Yoga instructors are among the most passionate people, dedicated to guiding others on their journey to physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. But passion doesn’t pay the bills. If you’re considering a career as a yoga instructor, you need to know what your financial prospects are. 

In this article, we explore the income potential for yoga instructors, breaking down the various factors that affect their earnings. 

Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • How much does an average yoga teacher make?
  • Should you choose to get paid per class or in measured time increments?
  • Is it possible to support yourself as a yoga instructor when you’re just starting out?
  • How you can influence what you earn in your yoga practice.

How much does an average yoga teacher make?

Ask Google how ‘much do yoga instructors get paid?’ and you’ll get anything from $45,000 ( to just under $70,000 ( That’s an extremely wide range that can leave you totally confused. So, what’s the reality?

It all depends on where you live and how you get paid. Let’s break it down.

Yoga teachers average salary (per hour)

There are three main ways yoga studios pay their instructors:

  1. A fixed annual yoga teacher salary (often with bonuses for increased class membership).
  2. A set rate per class.
  3. A wage based on student class size.

Based on research conducted by, the average hourly pay for people who teach yoga in 2024 is $27.08. So, if you’re working a 40-hour week, your salary will be $56,362, or $1083.20 per week.

Depending on the pay structure between the studio and the instructor, additional bonus payments may be based on class size or the number of classes taught. Let’s break down the options:

  1. Fixed Annual Salary:

A yoga instructor who is paid a fixed annual salary gets paid the same amount every week, regardless of how many students attend their classes or how many classes they teach. The obvious benefit to instructors is that they have financial predictability, allowing them to budget and plan. 

A yoga teacher’s salary will often include benefits such as health insurance, and paid leave. The package may also have built-in bonuses once a certain class size threshold is exceeded. The employer may also help fund yoga teacher training as part of a yoga teacher’s salary package.

Payment by salary is the least common way of paying yoga instructors. You’re most likely to be offered a salary at a large fitness center.

  1. Set Rate Per Class:

Most yoga studios pay their instructors a set rate per class taught. The amount paid is based on the following variables:

  • Geographic location 
  • Proximity of the studio to city center
  • Type of yoga practice and classes taught
  • Popularity of classes
  • Instructor experience level

Class rates may vary between $20 and $50 per hour. If you work in a studio on the east or west coast, such as in California or New York, you can expect to command closer to the upper end of that range than if you are teaching in a mid-west state like Kansas or Nebraska.

This structure provides flexibility but can result in fluctuating income based on the number of classes an instructor can schedule. On average, full-time yoga teaching involves taking 26 classes per week. At the lower end of the per class range, that would give an annual income of $27,040 ($520 per week). At the top end, you’d be making $67,600 annually ($1300 per week). 

  1. Wage Based on Student Class Size:

In this case, you will paid based on the number of students attending your class. You will typically receive between $5 and $15 per student. So, if you were paid $10 per student and had 15 students in your class, you would receive $150 for that class. Of course, if only two people showed up, you’d only get $20.

This pay structure provides a powerful incentive for instructors to be proactive about increasing their class size. Popular instructors can make a very good income on this model. 

In addition to these primary payment methods, many yoga instructors supplement their income through private sessions, workshops, a yoga retreat, and online classes. These additional income streams can significantly enhance an experienced instructor’s overall earnings. Private sessions, for example, can range from $50 to $150 per hour, depending on the instructor’s expertise and location.

The base pay for teaching yoga classes at a studio

The base pay is the agreed amount of money an instructor will receive before any bonuses or incentives are added to the package. It also excludes such extras as health insurance, overtime pay, and retirement contributions.

Base pay provides you with a stable amount of income to budget from. It forms the foundation upon which incentives or commissions are built. Base provides a measure of security as you know you will be paid this amount regardless of how many people attend your classes.

However, a base pay arrangement may not be ideal for everyone. Employers are sometimes less willing to provide additional incentives if a base pay is guaranteed. Agreeing to a base pay might reduce your income potential by sacrificing the opportunity to earn more through student-based wages or per-class rates. This is especially so if you are able to build a strong following among members. 

If you are a new instructor, a base pay arrangement will probably make sense for you. It will provide you with financial stability as you build your reputation and client base.

If you work in an environment where class sizes fluctuate frequently, base pay will help ease your financial worries. 

