How Much Do Yoga Instructors Make? Find Out the Average Salaries and Factors Affecting Pay

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If you’re interested in becoming a yoga instructor or are wondering about the earning potential of this career path, then you’ve come to the right place. Yoga has become increasingly popular over the years, with millions of people around the world incorporating it into their daily routines as a way to improve their physical and mental well-being.

But how much do yoga instructors make? The answer to that question can vary based on a variety of factors such as location, experience, and level of certification. In this article, we’ll explore some of the things that can impact an instructor’s salary and give you an idea of what to expect if you decide to pursue this profession.

“Yoga is not just repetition of few postures – it is more about the exploration and discovery of the subtle energies of life.” – Amit Ray

We’ll start by discussing the average salaries for yoga instructors in the United States, along with data from other countries around the world. Then, we’ll delve deeper into what affects those numbers and look at some specific examples and case studies.

You’ll also learn about the different types of yoga instruction available, from group classes at studios to private lessons and even online teaching platforms. And finally, we’ll offer some tips and advice for maximizing your earning potential as a yoga teacher.

If you’re ready to discover the financial rewards and challenges that come with being a yoga instructor, then keep reading to find out more!

Yoga Instructor Salaries: What’s the Average?

The National Average for Yoga Instructor Salaries

If you are considering becoming a yoga instructor, one question on your mind might be how much money you can make. The answer is that it depends on various factors such as location, experience level, and whether you work part-time or full-time.

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the mean annual wage for fitness trainers and aerobics instructors, which includes yoga instructors, was $45,110 as of May 2020. However, keep in mind that this number represents national averages and doesn’t take into account local living costs, competition, and other variables.

A separate report from Indeed shows different numbers but still within the same ballpark. The average salary for a yoga instructor in the US is around $37.69 per hour, which equates to an annual income of approximately $78,353.

These figures may sound impressive, but bear in mind that they reflect the earnings of the top performers with considerable expertise in the field.

The Median Salary for Yoga Instructors

To get a more practical idea of what you could earn as a new yoga instructor, let’s look at median salaries instead of average ones.

The median hourly wage for fitness trainers and aerobics instructors, including yoga teachers, was $20.00 as of May 2020, based on BLS data. This means that half of yoga instructors made below this amount while the other half earned above.

You may wonder why the median wage is lower than the average wage. This situation happens when a small number of high-income earners (such as famous yoga instructors, private teachers of wealthy clients, or studio owners) skew the average upward. On the other hand, the majority of yoga instructors earn less than the mean amount because they haven’t yet built up their client base or added specialties to their skills.

To put it into perspective, suppose you work full-time as a yoga instructor with an hourly rate of $20 and teach 25 hours per week. Your annual income would be approximately $26,000 before taxes. Although this amount may not make you affluent, it could be enough to cover your living expenses if you live frugally and avoid costly habits.

“It’s important for anyone who wants to become a yoga instructor to know that while some have made lucrative careers out of it, being a yoga teacher is not guaranteed to bring in a substantial salary…. However, what a career coaching yogis can give you is great flexibility, immense fulfillment through helping others, and very often a community you really love.” -YogiApproved

Keep in mind that earning a living as a new yoga instructor requires more than just having excellent technical skills. You also need to be resourceful in finding opportunities, marketing yourself to potential students or workplaces, and maintaining good relationships with your clients.

How much you can make as a yoga instructor depends on many variables such as location, experience level, work schedule, types of classes, and compensation methods. While the national average and median salaries are useful benchmarks, they should not be used as gospel truths since each person’s financial situation is unique. More importantly, if you choose to become a yoga teacher, do it because you enjoy the practice, appreciate its benefits, and desire to help others through your teaching.

What Factors Affect Yoga Instructor Pay?

Experience and Yoga Instructor Salaries

The years of experience a yoga instructor has can affect their pay. Beginners often earn less than seasoned instructors who have been teaching for several years.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median hourly wage for fitness trainers and instructors was $20.39 in May 2019. However, those with more experience earned upwards of $30 per hour.

In addition to years of experience, an instructor’s location can also impact their salary. Instructors working in metropolitan areas typically make more than those in rural areas due to a higher cost of living.

“Pay varies greatly depending on where you live,” says Donna Noble, a certified yoga instructor and author.

Specializations and Yoga Instructor Salaries

Another factor that affects a yoga instructor’s salary is their specialization. An instructor with additional certifications or specializations may be able to command a higher rate.

For example, an instructor who specializes in prenatal yoga may be able to charge more for private sessions with pregnant women than a general yoga instructor.

Similarly, an instructor who has specialized in teaching children’s yoga may earn more money by offering classes at schools or community centers.

