While the Road to Enlightenment is paved with good intentions, it can also be potholed with some sobering realities.
1. As a yoga teacher, you will struggle financially (even though Yoga, Inc. is a $10 billion biz).
Do you have big dreams of helping people while maintaining a healthy lifestyle for yourself? Good! Don’t quit your day job.
You know the magazines with the teacher training advertisements? The ones where smiling, Lululemon-clad students pose on the porch of fancy yurts overlooking the ocean on some exotic island? Enjoy the palm trees and warm salty breezes while they last.
Unless you teach in Beverly Hills or have connections at a Manhattan mega-studio or are just extremely flexible and charismatic (not to mention mind-blowingly awesome-looking in spandex) your post-training life will not be nearly that glamorous!
2. Most yogis are reluctant to discuss money, but we cannot live on love and light and happy vibes alone. The landlord, electric company and the grocery store accept only cash money. Budget. Prepare. Pare down.
The caricature of the organic kale-eating, kombucha-sipping, fair trade chocolate-buying, Whole Foods shopping yoga teacher is one helluva misconception. As winter rages and your couch cushions runneth free of spare change, you may consider burning your yoga training manual for warmth and eating your threadbare hoodie for sustenance.
Do you have savings to fall back on? Can your partner or family contribute financially, especially in the nascent stages of your teaching adventure? If single, can you share the rent with family, friends or eight roommates in a drafty loft on the edge of town? Can you forgo niceties like take-out meals, nights out or vacations?
Pay can be low. A new teacher will likely make $25 per yoga class in an urban gym or studio. Smaller studios or community centers will most likely be able to offer less in terms of financial compensation.
Plan for transportation costs and incidentals.If you live in a city, you’ll very likely spend most of your yoga workday back-and-forth in traffic en route to multiple classes. You must, therefore, have a reliable vehicle (if your class sites are not served by public transport or safe for bicycling).
Budget for travel time, traffic jams and incidentals like parking and gas. I could sometimes spend an hour traveling to and from class and pay $20 for a parking garage.
Consider insurance and certification costs. As a subcontracted employee, a yoga teacher should maintain health and accident insurance. To remain certified with Yoga Alliance, a teacher will spend a certain number of continuing education hours in workshops with master teachers. These workshops are fabulous learning opportunities. Tuition fees also rival the GDP of a small island nation. Continue reading >>