According to an industry survey, two people are interested in becoming a yoga teacher for every current yoga teacher. The recent rise in remote working and self-employment has further increased the demand for people looking to start a career in yoga.
To start a career in yoga, follow this 11-step process that takes you from a novice to having a career in yoga and making a fantastic living.
- Develop a passion for yoga
- Take classes in studios where you want to teach.
- Enroll in a yoga teacher training course
- Obtain an RYT certification
- Go beyond teaching yoga (workshops, online, etc.)
- Develop a yoga brand
- Create an online presence
- Get yoga member management software.
- Learn essential marketing and sales
- Attract investors
- Give back to the community.
At StudioGrowth, individuals looking to start a career in yoga regularly approach me looking for advice. Starting a career in yoga is simple enough. However, you need to differentiate yourself in this highly crowded market.
This guide will provide an 11-step process to start a career in yoga and be highly successful.
#1 Develop A Passion For Yoga
You searched for knowledge on how to start a yoga career because you are interested in practicing or teaching yoga at some level. However, before you go down the road of establishing a yoga career, you should do some deep reflection to understand if you genuinely have a passion for yoga.
I have written a detailed article on how much yoga instructors and yoga studio owners make. So be aware that most yoga teachers and yoga studio owners do not make a lot of money when they begin their careers. So your desire to start a career in yoga should be driven by more than the desire to be self-employed and make a good living.
The first few years of your career in yoga will be challenging, and you will need to spend money on yoga teacher certifications, the cost of which can range from $500 to $5000.
There are different career choices in the yoga industry, such as:
- Yoga teacher
- Yoga instructor
- Studio owner
- Yoga therapist
- Studio manager
- Digital consultant
Here is an article that covers the differences between the various career choices in the yoga industry.
It would help if you reflected on what you want to achieve in the yoga industry. Is your goal to be a yoga teacher or perhaps someday own your yoga studio? Reflect on and become crystal clear on what you want to do and achieve as the path that will lead to your goal will vary.
#2 Take Classes In Studios Where You Want To Teach
So you have reflected on your passion for yoga and are determined to start a career in yoga. Your first step to a career in yoga is to begin taking yoga classes. Before you go down the road of enrolling for yoga teacher training and obtaining certifications, you will need to immerse yourself in yoga.
If a yoga studio has yoga teaching jobs open, it is very likely to select the yoga teachers from among their students. Additionally, most yoga studios will offer yoga teacher training (YTT) courses. These studios will choose from the students in their YTT courses to fill any yoga teacher positions that might open up.
Before choosing a yoga teacher training course, first identify the yoga studios where you would like to teach. Then participate in regular classes in these studios and be a familiar and friendly face in the studio.
Make your intentions known to your yoga teachers and enquire about yoga teacher training courses and retreats offered by the studio. After a few months, you will be able to choose the right yoga teacher training course from the yoga studio whose teaching style most aligns with yours.
Review this article on how to get a yoga teaching job to understand the nuances of landing a yoga teaching job at the yoga studio of your choice.
#3 Enroll In A Yoga Teacher Training Course
There are two main types of yoga teacher training courses. The 200-hour yoga teacher training course is for yoga beginners who wish to begin teaching yoga. As a beginner, this is the course you will need to enroll in to learn the basics of teaching yoga.
There is a more advanced yoga teacher training course, the 500-hour yoga teacher training. Usually, students enroll in the 200-hour teacher training course and start their career in yoga. Over time they undergo an additional 300-hour yoga teacher training to complete the full 500-hour yoga teacher training.
You will be spoilt for choices when it comes to choosing a yoga teacher training course. Most studios offer yoga teacher training as an additional source of revenue.
Suppose you have attended various studios and participated in the classes. In that case, you will be in an excellent position to choose the right yoga teacher training course from the studio whose teaching style aligns with yours.
Ensure that the yoga teacher training you choose is from a school registered with the yoga alliance. Doing so ensures that you will be a registered yoga teacher (RYT) after completing the course.
The yoga teacher training courses will cost you anywhere between $500 and $5000 for the full 500-hour yoga teacher training.
#4 Obtain An RYT Certification
Once you complete the 200-hour or 500-hour yoga teacher certification from a registered yoga school, you can register with the yoga alliance and become a registered yoga teacher (RYT).
The RYT status has several advantages, especially in terms of securing a yoga teaching job. Most yoga studios and gyms will require you to be a registered yoga teacher before teaching on their premises.
However, if you wish to work for yourself, teaching your students yoga, it is not essential to get certified. Today, yoga enthusiasts can build massive followings online and offer their services to their community.
The importance of yoga certification reduces if you wish to create and market yoga courses and teach your community. I have written an in-depth article on how you can teach yoga without a certification.
So, suppose you want to become a yoga teacher at a famous yoga studio or gym. You must get the certification to prove you are a registered yoga teacher (registered with the yoga alliance).
However, if you wish to be a yoga entrepreneur, teach students that you source/attract and sell courses to a community you built, you will not need to be officially certified. There is no law preventing you from teaching yoga without a certification.
#5 Go beyond teaching yoga (workshops, online, etc.)
Once you have undertaken yoga teacher training and have started teaching students at a yoga studio, you have entered the yoga industry! Congratulations, you have started a career in yoga.
However, to truly succeed in your yoga career and have the maximum impact, you will need to go beyond teaching yoga. Teaching yoga at a studio pays $50-$200 per class. Your earnings from teaching yoga at studios will only ensure that you get by if you live in a large city.
Your earnings as a yoga teacher will significantly increase when you start offering 1-on-1 private lessons. Another avenue to expand your reach is to teach classes online. You also have the option of creating yoga courses and selling them to your community.