Nationally recognized certifications such as the Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) credential through Yoga Alliance may also increase an instructor’s marketability and earning potential. However, it’s important to note that having additional certifications does not necessarily guarantee a higher salary.

“Having a certification does not automatically mean you will make more money, but in some cases, it could set you apart when trying to get hired,” advises Lisa Black, RYT-500, and founder of Shakti Yoga & Living Arts in Maplewood, NJ.

Experience, location, and specializations all play a role in determining how much yoga instructors make. While it’s possible for instructors to earn a good income teaching yoga, it takes dedication, hard work, and often additional certifications or training to increase their earning potential.

Geographic Location and Yoga Instructor Salaries: What’s the Connection?

If you’re passionate about yoga and thinking about becoming a certified instructor, it’s important to know what kind of salary you can expect given your geographic location. It’s no secret that certain cities and regions pay more for yoga instructors than others, so let’s take a closer look at how much yoga instructors make in major metropolitan areas as well as rural locations.

Yoga Instructor Salaries in Major Cities

If you want to maximize your earning potential as a yoga instructor, big cities are where you’ll find some of the highest salaries. According to, New York City ranks as the top city for yoga instructor salaries with an average hourly wage of $40.04. San Francisco comes in second with an average hourly wage of $34.65, followed by Los Angeles at $30.08 per hour.

Keep in mind that cost of living varies significantly across these major metropolitan areas, which means your actual purchasing power may be different from one city to another. For example, while NYC may offer the highest hourly rate for yoga instructors, living expenses like rent and groceries can quickly eat into your earnings.

To get a true sense of how much you can expect to earn teaching yoga in a specific city, consider researching local job listings or connecting with other yoga teachers in your area to get their firsthand insights on salaries and expectations.

Rural vs. Urban Yoga Instructor Salaries

The disparity between urban and rural yoga instructor salaries is significant, as you might expect. According to data from ZipRecruiter, the national average hourly wage for yoga instructors is $29 per hour. However, in rural areas with lower cost of living and less demand for yoga classes, you may see wages as low as $10 to $15 per hour.

On the other hand, teaching yoga in a large city like NYC or San Francisco can bring in an hourly rate significantly higher than $29 – but again, be prepared to manage higher costs of living that can offset this potential boost in income.

If you’re considering becoming a certified yoga instructor and are still weighing your options when it comes to geographic location, take these factors into consideration before making any final decisions. Remember that many successful yoga teachers build their businesses through private classes and workshops outside of studios, giving them more flexibility to set rates based on their own experience and expertise.

“Becoming a successful yoga teacher takes time and dedication, but researching salaries and opportunities by region and analyzing data from reliable sources can help inform your decision-making process.” -James Brown

Experience Matters: How Much More Do Experienced Yoga Instructors Make?

The Impact of Years of Experience on Yoga Instructor Salaries

As with any profession, experience plays a significant role in determining how much money a yoga instructor can make. According to PayScale, the average salary for a yoga instructor is around $23 per hour, but this number can vary depending on factors such as location and years of experience.

In general, the more experience a yoga instructor has, the higher their hourly rate will be. For example, an instructor with less than one year of experience may only earn around $17 per hour, while those with 5-9 years of experience can make upwards of $30 per hour. In some cases, instructors who have been teaching for over a decade can earn as much as $50 per hour.

This increase in pay isn’t just due to seniority; experienced instructors are often sought after because they bring a wealth of knowledge and skills to each session. They know how to modify poses for different body types and skill levels, how to adapt to students’ individual needs, and how to create engaging and challenging classes that keep clients coming back for more.

The Role of Continuing Education in Yoga Instructor Salaries

Another factor that plays a role in how much a yoga instructor can earn is continuing education. This involves taking courses, attending workshops and conferences, and staying up-to-date with the latest trends and techniques in yoga practice.

Many studios and gyms value teachers who are constantly learning and growing, and are willing to pay them more for their expertise. On the other hand, instructors who do not invest in their own education may find it more difficult to justify asking for higher rates.

Continuing education also allows instructors to specialize in specific areas of yoga, such as pre- and post-natal classes or restorative yoga. By developing expertise in these niche markets, teachers can differentiate themselves from others, increase their demand, and command higher fees.

The Effect of Teaching Style on Yoga Instructor Salaries

A third factor that can significantly impact how much a yoga instructor can make is teaching style. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to yoga instruction, and each teacher brings their unique personality, energy, and philosophy to the mat.

Some instructors specialize in vigorous, high-energy classes that appeal to younger students looking for an intense workout. Others prefer gentler, slower-paced classes that cater to beginners and those with physical limitations.

While there is no right or wrong way to teach yoga, different teaching styles can affect how much money instructors can earn. Teachers who are able to create innovative and engaging classes that set them apart from others often find it easier to fill their class schedules and attract new clients.

