One of the first questions anyone considering starting a yoga studio asks is, “how much do yoga studio owners make?” There are currently 6,000 yoga studios active in the U.S. The average hourly wage for a yoga teacher is $31/hour. These numbers beg the question: Is running a yoga studio profitable for the yoga studio owner?
So, how much do yoga studio owners make? The average yoga studio owner makes $7,227 in gross monthly income, which is about $86,000/year. The average yoga studio produces $13,495/month in revenue. The income is the amount left after the owner deducts expenses such as rent (15% on average) and payroll for teachers (27% on average).
In this article, I will explore some essential topics that affect how much a yoga studio owner makes:
- How much do yoga studios make
- The cost of running a yoga studio
- Pricing your yoga classes
- Hiring excellent yoga instructors
How Much Do Yoga Studios Make
To understand how much do yoga studio owners make, it is essential to start with how much money do yoga studios make. Despite the average yoga studio producing slightly over $13,000/month in revenue, many studios can exceed the average amount. The average price per yoga class is $10-20 nation-wide.
Here’s an example: Let’s say a studio in Los Angeles charges $20 per class. Twenty students attend each class, and there are five classes per day. That studio would produce the equivalent of $2,000 a day in income, or $60,000 per month in revenue.
Here are a few other notes regarding the profitability of individual locations and membership numbers:
- Large studios in top areas such as NYC and LA exceed $1,000,000+ in annual revenue.
- The average studio owner can make six figures by servicing 100-200 students per month.
- Once a studio becomes popular, a single practice room can serve between 250-500 students per month.
Ultimately, bottom-line profit estimates are hard to calculate due to the different nature of memberships. Some students prefer to pay by the class while others pay for unlimited classes and get a discount.
One of the main variables affecting your bottom line is recurring attendance.
Your students will show up at varying intervals. Some will show up every day, and others will show up 2-3 times a week. And during the summer holidays and Christmas season, attendance can drop significantly.
This decline in attendance decreases profit margins for yoga studios and independent teachers.
How to Calculate How Much Does A Yoga Studio Make
Once you calculate how much a yoga studio makes, you can make a rough estimate of how much yoga studio owners make in a given location. Here’s a quick guide to calculating how much revenue a yoga studio brings in:
- Attend a class and count the number of students in attendance.
- Alternative: Call the studio and ask how many students show up each day.
- Multiply that number by the average price of a yoga class at that studio. This price would be $10-30 (depending on how much the yoga studio charges). Example: 35 students x $15 = $525/class.
- Multiply this number by the average number of classes per day, for example, three classes per day. Example: $525/class x 3 classes/day = $1575/day.
- Voila! You have the total daily income of the studio. Multiply this by 30, and you have a rough estimate of their monthly income.
The Costs Of Running A Yoga Studio
The cost of running a yoga studio plays a big role in how much yoga studio owners make. The highest costs of running a yoga studio are the instructor salaries and rent, not the equipment. If you own a gym, you have to spend $50,000-100,000 on equipment. Yoga studios are much cheaper because all you need are mats and blocks.
The highest cost is for the rent/lease. The rental price for a small yoga studio in a top city such as New York could exceed $8000/month for a moderate 1000 square foot space, depending on the location.
The rental costs might eat up as much as 20-30% of your monthly revenue. Moreover, you’ll have to pay off instructors who get paid by the class or by the student, spending at least another 30% of your top-line income on instructors.
Cost #1) Paying The Yoga Instructors
Hiring and retaining excellent yoga instructors is vital to the survival of your yoga studio. Instructors receive payment on a per-class basis, on a per-student basis, or an hourly wage.
The highest cost in my wellness business is the pay for the therapists. I can retain and hire the best therapists because I pay the highest rates in London and also provide sufficient work. I see yoga studio owners paying minimal wage to yoga teachers or even having yoga teachers teaching for free.
The average yoga teacher pay per class is usually $30-100. This payment should go to the instructor’s pockets, irrespective of how many students show up. Instructors may also choose to get paid by the student; the standard rate is $2-5/student. If they teach 30 students in a class, their fees will be $90 for that class. If the price is $20/class for students, your revenue from the session is $600, and you pay the teacher $90.
Cost #2) Paying Rent For The Yoga Studio
The rent will vary based on the location. Students want to come to an accessible site, ideally located near public transport if it’s in the urban core, or near a shopping plaza with convenient parking if it’s out in the suburbs.
The average studio is 400-1000 square feet, and many studios exceed that size. You only need a single room with mirrors, mats, and a sound system to build a yoga studio.
NOTE: I have written an article providing guidelines on choosing the best location for your yoga studio. This article will help you choose the right site for your yoga studio at the right rent level.
Cost #3) Yoga Studio Management Software
The final significant monthly cost in your yoga studio will be the cost of software for running your yoga studio. This cost includes all the different software you use, such as class management software, email marketing software, billing software, etc. This cost could add up to $500 per month.
