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Today, most dedicated yoga practitioners sign up for teacher training programs, which involve a rigorous training course to prepare you to teach yoga. And while obtaining a certificate can be pretty straightforward, securing a stable job as a teacher is more challenging.
It can be hard to get a regular job as a yoga instructor if you don’t have any prior work experience. You’ll need to build your portfolio and work for a lower pay before you’re able to land the kind of teaching gigs you want.
That being said, with the right motivation, persistence, and willingness to learn, you can make teaching yoga a profitable venture. In this article, we’ll discuss how.
Why It’s Hard To Get a Job as a Yoga Instructor
The main reason it’s challenging to get a job as an instructor is that most new teachers try to work at yoga retreats or institutions with decent pay and ideal work timings.
But if you’re a new yoga teacher with zero prior work experience, few (if any) institutions will consider you for a teaching position. So before you apply for a desirable job, you’ll need to focus on building your portfolio by accepting work that may not be the kind you’d imagine.
Unlike most career paths, which have a clear blueprint for people to follow, the career of a yoga teacher must be crafted by the individual. But trying to figure out your path is where it gets complicated.
Most new teachers assume that once they have a certificate, they can teach yoga anywhere they’d like. But most ashrams and institutions aren’t likely to hire someone without any work experience.
Tips on How To Get a Job as a Yoga Instructor
The best way to boost your success as a yoga instructor is to build up enough experience that you can showcase to potential employers. Here are a few tips to help improve your chances as a yoga instructor.
Invest in Your Personal Yoga Practice
A crucial tip for becoming a yoga teacher is to never stop your own practice or sacrifice it in favor of teaching yoga.
Remember, you decided to become a teacher because you connect with yoga somehow. You must honor this connection and continue practicing yoga even if you aren’t teaching anyone right away.
Aside from keeping you healthy and positive, regular practice can give you the confidence to take on clients when they come your way. Daily practice will also keep you in great physical shape, significantly boosting your chances of landing a few gigs.
Make It Personal
The best avenue for teaching yoga, especially when you first start, is your immediate friends and family. Most people in every social group want to try yoga but aren’t sure where to get started.
If they have the option of learning from someone they know and can trust, they’re more likely to give it a shot. So when you first become a teacher, reach out to your closest friends and family and let them know you’re open to taking personal classes for anyone looking to sign up.
You can build your skills and portfolio and learn what it’s like to be a yoga teacher by teaching them. Of course, charge them a fee for your services as you’re doing this professionally.
Explore All Avenues
When you first start teaching yoga, it’s crucial to be flexible about the type of clients you choose to take on and the physical locations you’re teaching at. You can’t be too picky about where you’re teaching or the pay you expect to receive.
Here are a few teaching options to propagate your classes:
- Face-to-face sessions
- Online classes
- Studio sessions
When advertising your personal or group sessions, be sure to share your classes across all social media platforms and with friends and family. You never know who’ll be interested or pass it on to someone else who’s interested.
You must advertise both live and online sessions as some people may prefer one over another.
You also want to start a group session at a fixed time while giving people the option of doing personal sessions with a more flexible schedule. These options can give you more attention from potential clients and help you get more bookings in the long run.
Consider approaching gyms or other fitness institutions, apart from yoga studios, as you never know who may need a yoga instructor.
When you first start working at studios, you may be required to teach at less-than-ideal timings. You may also have to make do with a meager salary. Some gyms may offer a flat rate instead of paying you on a per-student basis, which can be a good thing when you’re starting.
Initially, you’ll need to take different gigs with varied pay and a flexible schedule. You’ll learn to manage your time better and get a feel for what it’s like to teach yoga as a profession.
Most importantly, you’ll build a portfolio and garner a pool of potential students who begin to adjust to your teaching style. Most of your regular clients may come from this initial pool of students you create.
Prepare a Demo Class
This one might be a no-brainer, but it’s worth including here.
When you approach a studio or get hired by a client, they may ask for a demo session to gauge your ability and see how you teach.
As such, it’s best to prepare a demo class that you can keep handy when someone asks you to teach on short notice. If possible, keep two different ones, each targeting the entire body, so your client gets a wholesome experience.
By having a demo class prepared, you show professionalism to the studio or client hiring you, making it more likely to continue working with them.
Being a professional yoga instructor can be challenging as it takes time to understand your potential clients. But if you’re willing to be persistent and keep at it, you can craft a fulfilling career path for yourself.