“Yoga has become so popular that some studios are only interested in hiring teachers who have a strong social media following and can bring in a lot of clients,” says Rose Dwyer, a seasoned yoga teacher based in New York City.

On the other hand, instructors who struggle to connect with students or who cannot adapt to changing trends in the industry may find it more challenging to build a loyal following and increase their income over time.

Yoga instruction can be a deeply rewarding career path that allows individuals to help others while also making a living doing what they love. However, like any job, it requires hard work, dedication, and expertise to succeed.

Certifications and Yoga Instructor Salaries: Does Being Certified Boost Pay?

Yoga has become increasingly popular in recent years, with more people turning to the practice for both physical and mental health benefits. This growing demand for yoga has led to an increase in the number of yoga instructors, but many still wonder how much they can earn as a certified yoga teacher. One factor that may affect a yoga instructor’s salary is whether they hold any certifications.

The Value of Yoga Alliance Certification on Salaries

If you’re considering becoming a yoga teacher, you’ve likely heard of the Yoga Alliance. This organization offers various types of certification programs for yoga teachers, including Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) and Yoga Alliance Continuing Education Provider (YACEP).

A survey conducted by Yoga Alliance found that holding their RYT credential increases the average income of yoga teachers in the US by 79%, compared to those who are not registered. The study also found that studio owners prefer hiring instructors who have completed at least a 200-hour training program accredited through the Yoga Alliance.

“Being registered with Yoga Alliance is now the standard for most studios when hiring new teachers,” says Danielle Radliffe, co-founder of Onyx Mind Body. “Having a certification shows dedication to the practice, as well as a certain level of knowledge and experience.”

While Yoga Alliance certification is not required to teach yoga, it may provide a competitive advantage when seeking employment opportunities. However, it’s worth noting that simply being certified does not guarantee a higher salary if other aspects of teaching quality aren’t up to par.

The Effect of Other Certifications on Yoga Instructor Salaries

Beyond the Yoga Alliance, there are numerous other organizations that offer certification programs for yoga teachers.

The National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) offers a Yoga Certification program that teaches instructors how to incorporate strength and stability training into their classes. Similarly, Leslie Kaminoff’s Yoga Anatomy Course provides detailed knowledge about the human body in relation to yoga practice.

While these programs may provide valuable knowledge for teaching yoga, it’s unclear whether they directly impact instructor salaries. In general, holding multiple certifications signals a commitment to continued education and development as a teacher.

“Most studios value teachers with continuing education,” says Laura Rust, co-owner of The Springs LA wellness center. “Knowledge is power when sharing this sacred modality with people.”

The most significant factor impacting a yoga instructor’s salary is their level of experience and expertise. While certification may help set you apart from other candidates when seeking employment opportunities, your reputation among students’ word of mouth can also play a big role in determining earnings. Quality instruction and a strong work ethic will likely lead to higher pay over time, regardless of specific certifications held.

The value of particular certifications on yoga instructor salaries varies depending on the employer and the individual’s overall qualifications. However, industry-standard certifications like those offered by Yoga Alliance can be beneficial in increasing job prospects and validating an instructor’s skills and dedication to the practice. But ultimately, becoming a successful yoga teacher requires more than just certifications; it demands hard work, passion, and continuously striving for self-improvement in the field.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the average salary for a yoga instructor?

The national average salary for a yoga instructor is around $60,000 per year. However, this can vary depending on several factors such as location, experience, and the type of yoga being taught.

How does a yoga instructor’s experience level impact their earnings?

A yoga instructor’s experience level can greatly impact their earnings. Generally, the more experience an instructor has, the higher their salary will be. Experienced instructors may also be able to charge higher rates for private sessions or workshops.

Do yoga instructors earn more in certain regions or cities?

Yes, yoga instructors can earn more in certain regions or cities. Urban areas tend to have a higher demand for yoga classes, which can lead to higher salaries. Additionally, areas with a higher cost of living may also offer higher salaries for instructors.

What types of yoga classes or studios offer higher pay for instructors?

Specialized yoga classes, such as hot yoga or prenatal yoga, may offer higher pay for instructors. Additionally, studios that offer more premium or exclusive experiences may be able to pay their instructors more.

Can yoga instructors supplement their income with private sessions or workshops?

Yes, many yoga instructors supplement their income through private sessions or workshops. Instructors can charge higher rates for one-on-one sessions and workshops, which can add to their overall earnings.

What factors, besides experience, impact a yoga instructor’s salary?

Other factors that can impact a yoga instructor’s salary include their level of education and certifications, their teaching style, and the overall demand for yoga in their area. Instructors who have additional certifications or can teach a variety of yoga styles may be able to earn higher salaries.

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