Consider negotiating a hybrid payment model that includes a modest base pay with additional compensation based on class attendance or performance bonuses. This can provide both stability and the potential for higher earnings.

Highlighting your experience, certification, and ability to attract and retain students can show potential employers your value and justify your request for base pay.

Be open to different pay structures and find a balance that works for both you and the employer. For instance, you might accept a lower base pay in exchange for higher per-class rates or performance-based bonuses.

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What does it mean to get paid based on “per head” attendance?

Getting paid based on “per head” attendance means that a yoga instructor’s compensation is directly tied to the number of students attending each class. They get an agreed amount of money for each student who participates in the class. Employers use this method to motivate their instructors to market their classes and recruit more members actively. 

The “per head” amount paid to the instructor can range from 30 to 75 percent of the student’s pay for the class. 

Instructors who are solely paid on a “per head” basis will have to get used to income unpredictability. This can make it hard to budget and make financial plans. 

On the other hand, this model has the potential for higher earnings. If you can consistently attract large groups of students, you can earn significantly more compared to fixed-rate models.

This model motivates instructors to deliver high-quality classes to retain and attract students, leading to a better overall experience for attendees. However, this can create pressure to spend additional time and effort marketing and promoting their classes.

If you agree to a ‘per head’ rate, you will need to focus on creating a strong, engaged community of yoga students, who regularly attend your classes. Providing unique or specialized classes (e.g., hot yoga, prenatal yoga) can attract more students willing to pay a premium.

Utilize social media, email newsletters, and local promotions to consistently attract new students and retain existing ones. Ensure that every class offers value, encouraging word-of-mouth referrals and repeat attendance.

Should you choose to get paid per class or in measured time increments?

Before going into income negotiations, it pays to think about the pros and cons of getting paid per class versus in measured time increments (hourly pay). Here’s a breakdown of each option to help you decide:

Per Class Pros:

  1. Clear Expectations: You know exactly how much you will earn for each class you teach, which makes budgeting easier.
  2. Incentive to Maximize Class Quality: Since you’re paid per class, you may be more motivated to deliver high-quality sessions that attract and retain students.
  3. Flexibility: Allows you to teach as many or as few classes as you want, potentially balancing work with personal commitments.
  4. Potential for Higher Earnings: If you can teach multiple classes in a day, your total earnings could be higher than a standard hourly rate.

Per Class Cons:

  1. Income Variability: Your earnings depend on the number of classes you teach, which may fluctuate based on studio scheduling or student demand.
  2. No Pay for Preparation Time: Preparation and administrative tasks are usually not compensated separately.
  3. Limited to Class Duration: Your pay is tied to the class length, so additional time spent before or after class isn’t compensated.

Measured Time Increments Pros:

  1. Income Stability: Provides a steady income, regardless of the number of classes taught. You are paid for the hours worked, including preparation and administrative tasks.
  2. Compensation for Extra Time: You get paid for time spent on activities outside of teaching, such as class preparation, cleaning, and student interactions.
  3. Structured Work Hours: Predictable pay makes financial planning easier and can provide a better work-life balance.

Measured Time Increments Cons:

  1. Limited Earning Potential: The total income might be lower compared to per-class payment, especially if classes are short and you can teach multiple classes in a short period.
  2. Potentially Less Incentive: Knowing that you get paid the same regardless of class attendance might reduce the incentive to attract more students or improve class quality.

Things to Consider:

  1. Class Frequency: If you plan to teach multiple classes per day, per-class pay might be more lucrative.
  2. Preparation Time: Consider how much time you spend preparing for classes and whether that time is compensated.
  3. Job Stability: Hourly pay can provide more financial stability, which might be preferable if your class schedule is inconsistent.
  4. Work-Life Balance: Think about how each payment structure affects your overall workload and personal time.

Is it possible to support yourself as a yoga instructor when you’re just starting out?

Yes, supporting yourself as a yoga instructor is possible when you’re just starting out your yoga career. However, it will require careful planning, dedication, and persistence. Here are some suggestions to help you get established:

Provide a Range of Classes

Offer as much class variety as you can to capture as wide an audience as possible. Consider including classes for beginners, advanced, prenatal, restorative, and chair yoga classes.

