Wondering how much do yoga instructors make a year?
First, let’s imagine your dream day as a yoga instructor.
You wake up to sunlight beaming across your carpet. You stretch, then head to the kitchen to grab a steaming cup of coffee. It’s time to journal, meditate and read. Later you’re teaching two private yoga classes, so you review your flow and intentions, too.
After you teach, it’s off to your favorite vegan cafe for lunch with a friend, followed by one more yoga class at a cute studio in town. You end the day looking into resorts in Costa Rica for your first international yoga retreat.
Not too shabby, right?
Now, let’s look at the reality for most yoga instructors:
The alarm goes off at 5 am — well before the sun is up — and you’re already rushing to teach your first yoga class. From here, your day is stacked with back-to-back classes that have you commuting all over town.
You’re burned out yet barely making enough to pay the bills. Forget about international travel!
So back to the question on salary:
How much does a yoga instructor make a year…
…and is it enough to support your dream lifestyle?
Here’s the truth:
How much a yoga instructor makes is wildly dependent on many factors — and how ‘hard’ you work isn’t one of them.
Some yoga instructors will earn six figures (or more) in 2021. Others will struggle to make a living wage.
Don’t worry. I’ve got good news, too. There are specific steps you can take to earn more as a yoga instructor. After all, you’re here to impact lives — not quit your dream yoga job because you’re exhausted after a few months.
Let’s take a closer look at the answer to how much do yoga instructors make. Then, I’m going to share my top tips for making six figures as a yoga instructor in 2021. Let’s get started.
What is the average yoga teacher salary?
Google ‘How much do yoga teachers make a year’, and you’ll find a wide range of answers.
Let’s take the middle ground and say $54,000.
Now, some of you might look at that income and say, “That’s not so bad. I can happily live off $54k a year.”
Well, let’s take a sec to crunch the numbers and see how many classes you must teach to earn that salary.
How much do yoga instructors make per class? How much do yoga instructors make an hour?
For the sake of simplicity, let’s answer both at one time:
The average studio yoga class pays $35 an hour.
How much do yoga teachers make a year?
If you only teach at yoga studios, that means you’d have to teach six classes a day, five days a week, to earn $54,000 a year. Oh — and that’s without any vacation time or sick days!
Teaching 30 classes a week is an expressway to exhaustion.
Maybe you swap some of those studio classes for private yoga classes. Still, you’re driving all over town, spending hard-earned money on gas or public transport.
Here’s what I want you to remember:
You can’t pour from an empty cup. It might sound cliche, but it’s true.
If you’re physically and mentally zapped, you’re doing a disservice to your clients and students.
That said, there are steps you can take to earn a great salary as a yoga teacher so you can focus on showing up for your students and living a life you love.
How to make more money as a yoga teacher in 2021 and beyond
Now that we know the ‘old way’ of teaching 30+ yoga classes a week doesn’t work, let’s explore what does.
Think like an entrepreneur
The most successful yoga teachers think like entrepreneurs. They treat teaching yoga like it’s a business — even if they’re the sole employee.
What does it mean to think like an entrepreneur? Try these tips:
1. Build a brand as a yoga teacher
What makes you different from all the other yoga teachers out there? Maybe it’s a yoga niche or specialization. Or, perhaps it’s your unique perspective and personality.
Your classes aren’t cookie-cutter — and neither are you. Make sure potential clients and students know what sets you apart through intelligent yoga marketing.
2. Have more than one income pillar
There are many ways to make money as a yoga instructor; teaching classes is just one.
Get creative. Brainstorm a list of all the ways you can help the world through yoga. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Lead retreats
- Teach private classes
- Write articles for health + wellness publications — or even write a book!
- Teach at corporations
- Become an ambassador for your favorite products
- Create an online yoga business
Some of these ideas will fire you up. Others won’t. That’s fine! You don’t need to pursue each one.
When you start to think like an entrepreneur, you’ll build a sustainable and scalable yoga business. You’ll no longer wonder how much do yoga instructors make but instead have the space to create a business and life that you love.
3. Know your worth
“Know your worth, then add tax.”
It’s more than a motivational poster. Now that you’re thinking like an entrepreneur, it’s time to charge like one.
Your private yoga clients aren’t going to give you a raise. And that adorable yoga studio in town? If their starting rate for new yoga teachers is $35 a class, well, that’s what they’re going to offer you.
I’m going to bet you’re worth more than $35 an hour.
If you’ve taken the time to build your brand, then you already know what sets you apart.
For example, offering something such as Applied Yoga Anatomy + Muscle Activation™ is an added plus that will enable you to charge more to your clients. Use your unique selling points to negotiate your rates.
Maybe you have a background in acupuncture or massage. Perhaps you’re an avid runner or weightlifter, and you know the perfect flows for athletes looking to reduce injury and enhance their training.
Yoga students aren’t just paying for a class — they’re paying for the perceived value of that class. Add more value than anyone else. Make it crystal-clear what that value is. Then, charge accordingly.
4. Invest in ongoing yoga teacher training
I don’t care what line of work you’re in — investing in ongoing education is how you master your craft.
If you’re committed to providing maximum value to your students, that means doing the work to grow in your practice and yoga knowledge. Plus, if you’re going to specialize in a yoga niche, you’ll want to go deep on that subject, anyway.
Many students don’t feel prepared to teach yoga after their 200-hour YTT program. Now, a lot of that has to do with the program; a little research goes a long way before choosing the yoga teacher training program that’s right for you. (Obviously, I suggest our Blue Osa programs, but no matter what you choose, do your homework first.)
Invest in ongoing yoga teacher training. You’ll command a premium rate and be well on your way to earning six figures as a yoga instructor.
5. Work on your relationship with money
Do you feel guilt or shame around the topic of money?
If so, you’re not alone. Most yoga instructors start teaching because they have a desire to serve. We’ve experienced the life-changing benefits of yoga, and we want to share those blessings with others.
So when it comes to financial abundance, some yoga teachers start to feel icky — like they don’t deserve to make money off a spiritual practice.
Here’s my message to you:
You are deserving of wealth. Your work is vital in the world, maybe now more than ever before. You can be of service, transform the world, expand your impact, and have financial security, too.
Remember, you can’t pour from an empty cup. But when your cup is overflowing, you can share your resources with others. And that is a beautiful thing.
So how much do yoga instructors make?
However much they want!
It’s not easy to be an entrepreneur. You’ve got to have a certain amount of hustle, grit, and determination. But with the right money mindset and motivation, anything is possible.
Take the first steps towards a sustainable yoga career
Ready to take a deep dive into the philosophy and application of yoga? Want hands-on experience safely teaching yoga classes so you can deliver maximum value to your future students?
Learn more about our yoga teacher training programs. You’ll gain the skills you need to build a heart-centered yoga business — and clarity and vision for the next steps after training.
Are you still on the fence? We have tons of resources to help you make the best decision for yourself. Sign up for our 5-part series, Is Yoga Teacher Training Right For Me?