Six Tips on How To Get a Gig Teaching Yoga.

Via Lauren Hanna
on May 24, 2012
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Photo: Brad Young & Lauren Hanna Foster

So you just finished your 200-hour teacher training program and you want to know what comes next.

Well, it’s up to you!

My first gig was teaching at my sister’s sorority in her apartment suite. I had four girls on average each week for four weeks. I made a tip jar and they gave me $5 bills.

My next “paying” gig was at a gym. I taught there every Sunday at 10:30 a.m. for four years. The class started with about three people on average each week. Over the years, it grew to around 20 students in each class (I think we would have kept growing if the room had fit more bodies in it!).

Soon, I began teaching at the studio where I received my certification. From there I went on to teach at three different yoga studios in addition to the gym. Less than two years after my certification, I was teaching anywhere from three to six classes a week, while going to school full-time.

It can seem daunting to begin teaching yoga immediately after you get your certification.

But you are ready. Now.

Not tomorrow—right now! Here’s what you need to do and some things to keep in mind:

1. Get experience.

Teach in your living room, at work, at a park, at a library. Get creative. Invite friends and family. Use social media to get a group to come practice with you. One of the best places to teach yoga is at a gym. It is also one of the hardest places to teach yoga, so it will teach you a lot. A bonus is that you’ll usually get a free gym membership. Be persistent with gyms—go directly to the person that directs the yoga program to ask if they are hiring. If at first you don’t succeed, keep trying! Any place is a good place to teach yoga when you are first beginning.

2. Practice…a lot.

Stay connected to the practice and your reason for teaching. Develop a personal practice so that you can get creative with your teaching. If you want to teach at a specific studio, then practice there often. Studio owners want to hire teachers that are a part of the community and that obviously jive with the studio’s mission. Ask about work/study opportunities so that you can be on a staff level at the studio and really make a presence for yourself. Make sure the studio is in line with your mission statement and goals for teaching.

3. Develop your purpose. 

Be clear about why you teach and what you can share as a teacher. Write a mission statement. Hone in on your skill set and share it with the world. Consider teaching a population that relates to your skill set. Love the corporate world? Cool, provide classes to corporate companies. Have a background in health? Teach to health professionals! Reach out to colleges and ask about opportunities to teach at sororities and fraternities. Have an interest in health and eating issues? Consider teaching yoga to a population in need like an eating-disorders group. Do you have an understanding of drug and alcohol related disorders? Teach to those populations! The possibilities are truly endless. Identify your skill set and you will find both your purpose and a multitude of opportunities for teaching.

4. Be professional. 

Treat your yoga career the same way you would any other career. Resumes, mission statements, cover letters are all great tools for finding a job. Make a website. I use as my platform. Get your RYT designation. Take your role seriously while still cultivating the artistry of this craft. Appearance, punctuality and consistency are all important as a yoga professional. Do more than is expected of you. Show up with enthusiasm. Don’t gossip. Check your sh*t at the door.

5. Be a connector.

Make a presence for yourself in the community by exploring other studios and yoga styles. Be a connector between studios. Make friends. Practice with other teachers. Introduce like-minded people. Collaborate. Have ideas and take action on them.

6. Keep learning!

Be a yoga nerd. Read, a lot. Hate reading? Listen to podcasts and audiobooks. Take workshops, find a teacher that challenges you and work at your edge. Stay humble, while becoming empowered by your learning.

And most importantly…just go teach!

Already a yoga teacher? Here’s six tricks to becoming an even better one.


Editor: Brianna Bemel


About Lauren Hanna

Lauren Hanna, E-RYT 200, MSS Candidate, is a social worker by day and yoga ninja by night. It was in Pittsburgh that she first discovered the thrill of yoga and her love for social welfare and animal rescue work. With her cats Lotus and Calia in tow, Lauren hopes to someday combine her love for yoga and animal welfare with her career as a social worker. Lauren likes to dream a lot about saving the world – one puppy, kitten and human at a time. Lauren also loves cobblestone streets, arts & crafts, action movies and writing books with her Grandmother. If she had a billion dollars she'd probably spend it all here. Follow her @laurenfoste.


15 Responses to “Six Tips on How To Get a Gig Teaching Yoga.”

  1. Christine says:

    Great advice Lauren. I’m training to be a yoga teacher at the moment and I love hearing positive and beneficial advice like this. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Tammy says:

    Good and timely information ( I graduate from teacher training this Sunday!) Thank you. : )

  3. Rogelio says:

    In addition, let your regular yoga teacher know that you are available to substitute for them when needed..
    that is how i got my start…they know you and so the other students so it can be an easy transition….

  4. That's a great one! You can also ask about assisting opportunities with your regular teacher.

  5. catnipkiss says:

    I graduated last month and am building a niche for myself teaching litlle kids (my background is in early childhood) and the elderly. It's a little daunting to start out, so thanks for the tips! – Alexa Maxwell

  6. shaydewey says:

    Posted to Elephant Work and Money fb page.

  7. Saradha says:

    Thank you!

    Having just completed my 200hrs this is great advice; very timely and appropriate and has inspired me to hold my first class next week 🙂

  8. That's so great!! You are ready NOW. Congratulations!

  9. Jenifer says:

    Very good advice!

    This was my process over 15 years ago now! 🙂 It's basically "hit the pavement."

    My first, best gigs were these: 1. teaching at a martial arts center that my friend attended. those guys are still buddies, and they are great supporters of my business. It was the antithesis of krav maga, but we all had a great time; 2. teaching at my neighborhood's club house (people paid me $5 per class); 23. teaching at my friend's apartment complex's club house; and 4. teaching in gyms.

    The first three only lasted a year or so, but the 4th one i released my last gym class just 2 years ago (when we moved here). It's one of the best plaes to teach, and as you say, the toughest.

    Definitely hit the pavement. And network! meet people!

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  13. cathywaveyoga says:

    The body of the article is good. I would caution you to not say " I would like a gig teaching yoga at your studio, gym, sorority…." You said it yourself, Be professional"!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Gig sounds like you want to appear on stage with an assortment of speakers and wires and blast out guitars. With an assortment of screaming fans slurping beers from tipped dripping cups.

    Use professional language.

    You probably want a job, position, opportunity.. maybe you would like an interview, a chance to substitute, or to be placed on a call back list.

    Impressions are made with your words, dress as well as your handstands. Studios, gyms etc want someone who meets their basic need for professionality. They aren't going to hie one who may bring slang or careless job ethics.

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