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.
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:
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.
Choose poses to suit the type of yoga you practice. Picture via Pixabay, CC0 Creative Commons
Some of the main types of Yoga are:
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:
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:
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.
When you started doing yoga, you did it with a specific goal in mind:
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 summer, you can save on yoga studio costs by giving lessons in a park.
Photo credit: Matt Madd via Visual Hunt
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.
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.
If you are offering group classes, participants will expect you to provide the mats. Photo credit: debtony via Visual Hunt
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.
Don’t forget to factor in transportation when choosing the yoga lesson plan that works best for you. Photo credit: Ed Yourdon via VisualHunt
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:
Advertise your yoga classes and make sure the time and location clear. Photo credit: gruntzooki via VisualHunt
You are now equipped with everything you need to know to become an excellent yoga instructor. Now go on and make yourself proud!