How to build a successful yoga career!
Firstly, we must consider what a successful yoga career looks like?
A successful yoga career is a career just like any other profession. Some may describe it as a calling, a spiritual practice, something a person is born to do rather than trained. Some may say it is a way of life, a system of practice or living.
There are many ways the successful yoga career is perceived. What makes a Yoga career different than a calling, is that there is an exchange that is carried out between the Teacher and student. This exchange is considered un-yogic by some. However, in our modern society as it stands. Money is an element of exchange that allows for each person to support themselves. This exchange should not be seen as wrong, it is vital that each person be able to live a simple and happy life, which meets their needs, allowing them to spead knowledge and develop their specific skills.
So, a successful yoga career allows the Yoga Teacher to make enough money to sustain their lifestyle. Allowing sufficiently for the teacher to support themselves financially solely from their profession and allowing them enough time and money for continued professional development and giving back to the community.
Why good Yoga Teachers fail to rise in a successful yoga career?
There are a few elements to consider here:
- Is a good Yoga practitioner a good Yoga teacher?
- Is a good Yoga Teacher a good business person?
A good teacher is able to inspire, connect, is easily understandable, can assess the students learning and can deliver information at the correct time in the correct amount. Being an advanced and dedicated yogi does not necessarily provide the skills for transmitting ones knowledge in a clear and understandable way to ones students. If this is the case the yogi must invest in time to develop their communication and teaching skills. Otherwise the students will not understand, progress or absorb any of the knowledge effectively.
If this is you, take a course on communication skills or teaching techniques. Observe how outstanding teachers communicate and transmit information. Find an experienced Yoga Teacher to act as your Mentor.
If a Yogi Posseses the qualities to teach and transmit knowledge, then are they able to market themselves in the correct manner so that they find students? Or students are able to find them. Possibly not! Many people go through life with no business expertise having been explained to them. If that is the case, it will require a lot of self study and dedication to apply themselves to the ‘Yoga Business’ required for a successful yoga career. If the Yogis quality of teaching and the quality of the Yoga Teacher are high but the business knowledge is low, then it may take a very long time before news of this good teacher reaches the wider public.
If you struggle with the business side of yoga, as many yogi’s do, take a business course, apply for a business start up, and find a business mentor. Do your research into the yoga market and the business/marketing skills you need to succeed. Marketing and social media are two of the most important pieces to a successful career. Learn how to use these tools to your benefit. Aswell as this network, with other teachers, students, studios and centers.
There are many other factors yoga teachers may face when trying to build a successful yoga career here are a few:
The money factor, it takes time to build a career in most cases and there are usually living costs to be maintained. This might mean the Yogi has to continue with another job and has little time to dedicate to the pursuit of Teaching.
The yogi is naïve in thinking that yoga teachers travel the world jet setting from place to place with no material worries. This can be the case, but you can bet those people have made many sacrifices to reach that place, spending thousands of hours learning to market themselves, networking and investing many years into understanding the great science of yoga.
The yogi is undervaluing their time. Whilst giving back to the world is part of the yogi code. Helping a charity or contributing to a community by offering yoga for free is a wonderful thing to do and should be encouraged. However, many companies and centres pay very little or nothing to yoga teachers and expect them to work for nothing to build experience, if the company is not giving back to the world at large they are simply using the yoga teacher as a free resource, giving very little in return. Thus making the yoga profession a less and less reliable and successful yoga career for those who have chosen to walk the yoga path.
Authenticity, practice what you preach. In fact, practice yoga. If a yoga teacher looses their practice they can no longer be considered a yogi. If they preach practice and healthy living they must also portray these ideals to their students. By all means be a real human, we all have faults but by practicing yoga, the yogi commits to bettering oneself day by day.
They become stale or stuck in their yoga. A yogi must continually search and seek to understand the science of yoga. It may take more time than a yogi has in a life time to understand everything yoga has to offer, so continued education and study is required. This will also keep students interested in the new knowledge the Teacher provides and help the yogi rise above their competitors by offering continually high quality.
Then finally, how to stay authentic and ethical in the business of yoga?
As we discussed in the beginning. A successful yoga career has more to it than your regular 9-5 job. Yoga is more than a physical exercise, it is a lifestyle and ancient science. The principles behind any yogi or yoga teacher should be strong. A successful yoga career should be based on the principles set out in the eight limbs of yoga/ the yogi code, particularly concerning the first limb.
YAMA – Restraints, moral disciplines concerning the world around.-
Brahmacharya: continence/self control
A successful yoga career should produce money for the Yoga Teacher but it should not come at a cost to the principles. Another point to consider is that a successful yoga career should not be undertaken to get rich. Any surplus income might be used for projects that are in some way beneficial for the world at large.
The moral is welcome in the abundance without shame or guilt. Enjoy the profit of your yoga business. But, live simply, enjoy the simple things in life and give back.
The Golden Rules to a successful yoga career:
- Practice, learn, always be a student.
- Learn to communicate effectively.
- Master social media marketing
- Understand basic business skills.
- Don’t undersell yourself
- Find a mentor.
- Be authentic to yourself and the yogic principles.
- Give back.
Good luck building your successful yoga career, at Mahi Yoga School we have professional teachers who make the ideal mentor for aspiring yoga teachers.
Our 200 hour yoga teacher training programs set the foundation for yoga teaching and our 300 hour yoga teacher training programs deepen that knowledge, mentoring our students in the pursuit of yoga practice and successful yoga careers.