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Yoga instructor leading a class
Yoga instructor leading a class

Yoga instructor jobs and opportunities

6 minute read

If you’ve recently qualified as a yoga instructor, you’ll no doubt be excited about the possibilities that lie ahead of you, particularly when it comes to getting a job.

After all, completing a yoga instructor course is but one step on a yogi’s long and exciting journey. Now is the time to start thinking about how you’re going to the lead from the mat, whether that’s teaching classes in your local gym or studio, or perhaps starting the next great fitness retreat that takes the industry by storm.

With yoga, there are many different ways to find work and gain employment and that’s what we’re going to be exploring in this article. We’ll look at the basics, the type of opportunities available, the ways you could expand your client base, and finally, take a brief look at pay and salary.

Freelance yoga instructor jobs

For both new and experienced yoga instructors and teachers alike, the freelance route is often the preferred way to go. Most instructors working on a freelance basis will be paid on a per class, or per hour basis. Normally, yoga instructors will be given a set number of classes to teach per week/month at a given gym, health club or studio. It’s not uncommon for freelance instructors to travel to and teach at multiple fitness facilities in order to maximise their income and client base.

An independent yoga studio

Why do yoga instructors seem to favour working freelance? Well, it’s the arrangement that offers the most flexibility. That’s not to say you’ll have carte blanche, but to some extent, you will be able to choose the days, hours and locations you want to work. Within reason, you’ll also be able to decide how much you want to charge per session and this amount only stands to increase as you refine your methods, gain experience and begin to make a name for yourself. Do remember that are certain things you will be responsible for sorting and arranging yourself, like insurance for example.

It’s often go-to advice given to new instructors at the start of their yoga career, but initially, it’s likely that you’ll start by providing cover gyms and fitness clubs when other instructors are on holiday or sick. It’s a great way to show the powers that be that you’re flexible and can be contacted on short notice. After completing their yoga teacher training, Many very successful yoga instructors have started out providing cover and quickly found themselves becoming a permanent fixture on the class timetable.

Alongside your usual suspects like gyms and health clubs, there are also a few other places that freelance yoga instructor instructors can see their career thrive. It’s by far an exhaustive list, but it should provide some inspiration and an idea about the wealth of opportunities that exist:

  • Boutique group exercise studios (these could be solely dedicated to yoga or multi-discipline)
  • Private therapy clinics
  • Schools, colleges and universities
  • Hospitals and other places of care
  • Creating and delivering online classes and programmes
  • Creating and running domestic and/or international fitness retreats

Other yoga instructor opportunities

There are many yoga instructors and teachers who choose to branch out and perform a range of instructor roles throughout a given working week or month. As we explored in our introductory article about becoming a yoga teacher, gaining additional qualifications is not only a great way to stay invigorated while working in the fitness industry but also create different revenue streams. Pilates, personal training and exercise to music are three of the most popular avenues.

It’s not uncommon for yoga instructors and teachers to involve themselves with physical therapies such as osteopathy, physiotherapy and sports massage. You can find a wealth of information about becoming a qualified sports massage therapist by reading our comprehensive career guide.

With all that being said, it’s entirely possible and incredibly common to forge a successful career as a yoga instructor or teacher by solely focusing on delivering yoga classes, in person or online, and not deliver any other type of training or services.

Yoga students performing the warrior 2 yoga pose

If you have previously completed your yoga teaching training with HFE then further employment opportunities are available via CV Connect. This exclusive and innovative system means you’re only a few clicks away from getting your CV in front of 1000s of yoga studios and employers.

Finding yoga instructor jobs and teacher opportunities

When it comes to finding your ideal yoga instructor or teacher job, unfortunately, there is no one perfect place to look or best approach to take. Like any other job search you may have done during your working life, it comes down to having lots of self-belief, being persistent and employing a little creativity in order to think outside the box.

For many, an internet search could be a worthwhile first port of call. A few caveats to bear in mind though. Firstly, it’s important to not be vague when searching online. Typing in something incredibly vague like “yoga jobs” into Google is going to deliver hundreds of thousands of results, so you’ll need to be more directed and clinical in your approach. Think about searching for opportunities in your particular area or even adding in the names of specific gyms and health clubs to your search.

Yoga students performing child's pose

Secondly, it’s important not to be disheartened by some of the search results you may find. Many employers who are currently advertising vacancies will be asking for experienced yoga instructors and teachers. Remember, however, everyone has to start somewhere so it’s all about finding an opportunity that helps you get a foot in the door.

A great way to do this is by travelling around your area, to gyms, health clubs, and studios and introducing yourself directly. Seek out managers and owners and use this as an opportunity to let your enthusiasm and energy shine. Yes, at the start of your fledgeling career you won’t be the most experienced but you’ve got to show your potential. It’ll be a much more impactful course of action than simply handing in your CV or filling out an online application form.

Pay and salary

According to figures from PayScale, the average hourly pay for a yoga instructor is £21.50 with the top rate being £35 per hour. Again, according to their figures, this equates to a salary of between £18,000 – £78,000 a year.

It’s important to take these figures as a guideline and not absolute fact. Pay and salary can depend quite wildly in some instances depending on the area of the country you’re in and the specific employer.

An operator like David Lloyd, for example, might pay more than a budget chain. Similarly, a boutique studio in the centre of London will pay significantly more than a studio in the north of the UK.

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