Spread your classes throughout the day, from early morning to evening, to accommodate as many schedules as possible. 

Teach at Multiple Studios

The more studios you instruct at, the more exposure you’ll get and the higher your profile will be in the fitness industry and the local fitness community. Network with other instructors and studio owners. However, you’ll have to ensure that the studios you are working at are ok with you working for the competition.

Private Sessions and Workshops

Offer private yoga classes to small groups and one-on-one clients. Private sessions command significantly higher rates than group classes. 

Consider hosting workshops or special events on topics such sd yoga for stress relief, yoga for athletes, or mindful meditation. This is an effective low-cost way to attract new students to your classes. 

Corporate Wellness Programs

Offer yoga classes to local businesses as part of their corporate wellness programs. Yoga is riding a popularity wave right now, so many companies will be open to offering yoga classes to their employees to reduce stress and promote health and wellness.

Online Teaching

Make use of online platforms to offer virtual yoga classes. This will allow you to reach a wider audience beyond your local area. Offer paid online courses, classes, workshops, or subscription-based programs to generate additional income.

Community Engagement

Immerse yourself in your local community by providing free or donation-based classes in parks, community centers, or libraries. You’ll build your reputation among experienced teachers while also attracting new students.

Continued Education and Specialization

Advance your yoga education by attending workshops and taking specialized certification courses. By specializing in a specific yoga niche, such as yoga therapy, prenatal yoga, or yoga for athletes, you can set yourself apart in the yoga landscape as the expert in that niche. 

Financial Planning and Budgeting

Create a budget and track your income and expenses carefully to ensure financial stability. Consider taking on part-time work or freelance gigs to supplement your income while you establish yourself as a yoga instructor.

Yoga Teacher Pay: How You Can Influence What You Earn

You may not be able to control the geographic location of your yoga studio or the average income level of people living within it. But there are things you can do to influence your income as a yoga teacher positively. Here are four key strategies to consider:

  1. Experience and Credentials: The more teaching experience you have and the higher your certification level is, the more you’ll be able to charge for your classes. Advanced certifications such as therapeutic yoga and advanced yoga styles are the most valuable in this regard.
  2. Specializations: Provide specialized classes not offered by the competition. These may include yoga for bodybuilders, chair yoga, and yoga therapy. That way, rather than being one of a dozen yoga instructors in the community, you become the only yoga instructor for bodybuilders ( or whatever niche you have identified). 
  3. Marketing and Branding: From the very start, begin building your personal brand. The more effectively you market yourself, the higher rates you can command for your classes. Your branding and marketing strategy should include having a professional website, active social media presence, and positive reviews and testimonials from your students. 
  4. Networking and Community Building: Build relationships with other yoga teachers, studio owners, yoga schools, and complementary local businesses. These connections may lead to opportunities for cross-marketing, collaboration, and co-sponsored events.

Know your worth as a yoga instructor

It seems to be a human tendency to underestimate our worth as an employee. Yet, understanding your value and worth as a yoga instructor is vital if you are going to be fairly compensated for your expertise and services. 

Here are some things to remind yourself of in order to appreciate your worth as a yoga instructor:

  • Training and Expertise: Consider the time, effort, and resources that have gone into your yoga training and education. Recognize the value of the expertise you have received from that training and the impact it has on your teaching ability.
  • Your Uniqueness: What sets you apart as a yoga instructor? It could be your teaching style, your specialization in a certain type of yoga, or your ability to create a warm, inviting, and inclusive training environment. 
  • Impact on Students: Consider the positive impact that your yoga classes have on your students’ lives. This may include reducing stress and anxiety, improving their mind-body connection, and improving their physical health. Appreciate the value you add to their life experiences. 
  • Market Demand: Do some research to find out how much other yoga teachers with similar experience are getting paid. Check out the current yoga demand and the market trends affecting what you can charge.
  • Boundaries and Self-Worth: Set clear boundaries around your time, energy, and availability. Prioritize self-care, ensuring you get sufficient sleep and mental refreshment time. 
  • Advocacy and Negotiation: Act boldly as your own advocate when negotiating rates, whether with a studio, gym, or private client. Clearly communicate the value you bring to the table. Be prepared to negotiate for fair compensation that aligns with your skills, experience, and contributions.


