Yoga as a career


#1

I’ve been practising yoga for 2 1/2 years and want to get my instructor certification. I’d love to be able to make a career out of yoga, is that a feasible goal?


#2

First of all you need to decide why do you wan to teach. Be honest to yourself. That will define how good you will be.

There are a lot of schools offering different certificates, I went to one extensive training and I did not lean anything new.

Personal, I do not like giving yoga a tags, so to say brand names. Yoga is yoga and there is usually so little difference between styles. (except maybe Bichram:)

In my class I like to mix everything. (I get really pissed off when people making faces when I say that I do not teach any Brand Name yoga style).

I was raised in Iyengar tradition, but I like sun salutations for warm up, and we do meditation and “energy (kundalini) practice” 30 minutes before class, sometimes mixed with chanting. Sometimes I do “Bichram breath” for the warm up in class.

Yoga means Union. Take meditation away (like some power yoga schools did) and you can’t call it yoga any more. It becomes just an aerobics. Take away holding the pose - and again you can call it yoga any more. Take away yoga diet, cleansing, yama and niyama and you can not call it yoga.

Yoga poses is just a tiny piece of yoga practice. You will not get 100% benefits if you apply pose incorrectly, ignoring bandhas and mudras.

Yoga is holistic and make sure you will be the one who will keep all Parts of that UNION together!


#3

If by “career” you mean your sole source of income AND you have “normal” expenses then it would require you to be very crafty to earn a living teaching yoga without sacrificing the yoga in order to increase your income.

It can be done. Some do it. Some sell off Yoga in the process (some do not). But I don’t believe the choice to be a teacher of yoga should be predicated on whether one can “make a career of it”. To me, there should be a higher calling that cannot be ignored and that call should transcend the potential revenues (or losses). If told you would take a financial loss every year would you still want to do it and do it with joy? That is a litmus test.


#4

I know I want to practise yoga for the rest of my life. I love it, and I want to be able to share it with other people. At the very least I would want my certification to properly teach my friends and family free of charge, and to take my practise to another level.

I’m very interested in incoorporating horseback riding and yoga (I practically grew up on horses). Yoga and horses have always been the best therapy for me. I know yoga could have therapeutic benefits for riders [I]and[/I] horses. The best case scenario for me would be going to different barns and teaching equestrian yoga workshops that would involve yoga on the mat and on the horse, and actually making a career out of it.

I guess I should explain my thought process a little further. I finished with a bachelor of fine arts degree in 2008, and have been waitressing since 2006. I’m nearly 25 and know that I want to take my life in a new direction. I love being around people every day, but I don’t want to be a server for the rest of my life, and am feeling a lot of pressure from outside forces to find a career. Sometimes it feels like yoga has been the only reliable thing in my life since I’ve started practising. If I don’t practise regularly it feels like something is missing. I’ve been accepted to obtain my 200h at a great looking school in British Columbia (I live on the other side of Canada), and school starts in September.

A couple weeks ago I ended a serious relationship, and it’s thrown everything off kilter, because he was supposed to come with me. All my family and friends feel like I should stay on this side of the country. I don’t want to drive across Canada alone, I’ll have barely enough money to make it work if I bust my butt all summer, and I have no place lined up to stay when I get there. But I have this gut feeling that I need to go, despite the nearly imminent hardships involved with such a move. If I stay, my best friend wants to go to New York this fall, my mountain biking friend wants to help me build my own bike, and my roomate (who is like a sister) wants to go backpacking in Peru this winter, visit her family in France next summer, and then drive across Canada with me so I can go to school a year from now instead.

It seems so much more tempting to stay, wait it out and save up for a year, and then go. But, like I said, I have this gut feeling that I need to do this now. I’m sick of sitting still, I’m sick of serving, and I’m starting to feel stuck. I want a change, and I want yoga to be a part of that change.

I know I’m sounding like a basketcase, and I’ve only made a couple posts on here before, but I just need to have outside opinions from people that don’t know me, and do know yoga. Sorry for the rant and babble, I just really need to figure this out!


#5

Actually your “rant and babble” is profoundly more helpful than “Can I make a career teaching yoga?”.

In my experience it is optimal to teacher-train at a venue where you have connection, where you practice, or where you’ve experienced the teachings already.

I mentioned “calling” and you’ve responded to that in grand fashion. If you’ve got a clear picture AND that tug to go (assuming the tug is not your ego) then go. I left Florida, quit my job, sold my things, moved to Seattle without a job or a place to stay or a studio in which to base my practice. Everything took care of itself.


#6

When I did my 200-hour training, most of the students there seemed to be at a very transitional point in their life. My husband had just deployed to Iraq, another woman was coming out of a cancer battle, several were in the midst of divorce. Teacher training offered all of us the supportive community and the yogic tools we needed to navigate this chapter of our lives. So, don’t think that you need to have everything together and figured out before your start your training. If it’s tugging at you, maybe now is the time to transform.