Most yoga studios end up choosing the wrong software to run their business. This choice is because word of mouth is active in the industry, and most yoga teachers are not technically very savvy. They end up paying 100’s of dollars a month for software that they don’t need.
I would encourage you to give StudioGrowth a try. We have designed StudioGrowth keeping yoga studios in mind. We provide features and tools in a simple, easy to use and light-weight software at an affordable, fair price.
The amount yoga studio owners make depends heavily on whether you are reinvesting back into the growth of your yoga studio or focussing on profits and maximizing your take-home pay.
How to Price Your Yoga Classes
Pricing yoga classes effectively can positively impact how much yoga studio owners makes. The yoga studio will have to produce income if you want to be able to pay off instructors, make rent, and keep the business afloat. It’s the owner’s job to ensure the rooms are top-notch, bring in an adequate number of students, and make sure the instructors are happy. Who said running a yoga studio is easy?
Even if you don’t teach yoga classes yourself, you’ll have to keep the instructors accountable and manage all the invoicing behind the scenes. You have to approve the payments, sign checks, and hire/fire instructors.
To make this a profitable venture, you need to charge students appropriately. Here are the best ways to charge students for classes to produce the income you need:
Average price: $10-30/class
The most popular method for charging students is the drop-in method. Non-profit yoga studios also take donations in a similar style, asking for students to donate between $3-10 per class.
The location and the competition should determine the price per class. If you want to stay competitive, you have to charge similar to identical prices to the competition, or your students will go there unless you have a strong brand. The average price for class fluctuates between $10-30.
You can also charge $20-50 per class if your studio is in a trendy area with high rent costs. If you don’t charge students more when you’re in a high-end neighborhood, you’ll struggle to pay rent and stay afloat.
The quality of the teaching can impact pricing too. If you deliver a first-class yoga experience, you can charge more. If the classes are repetitive, the customer service is poor, or your instructors teach robotically, you will struggle to maintain students even with a low price tag.
Unlimited Monthly Classes
Average price: $100-200/month
The unlimited model is popular because students can attend as many classes as they want for a flat monthly fee. Many yoga enthusiasts prefer to purchase the unlimited pass as it allows them to visit the studio daily without worrying about paying instructors for each class they attend.
Note: Many yoga studios name their unlimited package a “Monthly Membership” and charge in monthly cycles starting from the 1st of the month or the 15th.
The average price for an unlimited package is in the $100-200 range. If you’re just starting, you should charge $100-150 per month to attract students quickly. Top studios might charge as much as $500 a month, with private lesson bonuses.
Average price: $100-200/month
The main alternative to the “Unlimited” model is the multi-class package. Typically studios will offer “10 Class packs” or “20 Class packs” per month, allowing students to attend ten classes per month whenever they choose.
You don’t usually need packages containing more than 30 classes per month, as students will rarely show up for more than one class per day. So if you opt for the package model, start with 10-20 class packs.
Average Price: 1.5X the ‘Unlimited Package’ price
Many students will want to bring their family members or spouses to the class. If the student signs up for an “Unlimited” membership, you could give them discounts such as 20% off the total for two members.
This way, if your unlimited membership costs $200 a month, and two students would cost $400 a month to sign up, you could charge them a mere $320 for a dual “Unlimited” package.
Private Class Packages
Average price: $500/month
If you’re up to it, you can offer private class packages to your most enthusiastic students.
Many popular yoga studios offer private classes with instructors and charge students a package rate for five private classes or ten private classes per month.
Because of the one-on-one nature of the class, private lessons cost more than multi-person sessions. The average instructor will ask for $50 per private class. As such, you should charge at least $500 per private class package.
NOTE: I have written an article explaining the concept of value-based pricing, cost-based pricing, and competitor-based pricing. This article will be a useful guide as you go about working out the pricing for your yoga classes.
How to Hire Good Yoga Instructors
Hiring good instructors will play a vital role in determining how much yoga studio owners makes. The instructors you hire will make or break your bottom line, so you must ensure you select the very best instructors.
The typical instructor training course lasts 200 hours on average, which means anyone could get trained and become a yoga instructor if they put in a bit of effort.
The yoga studio owner has to establish a personal bond with their instructors to determine who is the most suitable to work as an instructor in their studio. You might have to start with only one or two instructors who you pay by the class.
The beautiful part about hiring instructors is that you don’t usually have to sign employment agreements, and you can employ instructors as freelancers with simple freelance contracts.
The best method is to schedule a certain number of classes with each instructor and ask them to show up for class 30 minutes before they start teaching to greet students and prepare. Once they finish teaching, you can pay them and welcome the next instructor. Software such as StudioGrowth will handle payments to your instructors.
Before you hire instructors, you should assess their character by having an in-depth conversation with them. Once you’ve narrowed down potential instructors, meet them face to face, and have a discussion.
You’ll want to ask them pointed questions and assess how passionate they are about yoga. This interview process is essential; the impression instructors make on you will be the same impression they make on students.