Review this in-depth guide on how to make money online as a yoga teacher. You will get several ideas on using the latest technology and capitalizing on the latest trends to grow your community and increase your revenue sources.
Offering workshops and conducting yoga retreats are a great way to make substantial revenues. Go to workshops and retreats led by other yoga teachers to get ideas for your own workshops and retreats.
#6 Develop Your Yoga Brand
The difference between starting a yoga career and just getting by and building a thriving trade in yoga is “Brand.” The yoga industry is highly competitive, with consumers having multiple studios and teachers’ options both offline and online.
If you want to have a successful yoga career, you must rise above the noise and differentiate yourself from the crowd. Creating a unique brand will not only open up new teaching opportunities at studios looking for expert teachers, but it will also help you build a strong and dedicated community of fans and followers.
I have written a step by step guide on how to build a fitness brand. The concepts and exercises explored in that guide will apply to your yoga venture as well.
Today’s consumers tend to go to multiple studios and experience a variety of classes. Your goal should be to create an experience and a brand that easily stands out in consumers’ minds.
First, begin by targeting a specific niche, for example, aerial yoga or hot yoga. I like how Hotpod yoga has built a memorable brand by offering a differentiated product that has a demand.
Second, device what you will bring to the niche or add additional value to the category. In doing so, you will attract an audience in the niche and begin to build credibility, trust, and expertise.
#7 Create An Online Presence
There has been a significant shift in how consumers discover yoga teachers and studios. Additionally, there has been widespread adoption of virtual/Zoom yoga classes.
A few years ago, people would look for the closest yoga studio and sign-up. However, the attitude of the consumers has shifted in recent years. People visit multiple studios, and there has been a decline in long-term memberships.
Today, consumers discover yoga studios and yoga teachers online, especially on social media. Moreover, the location does not limit today’s consumers. Today, consumers can easily sign-up for virtual classes with the yoga influencer of their choice irrespective of location.
As a result of this trend, you need to establish an online presence if you want a successful yoga career. You will need to be on social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter that promote discovery. Additionally, you will need Facebook and Google business pages. You can use StudioGrowth for your primary website.
You will get different types of clientele from various online channels. Over time, you can identify the channel that delivers the most results and focus your efforts on growing your online channel’s footprint. At a minimum, start by establishing your StudioGrowth website, Instagram and Facebook page, and Google business page.
#8 Get Yoga Member Management Software
If you have a yoga industry career, you will inevitably need yoga member management software. Think of a yoga member management software as the backbone of your business. Operating without class scheduling software in place will hinder your growth and significantly hold you back from success.
Yoga member management software maintains a database of all your customers. Additionally, it enables you to sell your services online. Some of the features to look for in yoga member management software are:
- Creating and displaying class schedules online
- Creating class-packs and memberships
- Providing a customer and teacher database
- Discounts, referrals, and marketing modules
- Online website
This detailed guide on choosing the right yoga member management software provides in-depth information on selecting the right software for you.
If you are beginning your career in yoga, I suggest you take a free trial of StudioGrowth. You will get everything you need to run your yoga business. Additionally, StudioGrowth comes with a website that you can customize to your brand. So even if you are only establishing your online presence, you can sign-up for StudioGrowth.
#9 Learn Essential Marketing & Sales
Starting and establishing a successful yoga career not only involves mastering the art of yoga but also requires you to develop essential skills in marketing and sales.
Once you graduate from teaching at studios, you will spend significant portions of your time marketing your service. Once you develop the marketing skills to attract students, you will need to build selling skills to convert them to long-term members.
Modern yoga studio software, such as StudioGrowth, comes with several features for marketing and sales. Features such as brandable websites, email automation, and loyalty modules will help you attract and retain students.
The StudioGrowth blog is an excellent resource to learn about marketing and sales in the yoga industry. You will find in-depth articles from getting your first yoga student to scaling your yoga business to 6-figures.
Additionally, do invest in yourself and go to business seminars and take coaching from leaders in the industry to learn about the business of yoga. Books are a great way to learn without formally enrolling in a business course. This article covering 34-must read books for fitness entrepreneurs is a good start.
#10 Attract Investors
If you have successfully built a yoga brand and attracted a regular and steady stream of students, you will have achieved something very few in the yoga industry achieve.
Success comes with its specific challenges. If you are successful, you will soon find that “cash flow” becomes an issue as you begin to take new initiatives to grow your yoga business and take your yoga career to new heights.
For example, if you wish to open a yoga studio or sell video courses and books, you will need financial capital. You can either save for years to undertake growth initiatives or, as is ideal, look for investors to help you grow and scale your yoga empire.
Today, with the advent of crowdfunding platforms and platforms for finding angel investors, you don’t have to rely solely on your savings to grow your yoga business. For example, Core Collective in London offering fitness classes had a fantastic crowdfunding campaign to raise over £2M!
As you become successful in the yoga industry, understand that a lack of funds should not limit your growth and success. There are platforms where you can harness your network and social media presence to raise funds to grow your business. You don’t have to only rely on savings and bank loans.
#11 Give Back To The Community
You have established a thriving yoga career and found a community and investors to go along with you on the journey. Now its time to give back to the community.
You can continue growing your yoga business and career while simultaneously giving back to the community by establishing yoga teaching schools, offering courses and retreats, and mentoring others on their yoga journey.
If you strongly believe in your brand, you can even franchise your brand and concept. Creating a franchise operation will significantly increase your reach and take your career to new heights.
You will not be able to use all the 11 steps outlined in this guide simultaneously. You will need to return to this guide as and when you reach specific milestones. This guide will give you a map of how you can begin to think about and shape your career in yoga, where you can start, and the heights you can reach.
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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 yoga, 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.