If you’re struggling with making a living as a yoga teacher, you’re not alone.  Most people are not able to feed and clothes themselves teaching yoga for many years (if ever).  The exceptions to this are often people who teach specialized yoga classes.

Mary was determined to make a living teaching yoga, but was frustrated at the amount of competition in our small town.  She did not feel ready to teach studio yoga classes where you get paid per person and have to build your student base from the ground up.  “I thought it was a market that I would be good at and I thought there was a need for this.  People are often stressed at work and yoga helps you relax at the same time heals your body”.  So she created a niche for herself by catering to businesses for on-site yoga classes.  She designed herself a logo, a brochure, and a website.  To the business card and brochure she added a bio, testimonials from her students, studies showing the benefits of yoga in the workplace, and a cover letter to create a professional packet of information.  Then she asked everyone she knew for contacts in the corporate world who might be amenable to yoga and made cold calls as well.  She now teaches at corporations for an average of $100 per class.

Brooke loves yoga, but in the highly competitive market of Los Angeles knew that it might be years before she could even get hired by a yoga studio.  With a degree in drama and education and extensive experience with children, Brooke created hybrid yoga/drama classes for children that immediately appealed to the entertainment industry target market.  Within months of her children’s yoga certification, Brooke was teaching 10 classes a week and paying most of her bills through teaching.

Look for a need in your community and then fill it.

  • Does your area have a lot of retirees with expendable income?  Consider teaching yoga for seniors.
  • If you’re a parent and it seems like everyone you know these days is too, you might want to teach kids yoga.
  • Some people just adore being around pregnant moms and babies.  If it seems like there is a baby boom going on, think about creating a business around pre and post natal yoga.
  • If you’re retiring from the corporate world, why not put your contacts to good use by teaching yoga at corporations and businesses.
  • If you come from a fitness background or have another mind-body specialty, create your own yoga-fusion classes

Search your soul
If you choose a niche, make sure it is one that you feel called to.  Having a market for yoga fusion classes is not enough if you soul feels called to a more traditional practice.

Do your research.
Find out if there is anyone else in your specialty in the area.  If so, try to determine if there is enough work for you as well.  Go ahead and talk to anyone else who is teaching the same specialty classes you are considering.  Most yogi’s won’t mind sharing their knowledge with you.  (If they’re not willing to talk to you, they may need to revisit their yamas and niyamas.)  If they tell you that they have more work than they can handle, thats a good sign to go ahead.  But even if they are not getting as much work as they would like, you may be able to do better.  If they don’t have a marketing plan, a website, and nice looking business cards and brochures, they may be expecting the work to fall into their lap.  You know better.  You’re willing to go out and do the legwork and make the initial investment in yourself, so you may be able to succeed where they are only surviving.

Invest in professional looking marketing materials.  It may seem like a big investment at first, but your marketing materials are an important way to show your clients that you are a professional.

Post comments below about your unique yoga niche!

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