Yoga is your passion. Since you discovered it several years ago, it has completely transformed your life.
Then one day, after a session, your Yogi asks you if you are interested in becoming a yoga teacher yourself… Excited, you decided to take part in a yoga training programme.
Now that it’s over and you are an actual yoga instructor, it’s time to launch your career: set up a yoga school, find some students and organise the perfect yoga courses.
Relax: we will tell you all you need to know to become a wonderful yoga teacher, ready to guide your students to physical and spiritual harmony.
How Should You Set Up Your Yoga Lesson?
It is important to decide now how you want to organise your teaching: do you prefer the benefits (retirement, paid holidays, fixed income) of being employed in a yoga school or do you want to try and go independent?
In the first case, I should search for yoga studios and yoga classes near me and see if they are hiring, or call them directly.
However, even yoga centres often don’t offer salaried employment, but hire their teachers on as freelancers instead. A job as a yoga teacher is not very secure; centres usually pay about £ 20-30 pounds an hour.
This is why freelance jobs for ex teachers of Yoga are an attractive idea.
But, whatever you decide and no matter what your speciality, yoga classes follow a fairly rigid scheme:
- Some time to help you leave your daily life behind (through relaxation and breathing exercises)
- A warm-up
- A series of poses, smoothly transitioning from one to the next, with a certain kind of breathing linked to each of the movements
- A final meditation.
Here is an example of how you might set up a one-hour yoga class. Of course, each phase can be adapted to the type of yoga you are practicing.
A Hatha Yoga session will not resemble a Karma, Raja or Ashtanga Yoga lesson, and these will be different from a course teaching Yoga Nidra or Bikra Yoga.
When setting up your yoga classes, it is also vital to identify your students’ skill level. You will probably have a mix of beginners and advanced students.
It will be your task to guide and encourage them in order to level out the group so your students can progress together.
On the one hand, you can’t ignore those who have been practicing yoga for a long time; on the other, you need to do what you can so that beginners don’t get frustrated and make them want to come back for more lessons.
Planning Your Yoga Classes
Some of the main types of Yoga are:
- Hatha Yoga
- Bikram Yoga
- Asthanga Yoga
- Vinyasa Yoga
- Kundalini Yoga
If you want to be employed as a yoga teacher, these are the ones you will most likely be asked to instruct. However, you are free to offer more unusual yoga courses on your time (such as Prenatal Yoga, Hot Yoga or Iyengar Yoga).
Whichever you choose, experience yoga instructors agree that you should start your lessons with a quiet time to allow everyone to unwind.
This special moment allows them to leave their troubles behind and pull their concentration into the present moment. It is an indispensable prelude to attaining the inner peace this discipline offers.
For several minutes, have your participants remain completely still and ask them to concentrate on their breathing. You can put on some music if you like.
Then, add on the actual breathing exercises, called Pranayama.
The goal is to inhale and exhale deeply and in a fairly slow rhythm. This helps:
- to let the day’s stress flow away
- to prepare the body for the following poses
Once you feel that the group is calm, you should move on to warming up. This step is essential to preventing injury.
Then comes the main phase: the yoga poses (asanas).
The sequence and execution of the poses will differ depending on the style of yoga you practice:
- In Hatha Yoga, poses are held for 3 minutes
- Bikram Yoga encourages doing a series of 26 postures in room heated up to 40 °C
- Ashtanga Yoga cycles through series of set poses
- Vinyasa Yoga (which originated in Ashtanga Yoga) is more freestyle and encourages creativity
- Kundalini Yoga is the calmest and relies more heavily on chants and mantras.
Help students with difficulties and reassure them of their physical capabilities. The goal is for them to improve slowly by going just to their limit.
And, finally, end your yoga lessons with a meditation session in an appropriate pose.
At the end of each yoga class, don’t forget to question your students about what they experienced. This will help you improve as well.
How To Prepare for Your Yoga Lessons
When you started doing yoga, you did it with a specific goal in mind:
- Were you trying to learn to cope with stress?
