6 Tips to Landing a Yoga Teaching Job

By: 
Allison Schleck, E-RYT 500, RPYT

Graduating from a yoga teacher training program is a monumental step in one’s life. Not every graduate goes on to pursue teaching yoga, but for those who want to teach, the next step is landing a job. Yoga is everywhere, so the potential to land your first yoga teacher gig is in your favor, but it does require persistence and consistency—two practices you are likely familiar with after completing a yoga teacher certification. So here are a few tips to land your first yoga teaching job.

Tip #1: Go Through your Notes

Remember that section on the business of yoga during your TT program? Revisit it. What did your teachers talk about? What was their advice? You may come across some interesting finds as to where to start your journey. Many programs suggest creating a resume, business cards, and a website. This way you have a better idea of how to present yourself as a yoga teacher, what you offer and how potential employers can get in touch with you.

Tip #2: Research Places to Teach Yoga

Yoga is incorporated into more settings than just yoga studios. Personally, I’ve taught or currently teach in corporate offices, yoga studios, medical facilities, hospitals, and schools. My colleagues have taught in senior centers, prisons, shelters, religious institutions, out of their homes, recreation parks, libraries—the list goes on. If you go to a chiropractor, inquire if they would be interested in holding a yoga class. Set up your own class on the beach or at a park. No one ever said that landing your first job had to be through someone else. You can set up a class all on your own. If you’re looking to teach in a particular studio or institution, find out more about them. Learn where you can submit your resume, the best person to contact, and if you need any additional training. It can be helpful to take a class at a location where you’d like to teach (more about this in Tip #4).

Tip #3: Write Your Yoga Teacher Resume

It may be challenging to submit a yoga resume if you haven’t taught anywhere—where is the experience? You may not have a regular class, but you certainly have life experience, including successfully completing a yoga teacher training. Most employers understand that recent graduates don’t necessarily have much teaching experience, but they can deduce from a well-written resume all of the reasons why you would be a great addition to their team. Maybe you are a project manager who regularly teaches new information to staff and therefore comfortable making staff presentations. Or maybe you are employed in the education field and have experience creating class plans. You may have language skills and a knack for poetry that exceeds the average dharma talk. In addition to these qualities, add in if you taught a community class during your training, how long you have been studying yoga for and what you trained in specifically during your course, such as an emphasis on therapeutic yoga, restorative yoga, well-rounded classes and so forth.

Tip #4: Practice Where You Want to Teach

Whether you are looking for a job at your local YMCA or yoga studio, make sure you are present at the facility. If you attend classes in the fitness and wellness community, you will stand out from the all the emails they receive inquiring about jobs. In fact, when potential employers know that you are a yoga teacher, when the opportunity arises, you might be the first person that comes to mind, particularly if you are a regular student at that 6:00 pm flow class; they know you are available.

Tip #5: Preparing for Interviews

When an opportunity comes up to join the sub list or to interview for a weekly class, be prepared. Interviews for a yoga job generally consist of an audition where you teach a few poses or an entire class. Be prepared to teach. It doesn’t need to be extravagant. Be simple and clear. This is more impressive than stumbling over words, trying to figure out left and right and demoing poses, instead of showing off your teaching skills. Carry a copy of your resume with you and be prepared to be you. Show them your personality and the amazing qualities you can contribute as a teacher on their staff.

Tip #6: The Waiting Game

If you get a callback and are hired, congratulations, you’ve landed your first yoga teaching job. If you weren’t called back, it’s perfectly fine. It gives you some time to hone your skills (teach yourself, some friends and ask politely for feedback). There are jobs out there and if you wait long enough, opportunities do come back around. Teachers move, need to switch their schedule, give up classes because of other commitments or move on to new opportunities. This means that a new spot—or maybe a few—will open up. If you are willing to play the waiting game, you might find a job sooner than you think.

At times working in the yoga field can be discouraging. There are popular teachers, popular time slots, and teachers that know more than a recent grad. This is the reality. However, all yoga teachers started somewhere. There are very few teachers who have had an easy time landing 10 classes a week that were full to capacity. Growing classes and becoming an expert in your field takes time (substantially more than 200 hours of training) and if you are willing to put in the continued work and effort, your commitment will yield results. Practice with attention, hone your craft, be yourself and persevere in your quest to teach yoga. 

Would you like asana practice tips?  Here's another article from writer, Allison Schleck - 6 Keys to Healthy Alignment in Ustrasana.

Allison Schleck, E-RYT 500, RPYT is a vinyasa based yoga teacher, fascinated by the intricate relationship between the mind and body. She offers a range of alignment-focused classes touching on anatomy, philosophy and creative propping with a mindful approach.  In addition to teaching group classes and managing the Yoga Culture studio in Danbury, CT, she also teaches at Open Door Family Medical Center in Westchester, NY empowering mother's to be with prenatal yoga classes and childbirth education. You can find her @allisonschleck on Instagram and www.allisonrayjeraci.com