Winston Churchill said it best… “If you find a job you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.” It’s so true. Unfortunately, this is not the reality for a great number of us. For a variety of reasons, people routinely end up in jobs that they’re not passionate about, and it’s sad. Think about all the hours lost. Think about all the time wasted. For yoga instructors, however, this just isn’t the case.
More often than not, yoga instructors enter the profession from a place of passion and love for the practice. At its core, yoga is a transformative experience for many people. It has so many mental and physical benefits that many people can’t help but fall in love with it after trying it. It has literally changed peoples’ lives.
And if you think about it, at some point in time, every yoga instructor was simply a person who practiced yoga. Whether it was tabata style, slow flow, SUP yoga, or anything in between, they tried it out, developed a love, and made it their life’s profession.
If yoga has positively changed your life and you’re wanting to learn more about becoming a yoga instructor, you’ve come to the right place! Maybe you’re interested in becoming an instructor to help others? Or maybe you want to have a side hustle doing something you love? Or maybe you’re considering it as your full-time career? No matter your reasons for wanting to learn more, we’ve got all you need to know to get started on your journey towards becoming a yoga instructor!
How to Become a Yoga Instructor
In order to become a yoga instructor, there are a couple of steps you need to take in order to achieve this dream. While the steps listed below are the biggest hoops you will need to jump through, they are not all-encompassing. Consider this an overview of the most important things you need to do in order to become an instructor.
Since you’re on this page, I have a feeling you already practice yoga to some degree. If you’re thinking about taking the steps to becoming a yoga instructor, the best place to start is to try out all kinds of different yoga. Try slow flow, hot yoga, tabata-style yoga, SUP yoga, and more. Attend different classes with different instructors. Try online courses and in-person. Develop a sense of the yoga you love before moving on to the next step of selecting a yoga instructor training program.
Select a Yoga Instructor Training
Once you’ve learned more about yourself as a yogi, you are ready to pick your training program. It’s important to select a training program that is registered with the Yoga Alliance. Yoga Alliance is a nonprofit association that works to ensure yoga training courses that are high quality, safe, and reputable. It has over 7,000 registered yoga schools in its database to choose from that come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. Some programs can take 10 weeks while others can take 16. Some schools are all online while some are completely in person. There’s a wide variety, but no matter what you select, make sure that they list it with the Yoga Alliance.
If you want to become certified completely online, there are lots of lists online that will dive deeper into specific programs and what they offer. For example, Mind is the Master provides a pretty extensive list of their top 10 online yoga programs, with My Vinyasa Practice being at the top.
If you want to become certified in person, Yoga Alliance offers a search tool where you can enter the location you live and find yoga certification schools near you. From there, you’ll find all kinds of options as well. Some schools offer hybrid options with online modules. Some schools offer part-time certification where you can go on nights and/or weekends, whereas others are more of a retreat style where you knock it all out at once.
Take the most time with this step on how to become a yoga instructor. Do some due diligence, research potential schools, connect with yoga instructors in your area and discuss what their experiences were, and find the school that is best for you. If you’re going to make an investment like this, it’s important to inform yourself as much as possible before making such a big decision!
Get CPR and First Aid Certified
It’s important for any person who is planning to work in the fitness world to be properly trained for emergencies. While everyone hopes they will never have to use these skills, it’s imperative to prepare yourself just in case. Also, it’s important to note that most gyms or studios require this of any trainer or teacher before they can use their spaces.
Like I said above, when you pick your training program, it’s important to pick one that is registered with the Yoga Alliance because once you’ve completed the 200+ hours of training, you must apply for and register with them to become officially certified. As of right now, it is a $50 application fee and then a $65 annual fee to keep up your registration. If you wish to upgrade your membership, however, there may be some additional fees.
This may be something that you hadn’t considered either, but having yoga insurance is essential if you’re wanting to practice yoga professionally. As with any fitness class, there are inherent risks of injuries and other things that make it important to be covered. Just like with getting certified in CPR and first aid, getting insurance is one of those things that you hope you’ll never need, but you will definitely want to have.
On top of this, it’s only around $150 to $400 dollars a year. While this may sound big, it’s really not that much in the grand scheme of things once you read below about how much money you might make with this profession!
Once you’ve got your experience, certification, registration, and insurance, you are ready to find your niche and start teaching!
Yoga Instructor Salary
Now that we have a better understanding of how to become a yoga instructor, let’s discuss the profession itself. First off, you may wonder if it’s financially worth it to pursue. I mean, you’ve got to pay for the classes, registrations, and insurance. It’s important to know how much money you might make.
Believe it or not, the median salary for yoga instructors in the United States is just over $60,000 per year, with an hourly wage right under $30. It’s important to understand that this number can vary based on a great number of factors. Your location, experience, where and how much you work can affect the amount you can earn as a yoga instructor.
Of course, if you are pursuing your yoga certification as more of a part-time opportunity, then you will make considerably less than if you are planning to make it a full-time endeavor.
Yoga Instructor Jobs
Another thing that will affect your pay is the type of job that you pursue once you have your certification. Even within the realm of “yoga instructor”, there are so many options of how you can use your qualifications and skill set. Here are a few options…
Work in a Studio
The most obvious job as a yoga instructor is to work for a studio or gym as their instructor. The pay is probably more stable as the clients will already be members, and it’ll be easier to get people into your classes.
Create your Own Studio
If you have an idea for a new yoga niche or you simply want to be your own boss, you could always start your own studio. This would obviously be a lot more work on the forefront than simply working for an already established studio, but it could provide more return in the long run.
Create an Online Following
Maybe you want to use your certification to help others around the world? You could always record your own classes, create a yoga course, or use social media to create an online following. Because of COVID, more and more people are working out from home, so it only makes sense that offering online yoga classes would be a great way to generate some income once you get a following.
Offer Yoga Retreats
If you live somewhere desirable or you want something a little more extravagant as a yoga instructor, you could always develop, organize, and offer yoga retreats for clients.
Provide Private Lessons
Maybe you want to build experience or simply work with people more on a small scale basis? Well, then you could always offer private or small group lessons. It’s another great way to gain confidence and get more experience before pursuing your own practice or trying to get a job at a gym.