Yoga Enterprise

How to become a yoga teacher in the UK

If you are passionate about yoga and want to share this ancient practice with others, check out our step-by-step guide on how to become a yoga teacher.

If you’re wondering what skills you need, how to find your niche, and know practical things like your taxes, check out our simple guide.

What does a yoga teacher do?

Yoga teachers are usually self-employed and there will often be a sideline for a paid job.

Yoga teachers work in studios and fitness centers, running classes that offer both physical and mental benefits. Remember that fitness classes are often held on weekends and evenings. So you have to be flexible about the lesson times.

Typical everyday activities as a yoga teacher are:

  • Planning classes for a range of skills

  • Breathing exercises (pranayama)

  • Helping students develop their practice further

  • develop your own skills and knowledge as a yoga teacher

  • Marketing your courses and building relationships with studios and community groups

With experience, you can also teach workshops, retreats, and individual clients.

Yoga Teacher Training – Skills and Qualifications

To become a yoga teacher, you must have consistent home practice yourself before you can train to be a teacher. It’s a good idea to practice regularly for at least two years, if not more.

When it comes to choosing a yoga teacher course, with so many options available, it can be a bit overwhelming. A few good questions to ask yourself are:

  • where should i study? You can train in a local studio and meet the yoga community you want to teach, or travel abroad to fully immerse yourself in your workout with no everyday distractions

  • Which yoga style am I most interested in? You can choose between Ashtanga Yoga Teacher Training, Yin Yoga, Aerial Yoga, Hot Yoga – the possibilities are endless, but make sure it’s a style that you already practice on a regular basis

  • should I choose intensive yoga teacher training or a part-time course? Intensive courses typically include four to six weeks of daily yoga practice and study, while part-time courses are often completed on weekends over a period of six to twelve months

  • Is the training certified by a professional association? For example Yoga Alliance or British Wheel of Yoga (more on this below)

  • How is the training carried out? Connect with the teacher and learn about the balance between online recording, live sessions, individual learning, and hands-on elements

How long does it take to become a yoga teacher?

To teach yoga, you must complete a 200-hour yoga teacher training course. This should include asana (postures), meditation, pranayama (breathing exercises), yoga philosophy, anatomy, physiology, and teaching methods.

If you are pursuing a college course in the UK, you can complete a qualification such as one of the following:

With experience, you can, for example, specialize in training to become a yoga teacher for pregnant women or yoga for children. You can also complete a 300-hour and a 500-hour teacher training course.

Yoga accreditation bodies

There are several professional associations that set the standards for teacher training around the world, including:

Salary as a yoga teacher

How much yoga teachers earn can vary widely depending on whether you teach in your own home studio or work in different gyms and fitness centers.

You can rent a venue for weekly classes to have more control and keep the profits, but that comes with a greater financial risk. Alternatively, if you work with studios, you will either be paid by the hour or receive a percentage of class profit.

Since workshops and one-to-one lessons can be more lucrative, many teachers offer a combination of these in addition to regular studio lessons.

How do I start a yoga company

1. Decide on your niche

Once you’ve completed your yoga teacher training, you can start exploring your strengths and finding a niche in the market. Whether this appeals to a specific group of people in your community, teaching online workshops, or adding yoga to an existing therapeutic business.

For example, you might teach yoga to employees in local businesses, or you might prefer to start a charity to help people gain access to yoga through community classes and events.

2. Create a business plan and budget

It can be all too tempting to just go out and teach, but without proper planning, you won’t be clear about your direction as a teacher and a business owner.

A business plan is your guide to getting started as a yoga teacher that will help you understand the market, your competitors, and where and who you will be teaching.

It is important to structure your business plan clearly and to reflect on it over and over again to ensure that you achieve your goals. For more information, check out our guide to creating a business plan for a new company.

3. Develop a legal structure for your yoga business

Yoga teachers are often self-employed as you can work in a number of fitness centers, studios, and gyms, but also hold your own private lessons. Many are sole proprietorships, but you can opt to start a limited company for your yoga business. Our guide to the difference between sole proprietorship and GmbH goes into more detail.

One of the first things you need to do is register with HMRC so you can pay your taxes. Here you will find a summary of the most important tax years and instructions for preparing your tax return.

4. Build your brand and start marketing

The world of yoga teaching has changed dramatically since the pandemic, with many more courses online and the increasing challenge of competing with teachers offering free classes.

So how do you stand out from the crowd? Here are a few tips to help you get started.

  • Create a company website and social channels – make sure your photography and text represent who you are as a teacher
  • Work with other local businesses who can promote your business to their customers – choose a company that reflects your brand’s values, such as a healthy coffee shop or smoothie bar

  • Perform a SWOT analysis of your yoga business to understand your strengths and weaknesses, as well as external opportunities and threats

Read our guide to Marketing Your Small Business for more ideas.

A chance to win € 25,000 for your company

Few are harder hit by Covid-19 than small business owners.

That’s why we’re giving away £ 25,000 to an entrepreneur as part of our #BusinessBoost campaign – to help start, grow or revitalize their small business.

The closing date for entries is September 17, 2021. The conditions of participation apply.

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5. Organize yoga insurance

While not required by law, many studios and gyms require proof that you have yoga teacher insurance. Insurance for yoga teachers in the UK can include:

You can also consider health insurance that will cover you if you are unable to work in the event of illness or injury.

6. Understand the legal and financial responsibilities

If you play music in class, you need a license – it’s called TheMusicLicence.

When it comes to the financial side of your business, it is helpful to have a budget.

7. Grow your business

If business is going well, you may want to develop and run your own teacher training courses. