Money makes the world go ‘round – no matter where you are, no matter your country, culture or language, everyone does his best to earn money.
Do you want to teach yoga either full-time or part-time? This article is for you!
Yes, yoga is a very spiritual discipline, but it’s time to come down to earth and talk of crass, material things: how much to charge for your yoga sessions.
If you want to live out your passion and transmit your positive attitude to your students, you have two choices:
1. Become an employee in a yoga studio
2. Become a freelancer yoga teacher
Your decision will influence what sort of fees you can command.
A yoga studio will provide the facilities and pay you fixed prices for your yoga lessons. Freelance yoga teachers will have to rent room for group yoga lessons. Photo credit: Theen … via VisualHunt.com
Hatha Yoga is a popular form of yoga in the UK. This means that yoga associations and studios are looking for Hatha Yoga teachers.
If you don’t have the soul of a manager and doing the accounts makes you break out in hives, if talking about yoga by day and money by night is not for you, and most importantly, talk of earnings seems to you a perversion of the spirit of yoga – then you should take the time to look for a yoga studio.
Becoming an employee has a lot of advantages:
You are choosing stability. But not money. Indeed, salaried yoga teachers generally don’t earn much.
When looking through the personal ads and tutoring jobs sites, you will notice that employee jobs are rather rare. Most studios prefer to use freelancers. Those that are hiring may not post a salary – this generally means it is negociable. However, especially if you are a beginner yoga teacher, you will probably find yourself working for minimum wage.
A limited company has the advantage of not making you liable for losses with your private assets (only those belonging to the company), but it involves an amazing amount of paperwork and you would probably have to hire someone to do it for you.
However, freelancing offers less stability than employment and no assurance that you will even have students to teach. It’s up to you to find the first participants of your yoga course and develop their loyalty. Learn how to find yoga students here.
You won’t have paid holidays and don’t automatically get unemployment (though there are so-called income protections insurances for the self-employed). Slightly different rules may apply in terms of benefits, and you will have to deal with them yourself.
Yoga instructors will confirm that becoming a freelance teachers is difficult. First, you need to build your student base. In addition, your workdays will be grueling, your timetable unpredictable and full of holes. Though on the bright side, that can give you time to get things done during the day.
Being an independant yoga instructor has its advantages and disadvantages, and it’s important to know them before you launch your freelance yoga career. Yoga instructor positions are often sought after as jobs for ex teachers getting out of teaching.
Freelancers in Britain will generally earn around £ 20-25 an hour if they are working for a yoga studio, £35-60 for independant private lessons and anywhere from £5-15 per student for group classes.
This section is obviously for freelancers, as salaried employees have a fixed salary.
In order to decide on what you are going to charge your students and avoid getting a nasty surprise at the end of the month, it is important to keep track of your expenses. Especially if you spend your time hopping from one place to another.
While we are on the subject, transportation is an important expense. Do you take the car or use public transportation? Either way, petrol and Oyster Card (or its equivalent) should be part of your budget and need to be deducted from your earnings at the end of the month.
Transportation should be factored in when pricing your yoga classes. Photo via VisualHunt.com
Tip: nowadays, you can give online yoga lessons using a webcam. This would allow you to reduce your monthly expenses and enlarge your client base to another region (or even another country if you happen to be bilingual.) Consider sharing this offer with your students!
You will also need to buy yoga equipment and renew it regularly:
And let’s not forget communication costs (email provider and mobile) between you and your clients, liability insurance, and income tax. This site can help you calculate how much tax you might owe for a year’s worth of yoga. Remember, if you make more than £ 60 K a year, you need to charge (and pay) VAT.
Even yoga teachers need to pay taxes – don’t forget to register with HMRC. Photo credit: Got Credit via Visual hunt
Finally, let’s say you are a Hatha Yoga expert and want to discover Bikram Yoga, Nidra Yoga or Prenatal Yoga or improve yourself in a yoga style – this means yoga teacher training classes at a reputable yoga institute (or even in India itself!) And that will cost money.
It is important to take these things in consideration.
Obviously, a beginner yoga teacher can’t expect to be paid the same as an expert yogi. You need to factor in your training (your level of competence (everyone gets better the longer they teach), the type of yoga you are teaching (is Hot Yoga rare where you live? Then you can ask above the average rate for local yoga lessons), whether you are traveling to the client or offering online yoga classes, etc.
We have said that the minimum hourly rate is around £ 15 an hour, £ 5 per student if you are giving group classes. So what is the maximum rate?
If you are working for a yoga studio you generally won’t have much leeway in your hourly rates. Studios generally pay their yoga instructors £ 20-25 an hour, though more exclusive studios might, of course, pay more.
Working freelance, you can expect to make anywhere between £15,000 to £ 60,000 a year – and obviously, higher hourly rates bring you to the £ 60,000 mark much faster.
But to reach the £ 60,000 with an hourly rate of £ 40 pounds an hour (middle-range), you would have to give 28 private lessons a week – and that’s without your overheads.
Therefore, be prepared to make even less than £15,000, at least until you have a solid student base. Yoga videos or a blog can help you gain a following and refer more students to you, particularly if you are willing to give online yoga classes as well. Learn how to prepare your yoga lessons here.
Everything has a price – including your training and experience as a yoga teacher.
Photo credit: Wayne Stadler Photography via VisualHunt.com / CC BY-NC-ND
When first fixing your prices, try and visualize honestly what your yoga classes are worth.
Certainly, a yogi who studied for 15 years in India and has spent 30 years teaching students, with hundreds of gushing socialites writing blurbs for his flyers on how he changed their lives can ask upwards of £ 80 for a private lesson. But if you are just starting, set the bar a little lower. You need to be competitive without selling yourself short.
You can set different prices for different types of yoga, for example – Pre-Natal yoga students won’t be taking the classes for more than nine months and might be willing to pay a little more for someone who will guide them through this challenging time.
Or you can offer different prices for pay-per-lesson or 10-lesson stamp cards, or more advantageous prices for people willing to take day classes rather than after-work yoga sessions.
Don’t get too complicated, though. Three different pricing choices is enough; more, and your prospective students will get confused and decide on another yoga teacher where they know what they will be paying.
Outside of Yoga London, we have:
You will note than many of our superprof teachers offer the first lesson for free.
Also, some of the teachers outside of London have higher prices, in part because of qualification and in part because there isn’t as much competition outside of the bigger cities.
You now have more information on how to price your lessons. If you specialise in a specific type of yoga (Ahstanga Yoga, Raja Yoga, Kundalini Yoga or Yoga for Kids, for example), don’t hesitate to mention it.
Also, if you specialise in stress management or have a spiritual or physical approach that will help your students achieve their goals of balance or harmony more easily, this will also influence your pricing.
Learn to sell yourself to help you live your passion. And remember Rule Number One: listen to your students! Learn to how to plan your yoga classes here.