turn a hobby into a business. For yoga teachers, you can earn more by teaching direct if you take on corporate clients and offer privates. The more specialized and experienced you get, the more people will be willing to pay. It becomes easier to market yourself when you have a niche. Creating an exceptional experience in your classes will drive word of mouth. Learning marketing tactics to help build your following is a must to build your own “brand”.
As you start working direct, you need to find a location and then liability insurance becomes a consideration.
The next step is leveraging your time even further by using tools to help you plan and organize your classes more quickly and systematizing your service (i.e., our upcoming class planning app), and finding ways to reach larger groups through both online and offline programs. Think about other things you can offer to create more value.
Teaching yoga is very rewarding for non-monetary reasons, however its lovely when you can turn your hobby into a business that sustains you. Feel free to contact us for a free strategy assessment to talk about ideas to turn your yoga passion into a career.