Proven tips to help you land your first yoga teaching job (abroad)!
I often read and hear how hard it is to get a yoga teaching job as a new yoga teacher. The number of yoga teachers is constantly increasing, that’s for sure. Still, no reason to get discouraged! In fact, it doesn’t even matter how much “competition” is out there. So, how do you find a yoga teaching job (abroad)?
All you need is to focus on yourself, on your own abilities and your own desires. That’s all you need, everything else is a distraction and possibly even hinders you from fulfilling your purpose. Because doubts or a negative attitude will not get you anywhere!
In my experience, it is always possible to get a job – whether in the yoga industry or any other. And I can prove that. By actually getting a yoga teaching “job” within the first month after my yoga teacher training. Since I did my yoga training in Bali and didn’t want to go straight back to Germany, I obviously looked for yoga teaching jobs abroad.
Below, I will also discuss effective ways to get yoga teaching jobs in Germany as well, and that would work for most other countries as well. However, I have to admit that my first yoga teaching jobs were not paid! But, they gave me a lot of value, insight and experience and brought me to where I am today.
How much money can you make on your first Yoga Teaching Job?
Okay, here’s the catch: in 99% of cases, your first yoga teaching job won’t be paid. At least abroad. Because many yoga studios, especially those with a good reputation and a healthy amount of professionalism, don’t take in absolute newbie teachers. And if we are honest, this is totally understandable.
It can’t be assumed that the quality of a yoga class taught by someone who just graduated from a 200-hour yoga teacher training yesterday is at the highest teaching level. One of the essential characteristics that make a yoga teacher a “good” yoga teacher is experience.
The more yoga classes you teach, the better you get! This is not only logical, but has been confirmed to me by friends and experienced yoga teachers. This means you need “teaching hours.” As many as possible.
So, the first thing is to gain experience. To try yourself out, to master your nervousness and to find your own teaching style! Just dive in.
However, I also want to add that while I personally find it okay to volunteer at the beginning of your Yoga Teaching career, there are way too many hotels, yoga studios and yoga retreats out there taking advantage of this. Some are running their businesses solely on the back of volunteers!
Unless this is an Ashram (that usually does not charge for their services and generally runs everything by donations), I do not think it’s okay to make lots of profit by running your business with only volunteers and not pay any of your staff!
Yoga Jobs for New Teachers – Tip #1: Volunteering
In my opinion and experience, volunteering is the best way to gain teaching experience. This way you can “collect” teaching hours and potentially travel the world while doing so! If you want a paid job as a yoga teacher in the foreseeable future, it helps a lot if you have already taught at least 50 yoga classes. Workaway is the best platform for this.
How does Workaway work?
If you don’t know Workaway: It’s a platform where travelers can register and search for volunteer work. On this platform, you can find anything from yoga teaching jobs, helping at the front desk of hostels (also very popular with many travelers), babysitting, working on the farm and and and. Yes, the platform is not for free, but it is really worth it and only costs about 30 USD a year!
And there are so many offers available, for just about every country in the world. The choice is huge and I think there is something for everyone. The principle of Workaway is that the volunteer commits to stay for a certain period of time. Often this is at least two or three weeks.
However, there are also some who require a minimum stay of one month or even three months. If you have enough time and you like the place, this is a very affordable way to stay abroad for a long time without spending a lot of money.
It is common that with Workaway, you “work” about 5 hours a day and have two days “off” per week. Read the exact details of the offer carefully. The conditions vary from provider to provider! There are also offers where you work six days a week or 6 hours. Personally, I think that’s too much.
Work Trade Yoga Jobs – what will you get in exchange and it is worth it?
Another point you should pay attention to are the benefits you’ll be receiving for your volunteer work. Usually, you’ll at least receive free accommodation for your work. But there are big differences:
Some providers only give you a bed in a shared room, others might offer you a small single room (maybe without a private bathroom). But, sometimes you might even get a really decent private room with a private bathroom. But, there are also those that offer “only” a tent or campsite or similar! If you like camping, that’s great. If not, then better keep looking for something more suitable!
