Are you toying with the idea of teaching yoga and wondering what you can charge for it? Do you want to start your own yoga business and wonder if you can make a living from teaching yoga? In this article we answer these questions.
Can you make a living from yoga?
Many people ask themselves if it is possible to live from yoga. This question is not entirely unjustified, because the yoga market, at least here in Zurich (Switzerland) is already very dense. But there is also a large density of bakers, pharmacies and hairdressers etc. - so that alone cannot be a criterion for whether one will be successful or not.
First of all, it is important to distinguish whether you want to teach yoga as a hobby or full-time.
In the beginning, most people decide to teach yoga part-time, as a hobby. In our opinion, this makes sense, because setting up your own business takes more than just good yoga skills. It also takes the financial pressure off.
Is it okay to make money with yoga?
A crucial question you should ask yourself at the beginning is how you feel about money. Many have a blockage and live in the belief that money is "bad" or "money corrupts character", there is a certain shame or discomfort in asking for money. Maybe they are afraid of being labeled with the words: "It's all about the money anyway".
Money is not bad or good
Money in itself is neither bad nor good, it is neutral. Good or bad, if one may say so at all, is the person who owns it and what he makes out of it. If you have the desire to improve the world through your contribution with yoga, you should have no shame in making money with yoga and being successful. And in such a way that you can make a good living from it and have enough energy to do your service to this world. Money in the hands of "good" people is good!
Advantages and disadvantages of yoga as a hobby or as a main profession
As mentioned in the beginning, it makes sense for many to offer yoga as a part-time activity. The advantage here is that you just don't "have" to make a living from it. This takes away the pressure that many self-employed people feel before they dare to start a business. This does not mean, however, that you should charge less for your work per hour. If you have a sound and solid education that is more than just 200h, you should not sell yourself short.
The sphere of influence is much larger
The advantage of practicing yoga as your main profession is that you can then live your passion to the full and your sphere of influence is significantly larger - you can "touch" and positively influence many more people through your work. You also gain experience much faster and establish yourself as an expert on the market. Because whether you teach one hour a week or 10-15 a week, there is a big difference. Choosing yoga as your main profession also opens the way to train yoga teachers, because if you want to train others how to teach yoga, you should not teach yoga as a hobby only.
However, full-time yoga teachers should also be very careful not to burn out and be employed on fair terms (with proper training, of course). If you want to venture into self-employment, you should inform yourself well in advance about what it takes to start a business - even if it is a small business!
How much can I charge for a yoga class?
In Switzerland, a yoga lesson in a yoga studio costs between CHF 20.00 to 40.00. In the countryside, prices are usually somewhat lower than in the city. A private lesson costs between CHF 120.00 to CHF 180.00. If there are online offers from the yoga studio, these are sometimes also somewhat cheaper than directly on site.
Many studios also offer packages - the more yoga classes you attend per week, the cheaper the single class usually comes.
In the fitness studio cheaper but...
In fitness studios, yoga classes are cheaper because they are integrated into the overall package. Accordingly, yoga instructors are not really well paid. However, it can be a good "training ground" for yoga teachers who are just starting to teach yoga.
Those who are better qualified may also demand more
What should not be forgotten here is the qualification of the yoga teachers. If you have a well-founded yoga teacher training, as we offer in Zurich, you should not sell yourself below your value. Because even here there is a huge difference between well trained professionals or those who have attended a 1-4 week yoga teacher training - maybe even all online without practical experience!
Because yoga teacher is not a protected title, it is important to talk about your qualifications. Because, many think that all yoga teachers are equally qualified, especially if they are registered with a well-known registry like Yoga Alliance. But this is not the case! The provider of the training makes the big difference.
If you want to know more about what to look for when choosing a yoga teacher training, feel free to read our blog post about it: What to look for in a yoga teacher training.
How much do yoga classes cost in Germany or Austria?
If you look across the border to Germany or Austria, the prices for yoga are cheaper. Of course, you can't compare this 1:1 with us in Switzerland, because we simply have a higher cost of living.
However, the points described in this article also apply to yoga teachers in Germany or Austria. A group lesson in Germany or Austria costs between EUR 10.00 and EUR 20.00. Private lessons vary between EUR 70.00 - EUR 140.00.
What costs should I expect if I want to teach yoga?
In the beginning, if you want to teach yoga as a sideline, it doesn't take that much. For our yoga teachers who have completed the Alignment Yoga Teacher Training, we recommend at least a few yoga blocks and yoga straps, and if possible yoga blankets, which can be used in many ways. Yoga mats are not mandatory and it is ok to ask participants to bring their own mat.
Other costs are the rent for the room, insurance, website and its maintenance, business cards and/or flyers and maybe a tool for bookkeeping - but a clean list of income and expenses will do in the beginning.
How do you do it
Joey and I are full-time yoga teachers and entrepreneurs. Today we both live from yoga. When Joey moved to Switzerland in 2006, I was still working in the financial industry and we slowly evolved from "teaching yoga in our own living room" to The Yoga Place in Zurich with our own studio and training center for yoga teachers.
All this did not happen overnight and there is a lot of work, diligence and investment of time and money behind it. It took courage, confidence in oneself and even more heart and soul!
And here we are today and it is important to us that other yoga teachers can make a living from it, if they want to. A first important step is a solid, good training in yoga, on which you can later build a solid business.