How to Find Yoga Teaching Opportunities
with Heather Agnew, ERYT-500, Lead Trainer
Watch a 40-minute clip of a yoga business discussion on practical strategies for beginning your yoga teaching practice. Follow the video, or read a few notes below.
How to Find Yoga Teaching Opportunities
Tips for new yoga teachers
Over the next few weeks in our group coaching discussions, we are going to be discussing a few areas related to building a yoga teaching practice and starting a yoga business.
To begin this exploration you might take some time to consider these elements of your own readiness, aims, and goals:
- Evaluating your current preparedness in terms of confidence, skills, experience, and availability for taking on new classes.
- Anticipating the skills and readiness you will have in six months’ time.
- Defining your long-term teaching goals.
From this place of awareness of your readiness and goals, a few areas to contemplate as you sketch out your short-term plans for teaching prospects.
- Exploring various teaching opportunities such as substitute or cover teaching, regular classes, corporate settings, private lessons, creating your own classes, teaching face-to-face or online.
- Considering how many hours you can commit to teaching and/or running a business.
- Identifying the essential requirements for securing a teaching position, including CPR/First Aid certification, insurance, and membership.
You will find a wide variety of teaching opportunities out there, some you might not have even imagined, but to begin, let’s consider a few common arrangements:
- Substitute teaching: covering classes for other teachers on an as-needed basis.
- Part-time teaching: taking on 1-5 classes regular per week while maintaining a full-time job or caregiving responsibilities.
- Full-time teaching: teaching 5+ classes per week, making yoga your primary career and source of income.
This is where many teachers start in their teaching practice. You might have opportunities at studios you study at currently, or you can find opportunities through your local yoga and fitness communities.
Pros: very flexible, allows you to focus on developing your teaching skills
Cons: inconsistent, can be challenging to develop rapport with students
How to find covers?
One way to find subs or covers is through yoga teacher Facebook groups:
- Join Yoga Instructor Facebook groups (Yoga Instructors of *your suburb or city here*) e.g., Canberra Yoga Teachers, Adelaide Yoga Teachers
- Join Cover Me Yoga *Your City* groups e.g., Cover Me Yoga Canberra, Cover Me Yoga Adelaide
As well, you can approach studios, gyms etc. and let them know you are available for covers/fills. They are always looking for reliable covers. Ideally have a yoga CV to give to them so they can know more about you and have your details at hand when they need a teacher. Once you are doing covers, when a regular class comes up, you’ll be first in line!
Pros: less financial risk, can focus more on teaching, less on business
Cons: you’ll be busy, work/life/practice/teaching balance can be a challenge
A few things to consider:
Take some time to consider how much time you have for teaching to maintain your work/life balance. If you have a full-time job or full-time caring role, carefully consider how you can navigate your roles.
Teaching is not just the hour or so that you physically teach a class, you also have to factor in travel time, setting up the space, checking in students, tidying up after class, and locking up a studio (if required).
You also have to factor in the time it takes you to create your sequence, manage your business admin like receivables and payables, student management and communication, marketing and social media etc.
If you want to test the waters, subbing and/or co-teaching (sharing a class with another teacher) are a great way to dip a toe into your teaching schedule until you get comfortable.
Or, if you are able, you can practice the ‘say yes to everything’ strategy and try out a bunch of different classes, venues, groups, and see what fits. With this strategy, you will likely need to drop classes at some point – winnowing out those classes that don’t suit.
Pros: freedom of choice, lots of experience, very rewarding
Cons: more financial risk, you’ll have to work hard to get/stay busy
To have a full-time career, you have to be flexible, adaptable, and have a lot of variety in your schedule. Teaching in yoga studios, gyms, corporate classes, privates or semi-privates, institutional environments (schools, hospitals, universities, day-care, long-term care, disability services.)
In my own experience, I had group classes, private sessions, Thai Yoga Massage, family classes, and corporate classes.
In the studio or gym, often your classes are mornings and evenings. To fill out the rest of your day, that’s where you plug in private sessions, lunch-time corporates,
You might also have other income streams from writing, public speaking, social media, etc., to support your income.
It’s hard work, but very rewarding. It’s a life of instability to a certain extent, but also freedom. You choose who you work with, where and when, and you can carve out a great career for yourself. However, it’s risky, and if you are risk averse or your lifestyle doesn’t suit living with risk, that’s something important to think about.
Yoga Biz To Dos: Yoga Insurance and Membership
Before you make yourself available for teaching, you’ll need to have professional insurance, and you might consider professional membership.
1) Complete your first aid and CPR. This can be done during or after your yoga teacher training. You can find courses through Red Cross, St. John’s Ambulance, Surf Lifesavers clubs, or a quick google should net you some great options.
2) Get insurance. Regardless of where/how you are planning to teach, you need professional insurance. This can be done as a student teacher, or upon graduation. If you do plan to join a professional registry/membership, see if they have an insurance company that offers discounts to members.
- Arthur J Gallagher: 1 800 222 012 https://www.ajg.com/au/
- AON: 02 9253 7000 https://www.aon.com.au/australia/default.jsp
- GSA firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.gsaib.com.au
3) Professional membership. This is optional in most states/provinces but can be useful in securing teaching positions.
Professional Membership Options in Australia:
- Yoga Australia https://yogaaustralia.org.au/become-a-member/
- Yoga Alliance https://www.yogaalliance.org/Designations/How_to_Join
- AUSactive https://fitness.org.au/articles/registration-requirements-for-registered-yoga-professionals/2308
Both Yoga Australia and AUSactive offer free student memberships which give you lots of benefits of membership at no cost.
Note : in the ACT in order to teach in a fitness environment you do need to be registered with one of these bodies.
Where to go from here?
- Take some time to reflect on the ideas above, perhaps brainstorm some ideas on paper, sketch out your plans for the next few weeks, the next few months, and some longer-term plans.
- Plot tasks like first aid and insurance.
- Work on your Yoga CV and bio.
- Do some research on your local community and make a list of studios, gyms, companies, schools etc., that you might approach to begin your teaching practice.
- Join yoga teacher Facebook groups and start connecting with your professional community.
Learn more about Yoga Business Basics and Yoga Teacher Training with Yoga Trinity here