As much of the world enters the winter season during the coronavirus pandemic, in which gyms and studios are closed, and exercising outside becomes less and less appealing, people will inevitable turn to at-home exercising. Of all the workouts to do at home, practicing yoga is increasingly popular, as it not only exercises strength and flexibility but also meditation and mindfulness. Interested in starting your own yoga business? You're in luck!
Becoming a self-employed yoga instructor is a great career because you can do it from home, you can schedule classes and sessions both live or on-demand. There isn't much financial overheard, except for the cost of certifications and teacher training to showcase your knowledge of the practice. A yoga business also pairs nicely with additional wellness education around nutrition, mindfulness and health.
Yoga businesses like any other business require a solid business model, knowledge of competition, and need to be able to invest in marketing and advertising to expand customer base and discoverability. Here's how to start:
Getting certified to teach yoga:
The most common yoga certification comes from institutions affiliated with Yoga Alliance. Yoga Alliance is the national standard for yoga instruction, and the cost to be certified as an individual is a $25 application fee, a $55 annual fee, plus the price of a minimum 200-hour level teacher training. Teacher trainings are offered at many studios and schools, often as intensive immersions, or over the course of multiple weekends, and can cost a few thousand dollars depending on where you choose to train. Due to Covid-19, currently Yoga Alliance is adhering to 2021 RYS Online Exemption standards, so for those interested in training, they will learn online through both asynchronous and synchronous class (specific aspects requiring real time interaction and others at the student's pace).
Guide to Become a Certified Yoga Instructor
Create a business plan:
Once you're on the path to becoming an instructor, think about the type of yoga you want to offer. Yoga for pre and post natal mothers? Kids yoga? Vinyasa? Yin Yang? Hot yoga? There are many types of yoga, much of which you will be prepared to teach coming out of your training program, but as a business - what do you want to focus on?
When thinking of your business plan and model, take into consideration your one-time, upfront costs, and your ongoing costs. Initial costs such as your education and investment in equipment, and ongoing costs are video conferencing software or additional tech, any rental fee for space, wi-fi, and funds going towards marketing and advertising. Knowing this baseline cost will help with judging how many classes or sessions you need to teach monthly in order to make a profit and budget accurately. If you aren't sure what price to set per customer, look into what other yoga instructors price their classes at, how long their classes are, and do a little competitor research to make sure you're not underselling yourself.
To legalize your yoga business, you'll need to register your business and pay taxes. Set up a limited liability corporation (LLC) to separate your business and personal finances.
Invest in your tech infrastructure:
As a new online business, you'll need to utilize software to organize your customer list, payments received and your daily schedule. Additionally, you'll want to use marketplaces and social platforms to increase your presence and validate interested customers and entice new audiences. Create a quick website for booking and scheduling, that you can link out to from social media profiles or directories like Thumbtack.
We promise it's easier than it sounds! There are so many excellent tools out there that can help with accounting, scheduling, sales, design, and more.
Given the pandemic, it's expected to work with clients online, and build a relationship through video conferences. Make sure to invest in a quality video streaming software. Today, Zoom is the most popular.
Marketing to your first customers and building a dedicated base:
When you have yourself set up to sell online, it's time to start building your customer base. At first, you may find success through your network of friends and family, but there's so much opportunity elsewhere too! We recommend putting down on paper what you know and packaging little bits of content as a way to join conversations. Break down poses for people in videos, offer guidance on meditation, write out recipes for daily energy, and don't be afraid to offer your expertise and engage with new people online.
Once you have even a few customers, you ask to involve them in your quest to broadening your audience. Ask them for feedback and referrals, or see if you can share their story or practice on your Instagram. Everyone loves a few minutes of fame and cross promotion! Utilize a "bring a friend" to class incentive to get new people to join.
Read: 5 Ways to Get Useful Customer Feedback
Continue to invest in yourself:
As the months go on and you have figured out your budget, the business you need to do to find success, take the time to consider your original business plan and where you are today. How are you doing? Are you happy? Have you achieved a good work-life balance? And, is there anything you want to improve or change? We recommend settings goals for 3 months at a time, and returning to those goals, reflecting, and setting new goals. When you feel that you have settled on a good path, it's time to invest more into yourself and your business - be it through traditional advertising, content marketing, or offering incentives to existing customers and their network.
Becoming your own yoga business is awesome. It doesn't take much upfront investment, nor more than a few months of education to be able to instruct people on a path of mindfulness and strength. If you aren't ready to commit fully to this idea, you can also achieve a yoga business as a part-time role or side gig.
Ready to get started? Here at