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Loving Your Yoga Career

Many yoga instructors strive to make a living sharing their love of yoga with the world. With hard work, persistence and marketing, they are often successful in building a career or a business. If teaching yoga as a career is your dream, investigate the steps for getting started and flourishing in your chosen path.

The median salary for yoga instructors is $39,820, with the lowest 10% of instructors earning less than $20,160 and only the top 10% of instructors earning more than $76,090. The growth rate for the fitness instructor field is 13%, which is much faster than average.

Yoga is a popular form of fitness for people of all ages. The benefits include increased flexibility and energy, stress reduction and the rejuvenating effect it has on the circulatory, digestive and respiratory systems. Many yoga enthusiasts find yoga helps to eliminate insomnia, back problems and anxiety and may help to jumpstart weight loss.

Training for specialized fitness instructors can vary greatly. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the length of programs for yoga instructors can range from a few days to more than two years. To receive certification from an organization like the Yoga Alliance, you must have between 200 and 500 hours of training with a specified number of hours in techniques, teaching methods, anatomy, physiology, philosophy and other areas. To find the right yoga instructor training program, find answers to the following questions:

  • What type of teacher do I want to be?
  • What type(s) of yoga do I want to teach?
  • Should I take courses locally or travel to different locations?
  • Do I have a connection with my teacher?
  • Can I take a few classes before signing up for an instructor program?
  • Can I get references from previous students?
  • Does the curriculum cover what I want to learn?
  • Can I afford the training? Are there scholarships, financial aid or payment plans?

To learn more about yoga instructing as a career path, review the Research Occupations tool on MySECO and investigate your options. Take self-assessments, like the Traitify personality assessment, to make sure your skills and interests align with your career choice. Talk to others in the field and get their feedback.

Start your job search for yoga instructor positions on the Military Spouse Employment Partnership Job Search. Hundreds of partner employers have made the commitment to recruit, hire, promote and retain military spouses in portable careers.

Opportunities for yoga instruction may be available through Morale, Welfare and Recreation at fitness centers on your military installation or at local studios and gyms. Visit MilitaryINSTALLATIONS and select ‘Morale, Welfare and Recreation’ from the list of programs and services, enter your installation or postal code and select ‘Search’ to find a point of contact near you. Other sources of potential positions include the following:

  • Schools, hospitals and nursing homes
  • Businesses and corporations
  • Athletic clothing stores and health food stores
  • Local parks and beaches
  • Dance schools
  • Cross fit gyms
  • Country clubs
  • Private students

To be successful and make a living as a yoga instructor, particularly if you want to build your own business, you need to focus on the following:

  • Determine what differentiates you from other instructors and build your brand
  • Identify your target audience
  • Create great marketing materials — website, business cards, brochures
  • Use social media regularly
  • Establish partnerships with other like-minded businesses
  • Encourage referrals to drive growth

Professional organizations and networking

You may wish to consider joining a professional organization in your career field to gain a better understanding of current industry trends in yoga instructing. Professional organizations are great ways to continue your education through workshops, training and conferences, which will add to your transferable skill set as you move. Read The Value of Professional Associations for more information on how becoming a member can help enhance your career.

Consider volunteering, teaching free classes or doing an internship and proactively networking to build your yoga instructing experience. Tell family, friends, coworkers and all others that you are hoping to have a career as a yoga instructor and ask for contacts they might have who can help you build and expand your network. 

Next steps

For additional information on starting your own business, visit the Entrepreneurship and Self-Employment section of the Employment Readiness lifecycle stage of MySECO.

Call Military OneSource at 800-342-9647 to speak with a SECO career coach or use the Live Chat feature on MySECO to discuss career or education choices, searching for a job or overcoming challenges. Career coaches are available to review your resume, practice interviewing with a video mock interview, discuss networking or assist you in understanding employer requirements for this field.

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