How to Start Your Own Yoga Business: A Comprehensive Guide to Becoming a Yoga Instructor
Want to know how to become a yoga instructor? Learning to teach yoga can be a very rewarding way to earn your living, and a great way to share your love of yoga.
In addition to this, the yoga industry has seen tremendous growth in recent years, with more people turning to the practice for its mental, physical, and spiritual benefits. Yoga is often seen as a form of holistic fitness, and has grown from a niche 'hippy' pursuit to one embraced by the mainstream.
If you're passionate about yoga and want to share its transformative power with others, starting your own yoga business could be the perfect career path.
However, to become a successful yoga instructor, there are some steps you need to follow before you sign your first clients or take your first yoga class.
1. The First Steps to Becoming a Yoga Instructor
Before starting your yoga business, it's crucial to become a certified yoga instructor. This will ensure you have the necessary qualifications and skills to teach others safely and effectively.
There are many options for yoga instructor certification, with prices varying from under $1000 to well over $4000. The difference is usually down to the expertise or quality of the instructor, as well as the detail of the course.
You can become a certified yoga teacher by following an online course, or signing up for a training program near you.
Many budding yoga teachers will also look at studying in person at more glamorous or prestigious yoga schools in locations such as India, Bali or Europe. While these can be a great experience and a fun way to both become a certified yoga instructor and enjoy a vacation, the plane ticket is very much optional.
We'll leave the choice of course to you. But let's look at the steps you need to take to get your yoga teacher certification.
Necessary qualifications and certifications
To become a certified yoga instructor, you'll need to complete a yoga teacher training program. These programs typically range from 200 to 500 hours and cover topics such as anatomy, physiology, teaching methodology, philosophy, and ethics.
If you want the best course, look for a program accredited by an internationally recognized yoga organization, such as Yoga Alliance. Or simply search for 'Yoga teacher training course' and see what comes up near you.
Make sure to check their reviews, and maybe even speak to alumni of these courses to understand if they're the right choice for you.
Developing a consistent yoga practice
Chances are, if you're considering becoming a yoga instructor, you already practice yoga regularly. And of course having a strong personal yoga practice before pursuing a career as an instructor is going to help you succeed in your yoga training and business.
There is nothing like regular practice to help you gain a deep understanding of yoga postures, breathwork, and meditation.
Researching yoga styles and traditions
Yoga has various styles and traditions, such as Hatha, Vinyasa, Ashtanga, and Kundalini. You may already have a favorite, or you might not have found your yoga style yet.
Even if you do practice one form of yoga, it's good to explore different styles. You may find one that resonates with you and aligns with your teaching goals.
Completing a yoga teacher training program
You'll need to choose a yoga teacher training program that teaches the style you want to specialize in and fits your schedule and location preferences. Doing your yoga teacher training online is fine - so don't feel like you have to wait until you have the money to fly to Bali.
In fact, online yoga teacher training means you can complete a course in your own time, which can be useful as part of a busy lifestyle.
Make sure to pay attention to factors such as accreditation, program length, and teaching methodology when selecting your yoga training program.
Gaining teaching experience
If you want to know how to become a yoga instructor, you'll need to know how to manage yoga classes.
The best way to do this is to start teaching yoga classes! Many trainee yoga teachers will offer classes to friends and family, volunteer at local community centers, or teach at a yoga studio. This might be for free or for a low price as you build your confidence and teaching style.
As you gain experience, expand your offerings to workshops, retreats, and private lessons.
2. Freelance Yoga Instructor vs. Opening a Yoga Studio
So you've completed yoga teacher training and you're ready to teach yoga to paying clients.
This is where you'll need to decide whether to operate as a freelance yoga instructor or open your own yoga studio.
Each option has its pros and cons, so consider factors such as your financial resources, long-term goals, and personal preferences.
Freelance Yoga Instructor
- Lower startup costs
- Flexibility in scheduling and location
- Opportunity to teach at various studios and venues
- Potentially inconsistent income
- Less control over class environment and schedule
- Need to market yourself to attract clients
Opening a Yoga Studio
- Greater control over class environment and schedule
- Potential for higher income through multiple revenue streams
- Opportunity to build a community and establish a strong local presence
- Higher startup costs and ongoing expenses
- Increased responsibility for managing staff, finances, and operations
- Greater risk and potential for financial loss
Partnering with local yoga schools or community centers
Many new yoga teachers will partner with existing yoga schools, or use existing venues such as community centers or local gyms to help build their brand.
This means they get the best of both worlds. On one hand, they get to operate as freelance yoga instructors, but they also get to experience the ins and outs of managing a venue.
Whichever option you choose, you will need to manage your classes and schedule effectively. Business management software such as Arbox is perfect for yoga instructors, whatever stage they are at on their business development journey.
