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If you’re passionate about yoga and want to share this ancient practice with others, read our step-by-step guide on how to become a yoga teacher.
If you’re wondering what qualifications you need, how to find your niche, and practical matters like how to do your taxes, read our simple guide.
Yoga teachers are usually self-employed and it’ll often be a side hustle around paid employment.
Working in studios and fitness centres, yoga teachers lead classes that provide both physical and mental benefits. Bear in mind that fitness classes are often on weekends and in the evenings, so you'll need to be flexible with times you teach.
Typical day-to-day activities as a yoga teacher include:
With experience you could also teach workshops, retreats, and one-to-one clients.
To become a yoga teacher you ’ll need to have a consistent home practice yourself before training to teach. It’s a good idea to have at least two years of regular practice, if not more.
When it comes to choosing a yoga teacher course, it can be a little overwhelming with so many options available. A few good questions to ask yourself include:
To teach yoga you’ll need to complete a 200-hour yoga teacher training course. This should cover asana (postures), meditation, pranayama (breathing exercises) yoga philosophy, anatomy, physiology, and how to teach.
If you’re looking at a college course in the UK, you could complete a qualification like a:
With experience you might choose to specialise further by completing pregnancy yoga teacher training or children’s yoga, for example. You could also go on to complete 300-hour and 500-hour teacher training.
There are various professional bodies that set the standards for teacher training courses around the world, including:
How much yoga teachers earn can vary widely depending on whether you teach at your own home studio or work at different gyms and fitness centres.
You might hire a venue for weekly classes with the benefit of having greater control and keeping the profits, but that comes with greater financial risk. Alternatively, if you work with studios you’ll either be paid by the hour or paid a percentage of the class profits.
Workshops and one-to-one teaching can be more lucrative, so many teachers will offer a combination of these on top of regular studio classes.
Once you’ve done your yoga teacher training, you can start to explore where your strengths lie and find a gap in the market. Whether that’s appealing to a specific group of people in your community, teaching online workshops, or adding yoga to an existing therapeutic business.
For example, you could teach yoga for employees at local businesses, or you might prefer to set up a charity that supports people to access yoga through community classes and events.
It can be all too tempting to just get out there and teach, but without proper planning you won’t be clear on your direction as a teacher and business owner.
A business plan will be your guide when starting out as a yoga teacher, helping you to understand the market, your competitors, and where and who you’re going to teach.
It’s important to structure your business plan clearly and keep reflecting back on it to make sure you’re meeting your goals. For more, read our guide to writing a business plan for a new business.
Yoga teachers are often self-employed as you could be working at a range of fitness centres, studios, and gyms, but also running your own private classes. Many are sole traders, but you might choose to set up a limited company for your yoga business. Our guide on the difference between a sole trader and limited company goes into more detail on this.
The world of teaching yoga has changed dramatically since the pandemic with many more online classes and the increasing challenge of competing with teachers who offer classes for free.
So how do you stand out from the crowd? Here are a few tips if you’re just starting out.
Read our guide to marketing your small business for more ideas.
While it’s not a legal requirement, many studios and gyms will request proof that you have yoga teacher insurance. Yoga teacher insurance in the UK can include:
You might also consider health insurance to cover you if you’re unable to work if you get sick or injured.
If you play music in class then you’ll need to have a licence – this is called TheMusicLicence.
When it comes to the financial side of your business, it’s helpful to create a budget.
If business is going well, you might like to go on to develop and deliver your own teacher training courses. Bear in mind, to be a teacher trainer you need to have completed 500-hour teacher training and five years’ teaching experience.
Opening your own studio could also be an exciting opportunity, whether that’s building a studio in your garden or leasing a space in your community.
Whatever you do in the future, keep an eye on market trends and make sure you’re regularly doing competitor analysis to stay ahead. For example, can you take advantage of the growing popularity of paddle boarding and offer paddle board yoga classes?
Here are a few other business ideas you might want to consider instead:
Is there anything else you want to know about becoming a yoga teacher? Let us know in the comments.
Catriona Smith is a content and marketing professional with 12 years’ experience across the financial services, higher education, and insurance sectors. She’s also a trained NCTJ Gold Standard journalist. As a Senior Copywriter at Simply Business, Catriona has in-depth knowledge of small business concerns and specialises in tax, marketing, and business operations. Catriona lives in the seaside city of Brighton where she’s also a freelance yoga teacher.
We create this content for general information purposes and it should not be taken as advice. Always take professional advice. Read our full disclaimer
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