Most yoga instructors have another “day job” to start with. You can always be a server and a yoga instructor, and as you start to grow your classes and establish yourself, transition to teaching more and serving less. Just be willing to put yourself out there. Talk to everyone about it. Teach in non-traditional venues. Be willing to teach for beans at first. Teaching yoga is just like practicing yoga-- it’s a process. It sounds like with the horseback riding idea you’ve got a very particular niche you could fill that would set you apart from other instructors.

Best of luck!


#7

Go inside…what does your gut tell you to do. Use less head more heart and you will find your way…best of luck!


#8

Yoga means Union. Take meditation away (like some power yoga schools did) and you can’t call it yoga any more. It becomes just an aerobics. Take away holding the pose - and again you can call it yoga any more.

I think agree in part with what you have said, but I don’t agree that the asanas in Yoga are aerobics without the meditation. In hatha yoga, there is little to no meditation, but it still considered a valid path of yoga. The asanas, mudras and bandhas are of course designed to create certain pranic transformations in your body, which will make meditation possible later. So they are just as important. Aerobics on the other hand has not been designed to create pranic transformations. So asanas are not aerobics, even if they are without meditation.


#9

[QUOTE=InnerAthlete;32552]If by “career” you mean your sole source of income AND you have “normal” expenses then it would require you to be very crafty to earn a living teaching yoga without sacrificing the yoga in order to increase your income.

It can be done. Some do it. Some sell off Yoga in the process (some do not). But I don’t believe the choice to be a teacher of yoga should be predicated on whether one can “make a career of it”. To me, there should be a higher calling that cannot be ignored and that call should transcend the potential revenues (or losses). If told you would take a financial loss every year would you still want to do it and do it with joy? That is a litmus test.[/QUOTE]

I play with similar thoughts sometimes. My current job is okay, but not exactly my dream job i.e the one I would pick if I could choose any career. I sometimes sit at my current job and wish I was teaching yoga instead. But when I make columns in my head of why it would work and wouldn’t work for me to have a drastic career change and go from a public health job to teaching yoga, I’m always left thinking:

Even if I was teaching yoga and could finally love my job, I wouldn’t be able to make the same amount of money I make now. Wouldn’t be able to afford the home we have now, wouldn’t be able to pay for our yearly travel, wouldn’t be able to make investments to save for our future, etc. Then I think, well is it these material things that make me happy? Yes, it is. Having a home I love is important to me. Its a modest home but we love it. Being able to travel (one of my true loves) is also important and I would not want to give it up.

The alternate for me would be to have yoga as a side career/part time job where I worked at it because I loved yoga/wanted to bring yoga to people and not because I needed the money. This, I am seriously considering for the future.

In a perfect world we would all be working jobs that we love and not doing it for the money. But in reality, things cost money in life and you need a job that can provide those things. I think its okay to compromise and do what you need as a career and what you love on the side.


#10

…which is why the person electing to only teach as their living would need to be very creative and/or business savvy to meet the “standardized” expenses most of us choose. But it can be done. It just can’t be done teaching 15 classes a week for $40.


#11

Why don’t you teach the yoga, do something with your art, and involve yourself with horses?

AH. Happiness.


#12

[QUOTE=The Scales;32771]Why don’t you teach the yoga, do something with your art, and involve yourself with horses?

AH. Happiness.[/QUOTE]

That is exactly what I want to do! :slight_smile:

So I’ve decided that I’m going to stay. What sealed the deal is that I’ll be able to apply for provincial artist grants in October, because I’ll have been a New Brunswick resident for a year. I can establish myself a bit more as an artist, and get that side of things covered while I’m here. In the meantime, I can keep an eye open for yoga workshops, go to my regular lessons and develop asana variations on my friend’s horses.

Thank you all for your advice, I really appreciate it.

Namaste <3


#13

Equiyogini it occurred to me that you might check out dona holleman a yoga teacher who lives in italy she has a website and has some film of herself talking about yoga and horses


#14

there are so many people wanting to do this nowadays that it is getting harder and harder. With each 3 months there are probably thousands of new certified yoga teachers out there looking to cash in on the yoga craze.

I just finished my teacher training and saw the money side of it an decided to go back to building my massage business up and teach on the side for fun rather than as a career.

It can be done but its getting hard with so many new “teachers” out there the only way I see it happening is if you find a location and can open your own studio or ashram and get students to pay a monthly auto pay to come and practice. That would be the best but it takes some money to start and obviously you have to make a connection with the students so they will come and pay you


#15

Nice post…


#16

Everybody wants to be a teacher. Nobody wants to be a life-long student.


#17

Yes,you can work as a yoga professor or masseuse. I personally think being a yoga professor would be a lot of fun. Having a job where you can relax would be awesome.


#18

I personally think that would be alot of fun! You have the passion for it, I say go with your heart and do it!


#19

Yoga is one of the ancient, natural and effective ways to stay fit and fine. Many Yoga classes are paid for on a per head, per class basis. Many Yoga teachers work part-time. A full-time Yoga teacher may earn from ?15,000 - ?60,000 a year depending on the size and regularity of their classes.


#20

[QUOTE=Kasi;64314]Everybody wants to be a teacher. Nobody wants to be a life-long student.[/QUOTE]

Agreed