A few months ago I took a really big step out of my comfort zone. After years of wondering, fantasizing and debating I took the plunge and signed up for a 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training Course.
I’m so happy with my decision to become a yoga instructor, but it took me a while to get there.
If you’re like I was and becoming a yoga teacher or going through teacher training is something that’s been on your mind but you’re not sure where to start, or you just want more information on what goes down during training, then you’re in the right place!
I’ve gathered the most practical info and tips so you can feel confident and ready to embark on this exciting adventure of becoming a yoga instructor!
Yoga Teacher Salary: How Much Do Yoga Instructors Make?
This is a question that is asked a lot. I mean, yoga is a passion of mine so I’m not exactly doing it for the money. With that being said, it doesn’t mean money isn’t a key factor in a career choice. It definitely is and it’s important for us to know what we will be paid as a yoga teacher.
Ultimately, the pay is going to vary from state to state, but the U.S. national average is hovering right around $29 per hour as of 2022.
A yoga teacher’s salary can range vastly from $31,000 to $120,000.
If you’re just starting out or working at a studio, you’re going to be in the lower bracket making anywhere from $15.00 to $22.00.
The average annual salary for a yoga instructor is $60,191, so if you’ve been a yoga instructor for three to five years you should be getting paid right around there.
Lastly, if you’ve been teaching yoga for a while and have your own clientele or studio, then you’ll most likely be running a small business and could be making upwards of $120,000+ a year. However, you’ll be assuming all the risks of running a business, but that shouldn’t scare you!
Becoming a yoga instructor can be so rewarding, free, and empowering! Below I list out the exact steps I took to become a yoga instructor.
Yoga Teacher Training & Certification
Yoga Teacher Training sometimes referred to as YTT or TT, is a 200-hour program that provides the knowledge you need in philosophy, anatomy, wisdom, sutras, meditations, energy, nutrition and more.
I know that going through 200 hours of yoga training may seem like a daunting task. But it is also very exhilarating. By the end of the training, you’ll be so immersed in the experience and have the ability to teach others yoga and help them down their own journey of self-discovery.
Follow these steps and believe that you can complete them! It will all be worth it.
Step 1: Do Your Research
The first step I took was to gather as much information as I possibly could about becoming a yoga instructor.
I watched YouTube videos on other people’s experiences, read blog posts (like this one!), and talked to experienced instructors all to help me decide if becoming a yoga instructor was something I could see myself loving.
Spoiler alert: the answer was yes!
But I know as much as you do, timing has a lot to do with it. Yoga teacher training is a commitment and you will need to be at a certain place in your life where you can spend hours learning, studying, and practicing. If you can’t commit the time right now, that’s okay and it’s better to know now, before you dive all in.
Step 2: Find a Yoga Studio
To become a yoga instructor, the most common way (and the route I chose) is to complete a 200 Hour Teacher Training.
Many studios offer teacher training so if you have a place you love check there first! In my case, I wasn’t super devoted to any one studio so I started by stalking the IGs of any studios that looked interesting, checking out their websites, reading their teacher’s bios, etc.
You can tell a lot about a yoga studio by their online presence and I was able to get a shortlist going of studios I was interested in.
Other things you’ll want to consider at this point are:
DISTANCE – You’ll be clocking a ton of hours (200 to be exact) during training and fighting crazy traffic every time you need to be at the studio is no good so find a studio close to where you live or work. However, if getting to a location is a problem or there are health restrictions in place, I’ve recently learned about some online yoga teacher training programs, that claim a 200 Hour Certificate, but I don’t know too much about them. So as always, I’d recommend doing your own research.
PRICE – Training certified by the Yoga Alliance typically run between $1,000-$3,000 depending on location. Often times they offer payment programs to help break up the cost of the programs.
VIBE – A good yoga studio creates a sense of community for its members. So make sure you feel welcome and are happy to be there.
TEACHERS – Your instructors can make or break your TT experience so it’s important you jive with the teachers at your studio (especially the ones running the TT).
Pro Tip: Check with your studio and see if they offer a payment plan for training, most do!
Step 3: Attend a Yoga Teacher Training Info Session
Info sessions are free meetings, typically held at the studio, where the instructors leading the teacher training gives you all the details on the program and answer any questions you have. Some meetings even offer a free class so you get an idea of their teaching style.
My meeting was super informal, I grabbed coffee with the studio manager and we chatted about the program, my goals, and life in general. It might help to prepare some questions beforehand so you can leave with all the information you need to make a decision.
Plus wearing some fun leggings is always a great tip so you can have an instant conversation starter!
Pro Tip: Make sure you leave with a complete understanding of important info like class dates and payment details!
Step 4: Teacher Training Time
The fun part! TT was truly was a life-changing experience for me, as I know it is for many others. Obviously, you’ll be learning a ton of postures and how to cue (teach) them but my favorite part was actually yoga philosophy, which was basically all about how to live your best most authentic life.
Here is a list of what type of curriculum you can expect to learn during Yoga Teacher Training:
100 Hours | Techniques, Training and Practice
30 Hours | Yoga Philosophy, Lifestyle and Ethics for Yoga Teachers
25 Hours | Teaching Methodology
20 Hours | Anatomy and Physiology
10 Hours | Practicum
Because each program is different, your curriculum will shift depending on your teacher. You should expect additional hours to be devoted to meditation, breathing exercises, diet and nutrition.
I think the best part about yoga is that we, students, gravitate towards yoga for so many reasons, all of which are celebrated in a great teacher training program.
You might be all about hot, power classes while your BFF may be obsessed with Yoga Nidra.
There’s a place for everybody and the best advice I can give is to follow what makes you feel good! As a yoga instructor, people will be drawn to your classes because they are uniquely YOU – and finding that unique voice is what TT is all about.
Pro Tip: Make sure to stock up on yoga gear prior to TT. You’ll definitely need a mat and you’ll want at least a few pairs of leggings that you love — I work at Evolve Fit Wear and we have an amazing selection of really cute yoga clothes.
Life After Teacher Training
TT is like most things, you’ll get what you put into it. If you really want to make a career of teaching yoga you absolutely can.
At first, you might not have the experience studios are looking for but worry not! There are many things you can do to become more desirable to potential employers.
Hosting free classes is a great way to hone your skills while introducing yourself to the yoga community as a teacher.
Once you’re feeling really confident in your chops, visit your favorite studios and inquire about getting on their sub list.
And eventually, if you stick with it, you could go on to own your own studio if that's what you're going for!
Pro Tip: Take classes where you want to teach! It shows you’re invested in the community and it’s an awesome way to network.
TT gave me so much more than a certificate for my wall. The sense of accomplishment I felt after teaching my first class was a serious high and I met so many great people who I now consider friends. If becoming a yoga instructor is something that’s been calling to you, I can’t encourage it enough.
Did you make your way thru teacher training or thinking about it? Comment below, I'd love to hear from you!
Rachael (Evolve Staff)