Another thing to consider is the food. I have made the experience that there are big differences between the Asian regions and other regions. While it is common in Southeast Asia, e.g. in Thailand, that your meals are also included, it looks completely different in Central America. There, often only the accommodation is free.
Personally, I only accept offers that include meals. And that means the full board, three meals per day! Because sometimes only breakfast is included. Or there’s a 20% or 50% discount on their “in-house” cafe or restaurant, if your chosen Workaway provider has one. Be aware that the cost for food can hit your travel budget pretty hard, especially in more expensive regions like Costa Rica! Personally, I don’t think something like that is necessarily worth it then.
In addition, we must not forget that we as yoga teachers offer an activity that is usually not quite cheap. So, we should expect something in return for our service! On Workaway, there are a lot of (volunteering) yoga teaching jobs!
Tip #2: Organize your own yoga class – for free or on a donation basis
Alternatively, you can simply organize your own yoga classes, e.g. at the beach, by a river or in a park. You can either offer them for free, because you want to gain experience and it might be a bit unfair to charge $10 per person, at least if you don’t make it clear to people that you are a complete beginner.
You can also offer your yoga classes on a donation basis. Then people can give you as much as they want. Maybe this is only 1$ or maybe 5$ or more. This option is feasible anywhere abroad as well as in Europe.
I myself have not done this, neither abroad and nor in Germany, although I have thought about it several times and have met some who have done it. It’s definitely a good way to go and costs basically nothing.
However, don’t expect too many participants. From experience, only a handful of people come to such yoga classes. Still, it’s enough to gain experience, try it out and have fun teaching your first yoga class! And, it helps you to be prepared for your first “real” yoga teaching job.
How do I organize my own yoga class?
If you are a traveling teacher, I recommend just posting (self-written) flyers or notes. A good place for this are hostels, such as the hostel where you are staying. This way, if you like approaching people, you can also directly approach the other guests in the hostel and ask if they feel like doing some yoga.
Or just ask around in some stores and cafes if it’s okay to hang up your flyers there. Most likely, of course, in those stores where your target group hangs out. It’s a bit of a cliché, but many yoga enthusiasts can be found in hip cafes that offer, for example, healthy snacks and smoothies, organic products (organic stores) or vegan food.
You could also create an event at MeetUp. I haven’t tested this feature abroad, and I’m not sure if MeetUp is used in many countries around the world. In Germany, however, it’s fairly common and I’ve seen a donation-based yoga class or two held there in Hamburg. Signing up for MeetUp is free. However, creating a group or event costs about 5€. Actually not much either.
Another option is Facebook. There are Facebook groups for just about every city, town and area of interest in the world. Yoga groups (e.g. Yoga Hamburg) or community pages (e.g. Canggu Community Bali) are particularly suitable for this. Many places abroad have such pages.
Here you can simply post details about your upcoming yoga class (make sure that this kind of “advertising” does not violate the group rules). So, just search Facebook for suitable groups or ask people from the area who know their way around for relevant community info pages. Sometimes community pages for a place also exist outside of Facebook.
Tip #3: Use your connections – you never know what could turn into a Yoga Teaching Job!
Your most valuable connection after your yoga teacher training is your yoga teacher and the yoga school you did your training with! Whether you did your yoga training in Germany at a yoga studio or abroad, like I did mine in Bali, ask your yoga teachers or the studio owner / management directly if there are opportunities for you. Some yoga studios even have special yoga classes that their graduates are allowed to teach!
If you have done your training abroad, then ask if you can stay after your yoga teacher training has finished as a volunteer or something similar. Maybe you even have additional skills that are needed, such as general assistance for the yoga teachers, in their office, as a photographer, or for social media management. There are lots of opportunities.
With a little more teaching experience, you may even be able to assist with their Yoga Teacher Trainings at some point. Don’t be afraid to express your interest in working with them. I did the same, but not until almost a year after my yoga teacher training. Before that, it didn’t even occur to me that I could work there later on. My dream job!
