6 Essential Steps to Making a Living Doing Yoga
Not so long ago I had a job that was slowly draining me of me. I knew that I needed to take a leap into something that made my soul sing. Now I run a yoga business and everything has changed.
As I go to meetings, attend yoga festivals, and work with yogis 7 days a week, I have found one common similarity between the people I work with and the path they took to get to where they are today. Everyone at one point or another worked a job that wasn’t making their soul sing, they pursued yoga as an escape and healing practice to mend the internal and physical wounds of that job, and through yoga they found the courage, support and self-confidence to be true to themselves, transitioned out of their job and started pursuing yoga as a way of life and as a way of paying the bills.
There is something about yoga that spawns great entrepreneurs… I think it is this: in order to truly know what will make you happy, you need to have the ability to truly know who YOU are. Yoga allows us to see ourselves from the inside out; everything else in our society seems to be outside in.
In order to truly know what will make you happy, you need to have the ability to truly know who YOU are.
There are many paths to making a living in the yoga community. Yoga is one of the fastest growing health and fitness industries in the world. The opportunities are endless. But if you don’t want to work for a corporate yoga company or start your own yoga business, here are 5 steps to maintaining your practice while making a real living doing yoga.
It should be noted: I do not teach yoga. I do however run a yoga business and work with successful yogis everyday. This is what I have observed along the way:
Step 1: Start Teaching
It all begins here! After you’ve gotten your YTT (Yoga Teacher Training), the best thing you can do is jump right into teaching. Don’t wait! There seems to be a small window to keep the flame burning. If you wait, you’ll feel unprepared and it will make taking the leap that much more difficult. Once you begin teaching yoga classes at a local studio, you’ll begin to build a following. Not only will you continue to gain recognition as a yoga instructor, you’ll also get acclimated to the ins and outs of teaching yoga as a career. There are many different styles of yoga, as well as yoga studios. The best advice for new teachers is to teach many different types of classes and at many different studios. This will give you a good feel for the styles you like most, and the studios that most serve your teaching style. The business of yoga is quite separate from when you’re teaching in the yoga room, which leads us to #2.
Step 2: Start a Yoga Blog
This is the face of your business and your opportunity to expand the reach of your personal brand outside of the crew you run in and the yoga studios you teach at. Check out these yoga blogs for inspiration. These inspiring women have done a fantastic job!
Starting a yoga blog may seem like a big undertaking, but in reality your yoga blog can be off the ground and running in a day or so. Granted, in order for the traffic to start flowing in, you will need to create lots and lots of content. So now is the time to start. The sooner you start your blog the better. If you have an idea for the name of your blog don’t wait! Reserve your url now.
Bluehost is the company I recommend you use to get your URL and host your website. They have very good customer service, and they work seamlessly with WordPress.
Step 3: Build Your Personal Brand
Once you have your blog set up and you are comfortable teaching yoga and giving advice about yoga, it is time to start branding yourself. You are now your own business. You have a service (your yoga knowledge) and you have a storefront (your blog). Take the leap and open your doors. Social media is your main avenue of bringing traffic to your blog so be sure to link your social media accounts to your blog and vise versa so people can begin following you.
Instagram – Most of your energy should be spent here. Post often, use hash tags and either be telling a compelling story, giving insight into who you are or be providing value with quick how to videos or yoga challenges.
Pro tip: Put the word “yoga” in your Instagram handle
Here are some examples of some really great Instagram accounts. See any similarities?
People don’t share ugly. So try your best to take good looking photos and videos. That will go a long way!
People don’t share ugly.
Facebook and Pinterest – This is where you drive traffic to your blog.
Invest a little bit of money when you can and promote your blog articles on Facebook using the boost post feature or dark posts.
Pin links to your articles on Pinterest (Pro tip: Join group boards. These are boards that already have followers so you will immediately get your pins in front of a large audience)
Post simple tutorial videos on Facebook and YouTube
Bonus tip: High quality photos and videos are a MUST. Your brand is as good as your photos and videos – people only promote quality – produce beautiful content that screams legitimacy and you will be rewarded with views, shares and more followers.
Step 4: Teach Private Sessions
Private sessions are the inverse of yoga retreats. As opposed to leading a group of yogis for an extended amount of time, private sessions offer the unique opportunity for teacher and student to build a custom practice centered on the student’s individual needs and goals. As a teacher, you’ll find private sessions to be very rewarding. You’re able to give your undivided attention to a single student and thus help them get the most out of their practice. The added benefit is the amount of money you can make in a single session, which is guaranteed to be much more than the pay you’ll receive for teaching a class at a studio.
Step 5: Host and/or Teach Yoga Retreats
Yoga retreats are continuing to gain popularity around the globe. Whether you host your own yoga retreat, or start smaller by teaching at one hosted by someone else, this is an excellent way to do what you love while traveling and making money (and good money at that!). Many resorts offer retreat packages for teachers and retreat coordinators, which makes it a lot easier than you’d think to plan, organize, and execute a successful retreat. Plus, yoga retreats are a fantastic way to build your reputation, credibility, and following as a yoga teacher.
Step 6: Sell Advertising and Get Some Product Endorsements
Once your online following has grown to the point where you have social influence, your classes are full, your website traffic is in the thousands per month, and you’re teaching yoga retreats around the globe, it is time to cash in and start monetizing with advertising and product endorsements. The yoga industry is growing quickly and if you’re an influencer in this industry, brands will pay good money to get their products in front of your audience. If you’ve done steps 1-5 correctly, brands should have already started reaching out to you to send you their products. Free yoga pants are great but don’t be afraid to ask these companies to pay you to rock their stuff.
You’ll also want to start selling ads on your blog. Sign up for Google AdSense (Google will pay you to place ads on your website). You can also sign up for an ad brokerage like BuySellAds.com. They will find advertisers that want to be on your website and pay you monthly.
After these steps, you should be well on your way to making a living doing yoga. You’ll be working with like-minded, positive people and helping others live healthier and happier lives. You can also wear yoga clothes all day.
I hope you found this article helpful. Please leave a comment below if you have any questions. I will try to help the best I can.