Yoga Instructor Job

7 Tips for Landing a Yoga Instructor Job

Our editors independently select all products featured on MITM. However, we may earn an affiliate commission when you buy something through a link.

Congratulations, new yoga teachers, and welcome to the community! Now that you’ve completed your 200-hour yoga teaching certificate, what’s next?

As I’ve navigated this ever-evolving industry, I’ve learned that landing your first yoga instructor job is more than just showcasing your knowledge of asanas and philosophy. And I understand firsthand the excitement and anticipation of earning your yoga teacher certification.

That’s why I’m delighted to share seven invaluable tips that will guide you through the journey of obtaining your very first yoga teaching position. We’ll begin by briefly looking into the yoga industry, acknowledging common stumbling blocks, and diving into some of the most effective strategies that have helped me along my yoga teaching journey. I hope these insights will empower you to embrace the path ahead confidently and authentically.

Article Topics

Yoga’s Current Employment Landscape

The widespread popularity of yoga in the West is undeniable. Since the first yoga studios emerged in the 1970s, the practice has only continued to grow. Currently, yogis in the U.S. spend an estimated $16 billion yearly on classes and equipment, while yoga’s global market value is around $88 billion. A yoga teacher’s salary varies by country, so it’s advantageous to do homework on where you live or where you prefer to live. 

Making a living as a yoga teacher can be incredibly lucrative once you get your foot in the door. The question is – how? Navigating the business side of yoga can be overwhelming at first, but you are not alone. Many new yoga teachers experience similar obstacles and share the same apprehensions.

Common Obstacles for Newly Certified Yoga Instructors

Although several years have passed since I completed my certification, the issues new yoga instructors face remain the same, and you should not let them hinder you from beginning your job search. Instead, let’s take a look at the silver linings. 

Competition

The growth of the yoga industry means more job opportunities but also creates more competition. In 2020, the Yoga Alliance reported 100,000 Registered Yoga Teachers and 7,000 Registered Yoga Schools in the U.S. Since then, many yoga schools have shifted to online models, making certifications far more accessible. Hence, those numbers are even higher today. 

However, it’s not just the number of instructors and schools rising. The number of students has steadily increased, too, and since we now can access students worldwide with video conferencing technology, that number is booming. 

So, don’t get discouraged! While there might be more certified yoga teachers than ever, plenty of people are looking for instructors – and you could be just the right fit!

Lacking Experience and Confidence

Another common hangup many newly certified yoga instructors face is imposter syndrome, an intense self-doubt regarding your abilities. You’ve completed your certificate but don’t believe you’re ready to teach, feeling like you’re missing the wisdom and experience of a seasoned instructor. 

What helped me was reminding myself that I shouldn’t compare myself to anyone else, even the instructors I learned from. Because the truth is, nobody’s perfect. I still have days where I stumble over my words or say “right” when I meant “left.” Just because you don’t have experience doesn’t mean you aren’t capable. 

Speaking from personal experience, the only way to build teaching confidence is simply to do it – teach! The sooner you jump into it, the quicker you’ll settle into your voice and develop a unique style that sets you apart. 

Limited Options in Your Locale

Maybe only a few studios or gyms in your area already have a complete roster of teachers. Or perhaps you live in a small area that doesn’t even have a yoga studio. In that case, you might have to create your own opportunities, which can be daunting if you don’t know where to start. 

Most yoga teacher trainings cover some basics of the yoga business, but you might need more guidance depending on your situation. Taking an extra yoga business continuing education course might be worth it based on your professional goals. Slim pickings on the job front can be a great motivator. Imagine that you could be the person providing your community with a much-appreciated service it currently lacks.

Top 7 Tips for Getting Hired as a Yoga Teacher

The first obvious step in landing a yoga instructor job is to complete a yoga teacher training program. Can you teach yoga without one? Technically, yes. Will a studio or gym hire you? It’s unlikely – especially when there are likely dozens of other candidates with teaching certificates. So, let’s assume you’re here because you’ve already completed your 200-hour yoga teaching certificate

I remember the feeling of receiving my teaching certificate and what that meant for my future. Before you embark on your job search, here are 7 pieces of advice I’ve learned while beginning my yoga teaching career.

1. Keep Up With Your Practice

The best teachers I’ve known are lifelong students. Continue to improve your skills and evolve in your practice. Spending time on your mat is also the best way to develop creative yoga sequences for future classes.

