The Truth about Teaching Yoga Online
What did you imagine life would look like once you became a yoga teacher?
Did you imagine quiet, calm-filled days in sweet, sunny studios? A daily sense of the centered and sacred? Physical (and emotional and professional) flexibility?
I think that’s what most of us pictured. And while some of that holds true, the reality might look a bit more like:
taking whatever classes the studio gives you—even if they’re not at ideal times or what you really want to teach
slogging across town during rush hour to teach one 75-minute class
less time with your partner, your kids, your friends because you have to teach at several studios to make ends meet
Here are four reasons that teaching yoga online is amazing (for you and everyone in your life):
1. Yoga has grown by 50% + most people practice it at home.
A recently-released study shows that yoga has grown by 50% since 2012. As of 2016, 36 million Americans identify themselves as yoga practitioners. This study also found that the most popular place for people to practice yoga is in their homes.
When you move your yoga business out of a studio and onto the Internet, you’re investing in a growing industry and you’re meeting your students where they are—online.
2. Your teaching options are nearly unlimited
If you live in a small town, there might only be one studio where you can teach. Maybe the only studio that’s hiring is 45 minutes away. Perhaps the studio where you want to work is hiring for its power flow class, but you love to teach restorative yoga.
When you teach yoga online, you are almost completely free from restrictions. You can teach what you want, when you want, where you want. If you want to lead a soothing, heart-centered class on Sunday mornings from your sunny backyard, you can do that. If you want to lead a fast-paced, energizing, sweaty class on a Friday night, you can do that. You set your hours and expectations.
3. Professional freedom
Yogis aren’t usually concerned with professional or financial growth or success. We practice and teach yoga because it has healed us or moved us.
Be that as it may, we can agree that it’s quite difficult to make a living as a studio-based yoga teacher. We are paid by the class or ‘per head’, and after taxes, many of us find ourselves earning $17 or 18 dollars an hour—or even less. While it’s possible to live on that, it’s hard.
Teaching yoga online allows you to grow and scale your business in a way that’s simply not possible with studio teaching. You can teach to hundreds of students at a time. When your favorite private student moves away, you can continue working together. You can use social media to grow your own following, rather than relying on your studio to market their classes effectively. Really, teaching yoga online allows you to take back control of your professional life.
4. The flexibility is better for you and your students
When you teach online, your schedule is so much more flexible. You can time your classes so you’ll be able to meet your kiddos when they get off the bus or get up at the same time as your partner. If you’re a night owl, you can offer classes that always start after noon (or record them in the afternoon and upload for your early birds to watch the next day).
And this flexibility is better for your students, too. If your student just had a baby, it’s much easier to take a class from home while her daughter naps then to find a babysitter and drive across town. When the weather is bad or when they’re stuck waiting for the cable guy, your students will appreciate classes that fit their schedule.
When we move our yoga practice online, we’re actually taking steps towards a more authentic practice. Rather than worrying about what we packed in our yoga bag, if we’ll beat traffic, if the studio will put us on the schedule, we can direct our energy and love back where it belongs: on our students and our practice.