If you’re a yoga teacher (or soon-to-be) and you’re having trouble finding work, then you’re doing something wrong.
From Los Angeles to Prague, yoga has never been more popular; and while it used to be that yoga jobs were limited to just a handful of studio employers, there are now teaching gigs to be had everywhere. I’ve personally worked with hundreds of teachers (500+ actually).
Here are my top five tips for finding a really great yoga teaching job.
- 1. Write a Good Resume & Cover Letter
From working in multiple studios, I can tell you that most teachers send in embarrassing resumes and cover letters. To further complicate things, all yoga teachers’ resumes start to look exactly the same, so your non-yoga work history becomes very important, too. With that in mind, be sure to include your pre-yoga experiences.
Your cover letter is often read with the most care, so take time to make sure it’s well done. No generic “Dear Sir/Ma’am” and no form letters. A good cover letter should be one page maximum and should be all about the good things you’ve done for your past employers with a very clear promise to do the same (and more) for your potential new employer.
- 2. Get an Unfair Advantage
A.K.A. “connections.” As with any job, most yoga hiring decisions are heavily influenced by whom you know. It’s easy to get discouraged by this, but don’t be. In yoga, even the receptionist at the local studio can be a very important contact for you to get your foot in the door. It’s really easy to meet people.
If you’re trying to get a job at a local studio, do make sure to go there as often as possible as a paying customer. Introduce yourself and become a familiar face before you even mention that you’re a teacher looking for work. Similarly, if you have other connections at gyms, spas or sports centers, use those to the fullest. Make friends and hang around the places you want to work. People feel much more comfortable hiring someone that they know, like and trust.
- 3. Put Yourself Last
Too many yoga teachers approach their potential employer with a “me first” attitude. Don’t ask for free or discounted classes, don’t be aloof or critical of their current teachers, and don’t ask about salary or hours at first. When you’re looking for a job, you need to become 100% focused on adding value to your employer’s business. If this means you can offer a new style of yoga they don’t currently offer — that’s great! If it means you have a graphic design background and can redo the studio posters — perfect! Approach yoga employment with a “me last” attitude and you’ll find yourself on top very quickly.
- 4. Gym Yoga Teaching Gigs Are Everywhere
The most-abundant teaching opportunities right now are gym yoga gigs: that is, teaching drop-in, group classes in a gym setting. In the past, this was thought of as “not real yoga,” but today, some gyms have amazing teachers and excellent yoga programs. The schedule is often better (more classes, closer together), classes are well attended (built in clientele) and in many cases, the pay is better. Don’t overlook the gyms. They could be just what you’re looking for.
- 5. Private Yoga Gigs Are in Huge Demand
It used to be that people hired personal trainers, but rarely private yoga teachers. With yoga’s mainstream popularity, this has changed dramatically. You need to be willing and able to travel to clients’ homes, but there are loads of opportunities available. The fastest way to get started is to put posters in local health food stores, post your offerings on Craiglist, and to make friends with the concierge at the local hotels (business travelers are great clients).
Open your mind, think professionally, and you’ll find teaching jobs everywhere you go!
Lucas Rockwood is a yoga teacher trainer, yoga business coach, and serial entrepreneur. He’s the founder of YOGABODY Naturals, a yoga nutrition and education company. He is also the co-founder of the Absolute Yoga Teacher Training programs in Koh Samui, Thailand, where he produces Yoga Alliance certification courses throughout the year all the way to the 500hr level.