- Were you trying to find a way to relax and forget your daily life while improving your flexibility?
- Or were you using it as therapy for physical and mental problems?
Whatever led you to decide to learn yoga, analysing your own view of yoga and identifying how exactly it impacted your life will help you support other people in the same situation.
You see where we’re going with this?
In the modern world, our lives offer little opportunity for winding down. Our minds are constantly stimulated, up to exhaustion (the infamous “burn-out syndrome”). This is why some people find they need a bit of distance to just breathe. This is when they will come to you. And your objective will be to guide them on their spiritual journey by making certain your yoga courses are perfectly planned.
Take the time to get to know your students. Try to put yourself in their place and give them the tools they need to accomplish the goals they have set themselves.
To do this, choose a quiet and pleasant location for your yoga sessions. In winter, make sure your rooms are spacious enough and provide the ideal conditions for relaxation. In summer, you may even want to go outside, to a park or to the beach, to benefit from warm, sunny days.
In addition, make sure you have the necessary equipment.
This means the right materials (at least one yoga mat, a towel, a zafu and a sports bag to transport everything) and the right clothes. Your yoga clothing should be comfortable while being tight enough not to impede your movements.
- Women can go for a tank top and sports leggings
- Men should choose a t-shirt that is neither too tight nor too loose and cyclist’s shorts.
A bandana to keep your hair out of your eyes, some traction gloves and shoes or some flat shoes will complete your ensemble.
And don’t forget to practice yoga every day yourself and regularly train in new yoga techniques.
Everything You Need To Know About Pricing Your Yoga Courses
Setting the prices for your yoga lessons may be too down-to-earth for spiritual yogis, but it is an important aspect of your yoga classes!
A Yoga London class will generally cost more than elsewhere in the UK. Tutoring jobs London can therefore be even more lucrative.
Remember, a yoga instructor employed in a school will generally make about £ 20-30 per class, but may earn more with seniority.
Freelancers in Britain generally earn £ 35 to 60 an hour for private lessons, or anywhere from £ 5 to £15 per participant in group lessons.
A yogi can earn yearly anywhere between £15,000 to £ 60,000 a year - or, of course, less.
Being salaried might look like the worse deal, and indeed many opt for the freelance plan to get started, often in addition to a day job. But remember that your employer will be shouldering certain costs you would have to pay yourself if you freelance.
For example, to reach the £ 60,000 mark, you would have to give 28 private lessons a week at £40/hour. And you still haven’t paid for:
- Rent for your rooms in winter
- Health care and other social benefits (retirement plan, unemployement insurance etc.)
- Liability insurance (there are companies with a special yoga insurance)
- Income tax
- Training costs to keep up-to-date with the newest advances in teaching methods
The Right Way to Develop a Client Base
- The first is: tell your friends, colleagues and families about your new yoga classes.
If you do this, you might notice an interesting trend: some of your friends might grab this opportunity to start learning yoga. They make very good guinea pigs for planning yoga courses.
- The second: print up leaflets and business cards and distribute them around your town.
Go through your town or neighbourhood looking for strategic placements, and ask shop owners if you can put up posters in their window or leave a few leaflets. Don’t forget to stuff them into mailboxes or put them on windscreens to advertise “yoga classes near you”. Makes sure they clearly state what you are offering and do your best to stand out from the competition (a difficult task).
- The third: the Internet.
Many sites (including ours) will let you open an account and create your own profile to help you become better known online. Superprof, for example, Provides you with enough space to tell about your teaching experience, describe your classes and indicate your availability and rates.
- The Final and Most Effective Way to Get New Yoga Students: Word of Mouth
The most difficult part of starting your own yoga classes is getting your first clients. After that, if they enjoyed your lessons and come back regularly, they will talk about them to their friends and colleagues and your students will multiply automatically. Thanks to this snowball effect, your schedule will soon fill up.
Allow yourself some time for word-of-mouth to go around and you will slowly find your yoga courses filling up.
You are now equipped with everything you need to know to become an excellent yoga instructor. Now go on and make yourself proud!