Arbox gives yoga instructors a platform to promote their service, take online payments and manage their classes and attendance. So even if you're offering yoga classes in a different location every day, you can still keep track of the key details.
If you're ready to become a yoga instructor, take a look at Arbox for free for 7 days.
3. Building a Personal Brand
Establishing a strong personal brand is essential for success in the yoga industry. A unique and authentic brand will help you stand out from the competition, attract clients, and build a loyal following.
In the digital era, this will mean having a strong online brand, a method of collecting leads and a strategy to create useful content. While some yoga instructors may get by on word of mouth and posters in local shops, the truth is that personal branding and promo is going to be the difference between making it work and success.
So, how can you get more customers and build your yoga brand?
Developing a unique teaching style and philosophy
First of all, cultivate a teaching style that reflects your personality, values, and beliefs. This will help you connect with your students and create a memorable experience for them. Your unique teaching style can also help to maximize organic growth through referrals and word of mouth.
Create social media profiles
Social media is key to success for visual industries such as fitness, and yoga is no exception. Post inspiring yoga content, images of your happy clients and text images about your yoga philosophy.
Instagram and TikTok are the two most obvious options. but Facebook and even sites like Pinterest can be a great way to promote your yoga business.
While social media is a great way to promote your yoga sessions, make sure to also create a website. Talking of which....
Creating a professional website
You should set up a professional website to showcase your skills, services and also highlight your yoga teacher certification. You can also integrate your payment app such as Arbox, and display upcoming classes to people searching for availability.
While you don't have to have a website, this is a platform you own and control. You can also embed your social media feeds to improve their reach too.
Use marketing techniques to promote your business
Promoting your yoga studio or classes is a major part of being a professional yoga instructor. While marketing isn't part of the course when you learn how to become a yoga instructor, learning some marketing skills will help you go a long way.
These might include blogging, search engine optimization (SEO), creating and editing video, social media strategies and email marketing.
Read our guide: Gym and fitness brand marketing ideas
4. Operating a Yoga Studio
Having your own yoga studio is an excellent way to build your brand, attract more customers, improve your own teaching experience and take control of your yoga business.
If you're thinking of opening a yoga studio, consider these key factors:
Finding a suitable location
Choose a location that's easily accessible, has ample parking, and is in a neighborhood with a strong demand for yoga classes.
Designing your studio space
Create a welcoming and comfortable environment for your students. Consider factors such as lighting, flooring, and ventilation, as well as providing props and amenities.
Hiring staff and instructors
Recruit experienced and passionate instructors who share your teaching philosophy. You may also need to hire administrative and cleaning staff to help manage your studio.
Managing finances and insurance
Develop a budget, track expenses, and manage cash flow to ensure the financial health of your studio. Obtain necessary insurance coverage, such as liability and property insurance, to protect your business.
Managing your classes and memberships
Keep track of classes, payments and which of your yoga instructors is hosting which event today. Arbox allows you to fully manage your fitness business, including sending out promotional content such as emails to bring in more attendees.
5. Growing Your Yoga Business
Yoga can be big business. But it can also be very competitive. When you become a yoga instructor, you might not be planning how to grow your business, but there are lots of things you should factor in.
Networking with other yoga professionals
Not everyone is competition. In fact, many yoga professionals will network with each other.
So make sure to connect with other yoga instructors, studio owners, and wellness professionals in your area. This allows you to share ideas, resources, and job opportunities. You never know what might come up one day!
Offering workshops, retreats, and special events
Expand your offerings beyond regular classes to attract new clients and provide additional revenue streams.
Consider hosting workshops, retreats, and special events focused on specific yoga styles, techniques, or wellness topics. You could also partner with local businesses to offer yoga instruction as stress relief to their employees.
Staying up-to-date with industry trends and continuing education
Be sure to continually enhance your skills and knowledge by attending workshops, conferences, and training courses. Staying current with industry trends will help you offer the best possible experience to your students and maintain a competitive edge.
Part of how to become a yoga instructor is to offer a great customer experience. Being aware of changing trends or even doing additional yoga teacher training, for example to learn new styles of yoga, is a great way to develop your business.
Becoming the Best Yoga Instructor You Can Be
As you've seen, there are many steps to follow in your journey to become a yoga instructor. Many of them are not related to yoga, but rely on good business management and marketing.
To summarize this post:
- Find quality yoga teacher training
- Get your yoga instructor certification
- Build your experience by teaching yoga as much as possible, whether that is for free or a low fee to start
- Build your branding using online channels
- Manage your classes and workflow with quality business management software such as Arbox
- Focus on giving the best customer experience to ensure growth
- Never stop learning and developing!
Arbox is the complete yoga class scheduling and management software. Sign up for free today.
Join a live demo to learn how Arbox can help get organized and provide an amazing client experience.