Career Profile: Yoga Instructor
So you love yoga. You’ve dedicated your time to deepening your practice, and the next logical step is teaching others! Becoming a teacher is a wonderful way to broaden your own knowledge base and share your passion. Here’s what you need to know about a career in yoga instruction.
Being a yoga instructor requires patience, people skills, and a passion for sharing yoga. You could work in a studio, teaching groups and individuals. You could own your own studio. You could travel to your clients, teaching them in their own homes or offices. You could go into schools to bring the practice to youth. You could visit retirement centres and teach adapted techniques to the residents.
YTT (yoga teacher training) is often a requirement to work at a studio. YTT is offered by many schools so look for those who are registered with the Yoga Alliance. The Canadian Yogi Alliance (www.canadianyogialliance.com ) keeps a register of qualified teachers and schools. Teacher training is measured in hours (200 or 500) and is a certification demonstrating you’ve completed a combination of study, physical practice, teaching, anatomy, and more. Each school is different, and you should look for your favourite style.
If you’ve practiced yoga, you know there are many branches of practice, poses, flows, and breathing techniques. There are teachers who specialize in one, or generalize and do a little of everything, and some offer yoga for seniors, differently abled bodies, plus sized bodies, kids, and even couples! It’s a trendy fitness regime that can be adapted in a multitude of ways. Yoga is lifelong learning!
A studio may also require you to have several years of experience under your belt to be hired. This is a great time to get creative. Set up your own classes, find community centres, retirement homes, schools, and others who may want your services.
It’s not a 9-5 day job. You get to be super flexible with your time, but often yoga instructors find themselves working too much. Especially if you work for yourself. When you own your own business you will also need business skills such as book keeping, marketing, and general office management. The upside is that you are in charge of your own schedule and keep almost 100% of your profits (besides what you may owe in taxes). The Canadian average Yoga instructor wage is $25.87 per hour (http://www.payscale.com/research/CA/Job=Yoga_Instructor/Hourly_Rate ). A yoga Instructor, depending on experience and training can earn from $12.50 per hour to $54.04.
Teaching classes is only the tip of the iceberg. Generally, you will need to look to other avenues of income. Group yoga classes will be a great start, but in order to really make a living, look at offering retreats, specializing in certain forms of yoga, or becoming an instructor for others to get their own certifications. Some will offer mobile yoga, bringing a measure of practice to busy office workers who can’t get out to a class. If you’re creative and hardworking, your income will reflect that; be inventive!
In short, yoga instruction is a challenging yet rewarding career path that will use your creativity, your generosity, and your business acumen to the fullest.