Be mindful of the paid-per-student model, as sometimes this can work in your favour and other times make it impossible for you to earn a decent wage. Be wary of odd time slots or taking new classes that have small numbers, or you might find yourself on a really low rate on average. Try to weigh up all the options before committing to new classes.
However, for many classes we are paid a flat negotiated rate. In a city such as Melbourne this can range from $35 a class all the way to $110 a class. This is a mammoth difference, and shows how variable both the income and lifestyles of different teachers can be depending on their negotiation and self-promotion abilities.
Start humbly and accept what you can for the experience, building from there. Your pay will start creeping up as you take on new work with a preference to a higher rate. At this time you can start asking for a little more. Be patient, kind and firm in negotiating rates.
Creating value through branding
Paramount to getting paid well, receiving new opportunities and giving yourself options for the future in this industry is building yourself a brand. This is done primarily online, and has many benefits to your career if done mindfully. In addition to creating your brand online, it helps to do it the old-fashioned way, through word of mouth. To get your name out and develop positive relationships with students and teachers, it’s a great idea to put your hand up for covering classes as well as contacting gyms and letting them know you’re available and interested in teaching opportunities.
Create a website
Start by creating a website to get an edge; you will come across as more of a brand than just another yoga teacher and you also have an outlet to communicate with students. It’s easy and can be done for free with applications like Wix and WordPress, or you can get a professional website made for a fee.
Instagram and Facebook have become tools in communicating with current and potential students. You can use them as an easy-to-access prospect to give yourself an image, brand and make it obvious to potential employers that you love what you do. This also gives you the opportunity for direct communication with students making it much easier to promote classes, workshop and any events you have coming up.
Old school but necessary. It contains much of the same information as the website but in a PDF so you can send it directly to potential employers.
Balancing self-promotion and humility can for some be a challenge. It is necessary to both sell your achievements and worth, as well as to stay humble. Be both open about your achievements and aspirations, but modest to those who made it possible and those you look up to now. The best and happiest teachers are not those who self-promote without consequence, they are those who find balance and stay real.
Different income streams in yoga teaching
There are a million and one ways to make a living in the yoga industry. They can be not only more lucrative than simply teaching studio classes, but rewarding and exciting. Some of these ideas you can try straight away, others will take time.
A great way to start diversifying is to teach corporate classes. These are classes taught in a commercial setting for staff of offices, schools and other organisations. It’s a great way to try something different and you can increase your rate to three times that of a regular studio class.
What differentiates a workshop from a regular class is an obvious theme, more time, a higher cost to students and greater energy. The students come along to spend the time to refine their practice or learn new skills. Teaching workshops locally is a great way to both supplement your income and give you something exciting to work up to or try straight away. Consider teaching regular workshops in fundamentals and basics to start, before exploring more advanced and intricate ideas you might be passionate about. Workshops can run for anything from 90 minutes to five hours a day for a week. Most workshops run for two to three hours, with the price being based around what people are charging in your area (usually around $50).