Yoga network in your city
Another option that has brought me success in finding a Yoga Teaching Job is again Facebook. I have already mentioned the FB groups to draw attention to your self-organized yoga classes. I am not a fan of Facebook, but it is worthwhile for such groups, because you have access to a big (yoga) network that you might not have come across otherwise.
There is, for example, a Facebook group for yoga in Hamburg, where mostly offers for yoga classes, studios and trainings are posted, but sometimes people are looking for new yoga teachers or at least substitute teachers for yoga classes as well. Such groups are networks of already existing yoga teachers and studios! And if you join this group and follow it attentively, sooner or later you will come across such posts and opportunities.
For example, I myself have heard in the group about two yoga studios in Hamburg, which wanted to expand their offer and therefore had new free time slots for new yoga classes available. In such cases you have to be quick, just get in touch, make an appointment and off you go!
It often happens that yoga studios ask for a “trial class” from you before they give you a permanent yoga class in their studio, to see if you and your style fit the studio. If you’re not from Hamburg, I’m sure there are groups like this in your city as well. If you’re serious about it, do your research or ask around!
Substitute for other yoga teachers
When I returned to Hamburg after my first backpacking trip and yoga teacher training, I joined a WhatsApp group of a local yoga teacher community.
In that group, yoga teachers and studios were (often spontaneously) looking for substitute teachers for some of their classes. Usually, those messages came in the same day or a day in advance. So, be flexible and jump right in, if an opportunity like this arises! This is great for someone who doesn’t yet have their own regular yoga classes and is flexible with their time.
Tip #4: Other opportunities to for yoga teachers
There are a few more ways to get a yoga teaching job. However, I recommend gaining some teaching experience first. Another way to do this is to offer free yoga classes to your friends and family. Maybe even one-on-one classes.
Your mom or best friend will be thrilled to get a private lesson from you every now and then! Because such yoga classes are also part of your teaching hours.
After you have gained some experience and are sure that you would like to be a Yoga teacher, it is time to finally start earning money with it! Depending on your personal interest, there are the following options:
Register with yoga teaching jobs websites
There are really only two websites for yoga teaching jobs and they tend to be international. These are Yoga Trade and Yogatraveljobs.
I find the first one way more useful and I already got two great (volunteering) gig through it! In order to access the details of posted jobs, you need to have a paid membership though (about $30 annually). So, everyone must decide for themselves whether it is worth it.
(Update 2021: I think the second website I mentioned is not as active as it used to be anymore. So stick with Yoga Trade. Please note, the annual “membership” is a bit more expensive now, around $50. Plus, they currently do not have that many job offers, due to current international movement restriction obviously). That is why I am personally not subscribed to this service at the moment.
It is important to know that there are not only paid yoga teaching jobs on these platforms, but also volunteering gigs or so called work trade opportunities. And the competition is big out here.
When I was volunteering as a yoga teacher in Nicaragua, the guy posting the ad later told me that he had received more than 50 applications for this one gig! And that was for a volunteering gig! And I got it! Can you believe it?
He also said that he main reason he chose me was that my application was really personal. I actually took the time to look through their website before applying and therefore mentioned a few things about them in my application, and apparently other people do not do that at all! So it’s a matter of standing out!
Facebook Groups (again!)
No, I don’t get any money from Facebook for this! However, there are three main groups on FB for yoga teaching jobs abroad, all with similar names. Yoga Jobs, Yoga Jobs all over the world and Yoga Jobs allllll over the world, pretty confusing, I know.
I am in all three groups. But I must say, I have never found a job through any of these. Again, there is a mix of paid and volunteering opportunities (also often called “Karma Yoga“), as well as posts from people looking for jobs.
Check out local gyms or sports clubs near you
If you just check the website of local gyms or sports clubs near you, you can often already see whether they are currently looking for yoga teachers. Or you can just call them (don’t be shy!).
