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How To Determine Your Proper Pay For Teaching With These Tips

Dean Lerner reveals how to uncover what your proper pay should look like when you start teaching yoga.

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girl thinking

As a teacher, how do I know how much to expect as proper pay per class? I am presently teaching at a yoga studio where I receive a 50-50 profit split. Is this normal? – Bobbie

Dean Lerner’s Reply:

Dear Bobbie,

Some years ago, a colleague and studio owner sent a survey to studios across the country, asking, “How do you pay your yoga teachers?” The answers revealed that there are many methods of payment, and no one “normal” approach.

Many variables should be considered when calculating how much a teacher should be paid to earn a fair and equitable amount. Teachers may not appreciate the studio owner’s costs and responsibilities. For example, the studio owner has either rent or a mortgage payment to make every month. If studio owner owns the property, there will be utility payments, property maintenance, and property and business taxes (which might be considerable, depending on the location). Additionally, bookkeeping, advertising, office management, and yoga equipment are just a few of the many other hidden costs involved in operating a studio. Another factor to consider is the studio’s location. A studio in a large metropolitan area will likely have significantly more students than one in a small town or conservative part of the country. Hence the overall economics will greatly differ, affecting the teachers’ payment rate.

The relationship is a symbiotic one: The studio and teachers need each other, and both need students. The relative expertise and training a teacher has will affect his or her desirability and value. A teacher who has invested time and money in training and practice might expect a higher rate of pay. Without knowing the details of your training, location, and involvement in the studio, the 50-50 split seems both fair and generous—well within or even above the norm. Some studios pay a greater or lesser percentage, a set amount per class, or a sliding scale according to attendance. Everyone has a right to a fair salary, yet most of us teach for the love of yoga and the chance to share its wonderful gifts with others.

See also Turn Your Yoga Studio into a Work Share for Extra Profit

About our author

Certified Advanced Iyengar instructor Dean Lerner is co-director of the Center for Well-being in Lemont, Pennsylvania and teaches workshop across the United States. He is a longtime student of B.K.S. Iyengar and served a four-year term as president of the Iyengar National Association of the United States. Known for his ability to teach yoga with clarity and precision, as well as warmth and humor, Dean has conducted teacher training classes at Feathered Pipe Ranch in Montana and other locations.