When you work for a yoga studio, you generally make a flat rate; in markets like New York City, this can be between $50 and $75 for a single class, according to "New York Magazine." A 2011 article in "U.S. News & World Report" also reports that new teachers in other regions earn about $50 per class. An efficient yoga studio fills four or five classes a day, meaning that a full day's work -- especially for a studio owner -- can be particularly profitable. If you own your own studio and teach the majority of classes yourself, you reduce the overhead cost of your business and keep more of the fees paid by students for yourself instead of paying outside instructors.
Working as a yoga teacher gives you the opportunity to stay in tune with your body every day while helping others do the same. In addition to the health benefits of regular yoga practice, as a yoga instructor you can earn a salary from the studio for which you work. You also can freelance and offer private lessons. As a result, the salary of a full-time yoga teacher depends on where you work and how well you market yourself, as well as the number of students you teach.
In the Studio
Private lessons are one of the best ways for a yoga instructor to make money, especially if you work as a freelancer for someone else's studio. Studio costs represent a significant expense for yoga teachers, but if you freelance, you earn your flat rate of approximately $50 per class without the expense of owning a studio. Giving private lessons also can be lucrative, particularly when you give them in a client's home instead of a studio. Depending on your training and background, you may charge as much as $100 for a single private lesson, according to "New York Magazine." Between 2001 and 2011, the number of people practicing yoga in the United States increased by 10 million -- as of 2011, 14.3 million people practice, according to "U.S. News and World Report." While this means that you face competition as an instructor, it also means that the market for lessons has gone from niche to mainstream.
To become a yoga teacher, you must be specially trained; training can take a matter of weeks or years, depending on the type of yoga you want to teach and the certification you want. For a general body of knowledge, you may simply earn a Registered Yoga Teacher certificate, which takes approximately 200 hours. To make your resume more competitive, you can pursue a bachelor's degree in a health or fitness field, which may help you find permanent or contract employment in a club or studio.
Your salary may depend on your reputation and success at attracting students, whether you own your own studio or work for someone else. Naturally, if you own your own studio, the more students you take on, the more money you make. However, even if you freelance for someone else, you may be able to earn bonuses. Since the studio pays you a flat rate, it requires a certain number of students per class to turn a profit. If your classes bring in a number of students significantly higher than this break-even point, the studio may pay you a bonus for each student over a certain number.
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