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Training Tips

How Much Do Yoga Instructors Make?

ISSA, International Sports Sciences Association, Certified Personal Trainer, ISSAonline, How Much Do Yoga Instructors Make?, Yoga, Yoga Instructor

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The Pilates and yoga industry is growing by approximately 5.1 percent per year. In 2020, this equates to roughly $12.8 billion in revenue in the U.S. alone. How much of this can be yours when teaching yoga? 

In this article, we will look at the average yoga teacher salary today. Next, we’ll talk about the factors that can impact your earnings as a yoga instructor. Finally, we will discuss how to find a position that will pay you for your yoga teaching expertise.

Average Yoga Instructor Pay in 2020

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) classifies yoga instructors under Fitness Trainers and Instructors. Based on this data, the average yoga instructor salary is somewhere around $40,390 per year. This equates to roughly $19.42 per hour.

Other online sites suggest that this number may actually be a little higher. For instance, if you search “Yoga Instructor” on PayScale, it states that the average hourly pay is $24.99 per hour. This takes the average yoga instructor salary closer to $51,979 per year.

It is important to keep in mind that these numbers are averages. Some yoga teachers make more, some make less. What factors affect your yoga instructor salary potential?

Factors That Impact How Much You Can Make as a Yoga Teacher

The amount of money you can earn as a yoga instructor varies based on many different factors. Here are a few to consider.

Whether You Are a Certified Yoga Teacher

Having your yoga teacher certification shows that you have a basic level of education. It also says that you have the skills needed to create a safe and effective training program. This allows you to charge more than someone who is not a certified yoga instructor. What do you learn in a certification course?

In the ISSA’s Yoga Instructor Certification course, you learn what yoga is and its many styles. For example, you’ll learn the difference between Bikram Yoga and Iyengar yoga. Then you transition into yoga theory and philosophy. This provides a greater understanding of yoga’s impact on the mind and spirit. From there, you learn the various yoga poses and how to sequence them. Instruction is also provided for modifying poses and sequences. This varies based on your students’ physical conditions and limitations. 

This yoga certification class also teaches the importance of breathing through the poses. It shares how to instruct students through this process. The course ends with guidance for building a successful yoga business. Attending this yoga teacher training course prepares you for all aspects of yoga instruction. This includes:

  • How to be a more effective instructor
  • How to change poses for a student with limitations or injury
  • How to create a safe yoga sequence (and why this matters)
  • The value of purchasing liability insurance
  • How to market your training course

All of this helps you become a more sought-after yogi. Having your certification helps yoga practitioners see the value you offer. This makes it easier for them to pay higher rates.

ISSA, International Sports Sciences Association, Certified Personal Trainer, ISSAonline, How Much Do Yoga Instructors Make?, Yoga Class

Where You Offer Your Yoga Services 

Your pay as a yoga instructor also varies based on where you live. The BLS shares that those providing yoga lessons in these states tend to earn the most:

  • New York - $58,680 yearly, or $28.21 per hour
  • Connecticut - $56,240 yearly, or $27.04 per hour
  • District of Columbia - $56,130 yearly, or $26.00 per hour

Salary potential can also vary depending on whether you live in an urban or rural area. For example, if you are an instructor in a nonmetropolitan area in California, the average annual pay is $49,800 per year. Pay in some metropolitan areas in that state is closer to $62,880 annually.

Your Level of Experience

If you are a seasoned yoga teacher, you can often command higher rates than someone new to teaching yoga. Experience may also be a requirement for higher-paying yoga positions.

Don’t let this discourage you if you are new to the yoga profession. Instead, use it as motivation to provide your teaching services every chance you get. This will help you create a long and profitable yoga career.

Whether You Provide Private Lessons or Teach a Yoga Class

When teaching yoga, you have two options. You can provide instruction via a private session or you can lead a class. Your pay can vary based on which one you select.

Depending on the size of your class, you can earn a good wage while still giving students an affordable rate. The cost is split between them, so the amount is lower than a one-on-one session. And the more people that sign up, the higher your earnings.

Providing private yoga training can be profitable as well. This is especially true when teaching high-profile clients. Working with celebrities and successful business professionals often mean higher rates.

Whether You Teach Students or Provide Teacher Training

As an instructor, are your clients people who practice yoga or do you offer a teacher training course? If you lead a teacher training program, this allows you to charge more than when training everyday students. 

Instructing future teachers generally requires a high level of education and experience in the yoga practice. This may be something to work towards if you plan to develop a long yoga career.

Whether You Work for Yourself or Someone Else

Yoga studio owners have the ability to set their own rates. This provides the opportunity to dictate how much you earn as a yoga instructor. If you work for a gym or other studio owner, it is up to them how much you are able to make.

Of course, owning your own studio also means having more expenses. You become responsible for rent, utilities, and the buying of yoga props.

Another option is to offer your training courses online. Teaching yoga on the internet allows you to keep costs low. It also exposes you to a larger client base. 

Whether You Offer Other Training Services 

Do you also hold your certification as a personal trainer or group fitness instructor? If you do, you may be able to charge more based on creating a more comprehensive fitness program. The more value you can offer your clients, the more they’re willing to pay for your expertise.

How Much Do Yoga Instructors Make When Offering Retreats?

So far, we’ve talked about how much you can earn as a yoga instructor when charging by the session. Another option is to offer your students the ability to attend a yoga retreat. You can charge a lot more for this type of immersive experience.

When deciding the price of your retreat, it’s important to consider your expenses. This includes venue costs, food, overnight accommodations, transportation, marketing, and insurances required. 

Pricing is also dependent on how many practitioners you expect to sign up. You will need a certain number of attendees to make this option worth it.

Where to Find Yoga Instructor Jobs

If you’re ready to offer services as a yoga therapist, you can find open positions by doing a search online. Many job sites exist, such as Indeed, Monster, and CareerBuilder. LinkedIn offers this ability as well. 

You can also visit your local yoga studios, area gyms, and fitness centers to see if they are in need of a yoga instructor. Go in and meet the people responsible for hiring. This helps you stand out among those who are only applying online.

If you have experience as a yoga teacher, you may choose to create your own business. This could include buying or leasing your own studio. If you’re not ready for that, you can also go to client’s homes or offer your training online.


There are many opportunities to make good money as an instructor. Still need your yoga certification? The ISSA offers a Yoga Instructor certification course. This certification is offered completely online and teaches you how to provide safe and effective yoga instruction.

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