When I was looking for yoga teaching jobs in Hamburg, I came across some sports clubs that were either looking for new teachers for (yoga) classes, or at least for substitute teachers that they could add to their “pool”, in case other teachers are absent or unavailable. Substitutions can be a good start to make contacts and get permanent courses in the long run.
Personally, I haven’t had any luck with gyms. But honestly, that’s not the environment I want to teach yoga in, either. For me personally, yoga is not fitness. And many who do yoga at a gym expect something different than those who go to a yoga studio to practice yoga. By that I mean that yoga in a gym is usually very physical, and usually only physical. Like power yoga. That is not my style.
Sports clubs also usually have a different clientele. There are often older people there. Or people who haven’t had much to do with yoga. So be aware of who you are designing your yoga classes for and what exactly you would like to teach.
Do you prefer advanced power classes? Or rather calmer hatha yoga classes? Do you want to teach beginners? Or rather older people? Are your yoga classes for everyone? Or do they target a certain, specific disease or some general modern phenomenon like back pain or stress?
Do you prefer to teach large groups, the more the better, or smaller ones with only a handful students? Or do you rather prefer individual and one-on-one sessions, so that you can fully concentrate on your student? Get clear about this and then find your appropriate platforms that suit you and your style, and your students (your ideal client).
Corporate Yoga – Business Yoga
It seems to be booming, corporate yoga classes. More and more companies are sponsoring yoga classes for their employees and offering corporate yoga as an additional benefit. Not surprising, since we all know that yoga also provides more balance and helps with stress reduction.
The pay for such yoga jobs is better than most yoga studios. Not always, but most of the time. The rate is usually around 60€ and up (in Germany) for teaching a corporate yoga classes, which usually lasts maximum an hour or less (because, of course, employees do not have such a long break or cannot miss 90 minutes from work). From what I hear, in the US is more like $100 for teaching corporate yoga classes.
Actually, this seems to be a more lucrative yoga teaching job than a (90 minute) yoga class in a yoga studio, fitness center or even a sports club. To my knowledge, sports clubs pay the least (I’ve heard 25-30€/class, again this is in Germany).
However, I don’t know yet how exactly to get these corporate yoga teaching jobs. I only know that it works well via referrals or contacts.
Tip #5: Teach yoga online
Since 2020, teaching yoga online is booming. There are countless platforms, large as well as small ones, and every week there seems to be a new platform or app on the market to offer online yoga classes. I myself have not tried this yet. I’m not really sure why.
Somehow I haven’t seen any platform of online classes provider that has a decent and modern, high tech website, they all seem to be made rather quickly and with not much professional knowledge.
However, I do plan to offer yoga classes online in the near future. Info will follow soon here on my website!
Obviously you can also upload your yoga videos to YouTube. I haven’t done this yet either. The thing is, do you want to put your content out for free?
As I said, in the beginning of your yoga teaching career this is more than okay. But if every yoga teacher would end up offering free classes and free YouTube yoga videos, no yoga teacher would end up getting paid anymore! And after all, we ourselves pay a lot of money for our training. So at some point, you have to start charging for your yoga classes and offerings.
Create your own website
Maybe you don’t know much about marketing or technical stuff, or maybe you just don’t feel like it. However, the truth is that in this day and age, a website can greatly help you get new clients. In addition to Instagram of course.
Especially if you want to move more and more towards one-on-one coaching, private sessions or business clients in the future and not depend on an online platform provider that collects any fees from you.
Your site does not need to be super extensive or big. The main thing is that it looks professional. A single page (landing page) with information about you, your education, your references (if any), your contact details and maybe a few photos of you is enough.
Otherwise, you can also have these created by a professional at a relatively low cost. Of course, Instagram is also a relevant channel to get your yoga profile out and market your offerings.
I wish you best of luck in finding your first yoga teaching job!
Do you have any other tips for new yoga teachers on how to get a yoga teaching job (abroad)? Feel free to leave me a comment and I’ll add it to this list.