The average yoga instructor’s salary in 2024 is $56,362. Bonuses and incentives may add an extra several thousand dollars to that figure. The average hourly rate paid to yoga teachers is $27.08, though this fluctuates greatly depending on where you are located.

Yoga is experiencing a moment in the sun as people worldwide embrace it as a means to integrate physical and mental well-being. This popularity can help drive up yoga teacher salaries. However, instructors still need to advocate for themselves to get the best compensation for their skills and experience.


How Much Do Yoga Instructors Typically Get Paid?

Yoga instructor pay rates vary widely depending on location, experience, class type, and training environment (gym, studio, corporate or wellness center). Here’s an overview of typical yoga instructor salaries and earnings:

How much do yoga instructors make per hour? Yoga instructors generally earn between $20 and $50 per hour. In areas with a higher cost of living, such as California or New York, rates can be closer to the upper end of this range. In contrast, instructors in the Midwest or rural areas might earn toward the lower end. The average rate in 2024 is $27.00.

How much do yoga instructors make per class? Group class rates typically range from $30 to $80 per class, depending on the studio and location. Instructors often teach multiple classes per week, so their total earnings can vary based on their class load.

How much do yoga instructors make for private sessions?: Private yoga sessions range from $50 to $150 per hour. 

Workshops and Special Classes: Teaching workshops, retreats, or special classes can provide higher earnings. Workshops might pay between $100 to $300 per session, while retreats can bring in several thousand dollars over a few days, depending on the attendance and pricing.

Corporate Yoga: Offering yoga classes to corporate clients can also be profitable, with rates ranging from $75 to $200 per session.

Is it taboo to talk about making money teaching yoga?

Some people may consider discussing making money as a yoga teacher taboo. However, it is an important conversation that needs to be had. Yoga has deep spiritual and philosophical traditions emphasizing selflessness, service, and detachment from materialism. This may create a perception that talking about money demeans the practice.

Yoga teachers need to make a living, just like everyone else. With yoga’s worldwide popularity explosion, there is growing recognition that yoga instructors deserve fair compensation for their time, expertise, and effort.

An open discussion of income empowers yoga teachers to advocate for fair pay, establish industry standards, and ensure that their work is valued appropriately. It also helps to remove any stigma associated with earning a living through teaching yoga.

It’s possible to honor yoga’s spiritual and philosophical aspects while also recognizing its practical need to earn money. Striking a balance between these values allows many yoga teachers to sustain their practice and continue to share yoga with others.

What’s the flat fee I can expect for a yoga class?

If you are teaching a standard group class, you can expect to be paid between $30 and $80. This wide range is because instructors on the West and East Coast are able to command much higher rates than in other parts of the United States. 

If you teach a specialized class like hot yoga, prenatal yoga, or advanced asana workshops, you can command higher rates, ranging from $40 to $100 or more.

What are additional ways to make money as a yoga instructor?

Diversifying your earnings is the key to making additional money as a yoga instructor. Here are some ways to make money beyond teaching regular classes:

  1. Private Sessions: Offering one-on-one or small group private sessions allows you to provide personalized attention and cater to specific needs, often at a higher rate than group classes.
  2. Workshops and Retreats: Hosting specialized workshops or retreats on topics like advanced poses, meditation, or yoga philosophy can attract dedicated students willing to pay a premium for in-depth learning experiences.
  3. Corporate Yoga: Partnering with businesses to offer yoga sessions in the workplace can be lucrative as companies invest in employee wellness programs. These sessions can be scheduled regularly or as part of wellness events.
  4. Online Classes and Content: Creating online yoga classes, tutorials, or even a subscription-based platform can reach a global audience. Offering on-demand videos, live streams, or downloadable content provides flexibility for students and recurring revenue for you.
  5. Writing and Blogging: Sharing your knowledge through writing articles, books, or maintaining a blog can generate income through ad revenue, sponsorships, or sales. Writing also positions you as an expert in the field, attracting more students.
  6. Merchandise Sales: Selling yoga-related products like mats, clothing, props, or even branded merchandise can supplement your income. Partnering with brands for affiliate marketing can also be profitable.
  7. Collaborations and Events: Partnering with other wellness professionals for events or creating unique experiences, such as yoga and music festivals or wellness retreats, can open new revenue streams.

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