When interviewing instructors, look for the following characteristics:
A Passion For Teaching Yoga
The instructor has to love yoga and not be doing this only to make a buck. If the teacher doesn’t have passion, your students won’t keep coming back. If you put a disinterested teacher in front of an established student base at your studio, they might leave your studio for a competitor.
Analyze the body language of the teacher and listen to their tone of voice. Look them in the eyes and notice if they have a focused look, something that only a person with a deep understanding of meditation and yoga philosophy could obtain. See if they are present in the moment and if they carry themselves with the aura of an authentic yoga teacher.
The body language alone will reveal everything you need to know about their ability to teach yoga. However, verbal communication will show their true intentions and the reasons they want to teach.
You need to figure out what styles they can teach, how they can teach at your studio, their ideal schedule, teaching style, etc. You also want to know if they can teach extra days or weekends, as this will help with the scheduling process.
Here are some of the best questions to ask teachers to learn about their motivations:
- Why did you start teaching yoga?
- How has yoga changed your life?
- Do you have a personal opinion about the benefits of yoga?
Their Yoga Styles
The ideal teacher will specialize in a style that mirrors the style you are teaching at your studio. Is the teacher going to teach vinyasa (breathing) yoga? Maybe they specialize in ashtanga (flexibility) yoga? What if their specialty is a ‘niche’ yoga brand such as power yoga, where students combine physical exercise and yoga with background music?
Most yoga studios teach vinyasa yoga, and this is primarily what training programs include in their material. If your yoga studio specializes in another style of yoga, you might find it harder to find teachers, and you’ll also have to pay them more.
Here are the best questions to ask in regards to style:
- What is your favorite style of yoga?
- How do you teach this style to students?
- What is it about your style that will make your students better yogis?
Qualifications Of The Yoga Teachers
The teacher needs qualifications to be employed by a yoga studio legally. Each teacher must pass a teacher training course that teaches them how to train people in yoga. The teacher program usually lasts 200 hours (sometimes up to 500 hours), and it can cost as little as $1500 or as much as $4000.
Once a teacher completes their certificate program, they receive a certificate. They then have to register with the Yoga Alliance to obtain a license to work as a yoga teacher. The permit costs $60 and can be renewed annually for a small fee.
The purpose of asking a teacher about their qualifications is to make sure they have the basic knowledge necessary to teach students and to make sure you’re protected legally. If you have an inspection, you need a piece of paper showing your instructors are certified.
To gauge their qualifications, you should ask them about the experience they gained during their training program. Their resume will contain their training background, but you will get additional information when you have a conversation about it.
Here are the best questions to ask about qualifications:
- Why did you choose to get a yoga certificate?
- Were you certified online, or did you attend classes?
- Are you happy that you’re now a certified yoga teacher?
- Have you pursued further education after your certification?
Yoga Teacher Mentorship
Every instructor has had a mentor during their training period, and this is usually an established individual with decades in the yoga teaching business.
You can learn a lot about a teacher by asking them about their mentor and if they look up to them. If a mentor had certain qualities, they likely passed those qualities on the teacher you’re hiring, and you can discover if you need those character traits at your studio.
Start by discussing why they admire their mentor and what they learned from them. Once you get a grasp of the character traits of the mentor, you will see what motivates your potential instructor.
Do they believe they’re making real change in the world? Are they a hard worker? Are they eager to help students? You will know how committed your teacher is to the process when you dig into their previous mentors.
Here are the best questions to ask in regards to mentors:
- Why did you choose to be mentored by that person?
- How did you meet your mentor?
- What do you admire most in your mentor?
- Do you still keep in touch with your mentor?
Yoga Teacher Lifestyle Outside The Studio
If the teacher meets your criteria, the last thing you want to learn is if they embrace and live the yoga lifestyle outside the studio.
If you’re satisfied with how they respond to previous questions, you can potentially skip this part. However, if you want reassurance that the teacher is the kind of person you need at your studio, you can inquire about their personal life outside the studio.
You should ask them about the following topics:
- How they practice yoga at home
- If they’ve taught relatives
- How yoga has made their life better
- How long they’ve been practicing.
If they’re committed to the practice, they will love to talk about this, and they’ll keep talking for hours. That’s how you know you’re hiring a good teacher.
Here are the best personal questions to ask:
- How long do you practice yoga at home?
- Do you have personal practices that you don’t teach students?
- How do you practice when no one is watching?
To conclude, the average yoga studio owners make $7,227 in gross monthly income, which is about $86,000 per year. The net profit you’re left with depends on your costs, which include rent, paying instructors, studio management software, equipment purchases, and other necessities.
NOTE: If you are a yoga studio owner or aspire to own your yoga studio one day, you will find my article, 22 top reasons why yoga studios fail, very helpful.
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About the author
Naz Ahm is the founder of StudioGrowth and has spent a decade growing start-ups and venture-backed companies. He writes about sales, marketing, and growth, especially in the fitness and wellness industry.
Naz has an MBA from IESE Business School and started his journey in the wellness industry when he set-up an on-demand wellness business. Naz currently resides in London, U.K.