According to an American study done by Yoga Alliance for 2016:
- There are over 36.7 million U.S. yoga practitioners
- 34% of Americans say they are likely to practice yoga during the next year
- 80 million more Americans will likely try yoga for the first time in 2016
- Students spend $16 billion per year on classes, gear and equipment
What does this mean? Yoga is big business. In tonight’s Group Session, we covered the business of yoga. We only just started to scratch the surface on learning about how big and profitable the yoga industry is here in the United States. We also learned how we, as future yoga teachers, could make a living in this booming industry. Granted, it’s very rare for a yoga teacher to make a ton of money just teaching classes in a local yoga studio. It’s common for teachers to get paid either minimum wage or a wage slightly higher to teach classes. Many yoga teachers have to teach at multiple studios in order to make a livable wage. We often heard, “Don’t quit your day job quite yet” when starting yoga teacher training.
The good news though is that there are lots of options for certified yoga teachers to make their way through the yoga business. It all depends on whom the instructor wants to teach and where they want to teach their students. First of all, yoga teachers need students. To be considered successful, teachers need to build a following of students who show up and take their classes on a regular basis. Building a following of students doesn’t happen overnight. Sometimes it can take a good six months for an instructor to create a following for any given class they teach.
Not only does a yoga teacher need students to teach, they also need a place to teach yoga. Typically, you’ll find a yoga instructor teaching yoga in a yoga studio. You can also find yoga instructors teaching yoga in gyms, outside in a park, on the water on a SUP, at a yoga retreat, in specialized workshops, a donation-based class, private sessions at a studio, gym or in a students home or office, online through video classes available for viewing/purchase through the instructor’s website or through karma yoga which can happen at places like the YMCA, women shelters, prisons or schools for kids.
Yoga teachers not only need to know how to teach yoga, they also need to be to market themselves effectively. An effective way to market oneself as a yoga teacher is by creating a personal brand. This can be done through creating a website/blog and being able to promote themselves using social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc. Other ways yoga teachers can effectively market themselves is by offering to teach a free class to help get their name out in the local community.
We also learned tonight the career path for yoga teachers who want to teach yoga at CorePower Yoga. Turns out, there’s a very distinct path for future CPY teachers. The path first starts with the 200-hour teacher training, either with the Power Yoga or Hot Power Fusion 8-week training program. Upon graduation from the program, the student becomes a 200-hour yoga teacher, which is certified by Yoga Alliance.
If the new yoga teacher wants to continue on their CPY path, they then enroll in the Extensions Program. Extensions is a five-week program designed to dive deeper into topics like yoga ethics, finding your authentic voice as a yoga teacher, class theming, class sequencing, designing a playlist, more opportunities to practice teach and teach a community yoga once a week during the program.
After completing the Extensions Program, the yoga teacher than auditions at a CPY studio in hopes of landing an internship with the CPY studio. A CPY internship is paid and gives the new yoga teacher a chance to teach either 30 classes or two classes a week for six months, which ever comes first. After completing the internship, the new yoga teacher is either asked to join the CPY’s studio staff to teach classes permanently or the new yoga teacher moves on to teach yoga at another studio outside of the CPY network.
As for my own personal yoga teacher path, I’ve decided to continue my education after my 200-hour program with CPY before going out into the world to teach yoga professionally. I’m enrolled in CPY’s Extensions Program, which will start on May 11th. My biggest motivation for enrolling in Extensions was to receive more practice teaching and receive some actual yoga teaching experience to add to my yoga resume.
Image Source: Yoga Alliance