I love exploring other yoga classes and experiencing new teachers who motivate and inspire me.

2. Assist and Volunteer

Seek out assisting opportunities at local studios where you’d like to teach. Think of it like an internship, where you get to observe and learn from a teacher you respect while getting to know the studio staff, who can then recommend you when a teaching spot opens up.

3. Market Yourself

Maintain a consistent, professional social media presence. Use apps like Instagram and TikTok to curate a digital resume showing the merit of your practice. Share yoga pose tutorials on your social media, share inspiring or educational articles, or create a YouTube channel to upload classes. And don’t forget to engage with your audience as you build a name for yourself.

Yoga Instructor Job - info

4. Offer Free Classes

As I said before, just doing it is the only way to feel more confident and natural when leading a class! Start by offering some free online or in-person classes within your community. 

When I was starting, I offered short, live classes via social media; sometimes, as few as 2 or 3 people joined, but I consistently showed up, and it paid off as I became more comfortable with providing clear cues and managing time.

The more you can teach, the quicker you will settle into your authentic voice, solidify your instructional abilities, and develop a unique style.

5. Think Outside the Studio

There are so many teaching opportunities outside of a traditional studio setting. Look within your community and identify a group that can benefit from yoga. Schools, gyms, corporate offices, rehabilitation centers, hotels or resorts, and community centers are all places that commonly offer yoga classes. 

And, of course, the only options are virtually endless! Try seeking out online fitness groups geared toward specific populations – recovery support, corporate, women’s health groups, and homebound individuals – who you think could benefit from yoga and offer your services.

6. Network With Your Peers

Most yoga teacher training schools provide a strong alumni network, which can help you find teaching opportunities. If you choose to register with Yoga Alliance, they offer many benefits, like resources for yoga teachers and a virtual community for yoga professionals. 

Networking with peers can help you build a community while creating teaching opportunities. Create a yoga meetup group to practice, teach, and provide feedback to one another. Or, you might partner together to host a yoga workshop or community class. 

Rather than viewing your peers as competition, explore what can happen when you combine your efforts and inspire one another.

7. Identify Your Niche

Consider specializing in a niche style of yoga or related skills. Focusing on a specific community, like yoga for kids, seniors, or athletes, can set you apart from other candidates. 

In some cases, consider an additional continuing education certificate. But if you have personal experience or interest in a specific area, it could be a jumping-off point. For example, yogis with musical talent might create a niche by incorporating mantra chanting or kirtan, or bilingual instructors can offer yoga classes in another language. 

Identify your strengths, experiences, or interests outside your yoga practice, and use those ideas to inspire your job search.

Additional Steps to Prepare For the Job Search

Aside from these 7 creative tips for landing your first yoga instructor job, there are a few practical items you should take care of, as you would when seeking any other type of employment.

  • Prepare a demo class for a live audition when the time comes, or film a demo class you can upload and share with potential clients and studio directors.
  • Create a professional resume or “media kit” with links to your website, online profiles, and other material related to your yoga practice and teaching.
  • Gather professional references from your teachers, mentors, and colleagues.
  • Start collecting testimonials from students as you build your teaching experience.
  • Obtain additional credentials like CPR/First Aid certification and liability insurance.

Gathering these additional materials will ensure you’re prepared to answer a job ad the moment you see it and will give you a leg up on other candidates. Plus, I found that compiling references and testimonials from my colleagues and first-time students was a huge confidence boost!

Final Words of Encouragement

Remember, applying for a yoga teacher position is just like any job application process: you are interviewing the studio or client as much as they are interviewing you. That is to say, you should make sure the environment or client is a good fit for you.

A strategy that I find helpful is to clearly define (or revisit) your own core values and determine whether the job position will help you uphold those values. Do the same with your personal goals, both long and short-term. Will this position help you get to where you want to be? 

And lastly, know your worth. Some new yoga teachers need help discussing compensation. But this is your livelihood, so don’t shy away from the topic when interviewing for a position. Have a clear idea of your rate and how you prefer to be paid (hourly, by class, or by the student, for example). As a brand new yoga teacher, you might want some wiggle room, but be sure you know your area’s going rates for yoga classes and don’t short-change yourself. 

Securing your first yoga instructor position is ultimately about crafting your presence, understanding the market, identifying the needs of your community, and aligning your passions with the right opportunities. Use these practical and creative ideas as motivation to get out there and put your teaching certificate to use. You’ve got this!