Show Me the Money: Four Practices to Achieve Monetary Success as a Professional Yoga Teacher
We’ve all heard the expression, “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.”
1. Teach in three places or less.
You cannot be everywhere, so don’t try. Focus on finding two or three (one, if you’re lucky) “yoga homes” where you enjoy practicing, teaching, and connecting with the community. Make sure your “homes” are not struggling and can compensate you appropriately for the work you put in. Negotiate your pay so you feel comfortable with what you receive for your efforts. Even as a newer teacher, you still deserve to be paid competitively for your work.
2. Pursue teaching in corporate environments.
I never thought teaching in an office setting would be one of my favorite places to work, but they are genuinely the best. Pros: students are delighted to have a break from their desk; pay is consistent and often higher than in a studio or gym setting; your work is valued and appreciated in a professional way. Also, snacks.
3. Prioritize quality over quantity.
As an East Coast Jew, my go-to is: Always do more and say "yes!" to opportunities. However, this has come back to crush me many times during my career. As a teacher, you must learn to focus your energy on gigs that pay and/or add a significant amount of value to your business. I’ve often taught free classes in partnership with companies or causes that I’m passionate about. These opportunities can increase your visibility, and ultimately lead to monetary gains as you encounter potential new students. But, teaching a free class requires the same amount of energy as a class that pays your $250/hour, so schedule your time wisely.
4. Network like a nutcase.
Every teaching opportunity I’ve been offered was a direct result of knowing someone who knew someone who referred me. I haven’t updated my resume in eight years, my website often looks like carriebradshaw.com, and I wouldn’t even know where to start when applying for a teaching job.
My advice: talk to everyone.
They’re all potential students and/or employers. Your friend who works at Google, the barista at Philz Coffee, your local lululemon community, other yoga teachers, bloggers, family friends–you name it– could be responsible for your next best teaching opportunity and paycheck.
C O N C L U S I O N
Stop reading this, get out there, meet everyone, prioritize quality, know your worth, and create the yoga career of your dreams. I look forward to reading your story in the next volume of “Eat, Pray, Love Made Me Do It.”
> > > Live well.