Episode # 3 How Much do Yoga Teachers Make and Can I make a living teaching yoga?

On this episode we’ll find out if you can you make a living teaching yoga and how much yoga teachers actually make.

We’ll also talk about how to find work teaching yoga and touch on some other aspects of working as a yoga teacher. I’ve invited a guest who will help us dissect all the details. So sit back and enjoy the conversation.

My guest today is a 200hr RYT whose love for yoga started 14 years ago on the beautiful island of Jamaica. 

Her love for travel allowed her to practice with a multitude of teachers in different countries and to embrace many different styles of yoga.

As her practice developed, so did her yearning for spiritual growth.

After completing her TT with the wonderful Juliana Trejo, right here in South Florida, she found her true calling becoming a yoga teacher, and she credits yoga with helping her find  new meaning during difficult times in her life. 

Since then, teaching yoga has become a natural and humbling experience for her and if you’re lucky enough to take one of her classes, you soon understand why. It’s that authentic, welcoming, compassionate, kind, and palpable energy that make her who she is. The beautiful Cristina Holtz.

Find her on Facebook and LinkedIn

Listen to this episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify

Download as an MP3

You can find the transcript of this episode here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

Show me the numbers!

As promised, here’s a breakdown on the numbers Cristina mentioned on the show. These figures are currently common in the South Florida area. Keep in mind that these numbers may vary depending on where you live and the cost of living in your area. New York and California are more expensive states to live in than in Florida, so even though a yoga teacher may make more money in New York, they may also have to pay higher taxes and overall housing and living costs.

The Per Person Compensation

When you first start teaching yoga, with no previous teaching experience, studios will normally skip paying you a flat rate (a base) and instead will pay a “per person” rate for each person in your class. The per person rate is usually $5 per attendee. (Keep in mind that some studios may place a cap –a limit — on the amount you can earn. For example, if the cap is 12 or 14 attendees, it means that if your class is attended by more than 12 or 14 people, the studio won’t pay you for the additional people in your class, they will pay you up to the 12th or the 14th person only, depending on the cap)

So, if you teach 4 classes per week and each class is attended by 8 people, this is how much you’ll make per month:

1 Class attended by 8 people: 8 people x $5 each = $40

$40 x 4 classes per week = $160 per week

$160 weekly x 4 weeks in one month = $640 monthly income

The Base Compensation

A flat pay base for new teachers can start at $25 and move up to $30 or $35 depending on the studio and on experience. In addition to the pay base, it’s possible to earn additional income if more people attend your classes. Studios can pay an extra $3-$5 per attendee if you have more than 3 or 5 people in your class.

Let’s say you are teaching 4 classes with this type of pay scheme and that your pay base is $30 per class and $4 extra per each person over 4 people. Again, you have 8 people in each class. Let’s see how much you can make per month:

1 Class attended by 8 people:

Base pay $30 + $16 (4 extra people @ $4 each)= $46

$46 x 4 classes per week = $184 per week

$184 weekly x 4 weeks in one month = $736 monthly income

How to make over $7,000 a month teaching yoga

In the end, how much you make every month will highly depend on how many classes you teach. Let’s look at a last example of someone teaching seven days a week, 4 classes per day (that’s 28 classes every week!!), under the base pay scheme and getting 12 students per class:

1 Class attended by 12 people:

Base pay $30 + $32 (8 extra people @ $4 each)= $62

$62 x 4 classes per day = $248 per day

$248 per day x 7 day per week= $1,736 per week

$1,736 weekly x 52 weeks in one year = $7,522 monthly income

A great income for sure, BUT before you go running to complete a 200hr YTT, talk to other teachers and ask how sustainable it is to teach 28 yoga classes per week? I encourage you to talk to at least ten (10) long time teachers before you can formulate a clear idea of what a workable and sustainable teaching commitment looks like.

Also remember that from any income you receive, you will need to deduct your expenses: the cost of gasoline, the mileage cost of your car driving to reach your place of work, and other expenses that may be required for you to teach yoga, for example Yoga Alliance registration fees and insurance. You also need to pay taxes on this income. Remember that most yoga teachers are not employees of a studio, but rather work as independent contractors and therefore are responsible for paying income taxes as opposed to the employer being responsible for withholding and paying taxes on behalf of the employee.

The concept of Seva

Show notes

The concept of Seva

We talked about Seva on the show. What’s Seva?

Seva is a sanskrit word that translates into selfless service. In the spiritual practice of Yoga, it is venerated as the selfless act of serving others without any expectation of result or award.

People who live on air

Cristina said there is a term for this. The term is “Breatharian“. Would love to interview one! 🙂

Before I close:

Did you find this helpful? Please let me know in the comments what you’d like to hear and read more of.

With SO much love ❤️


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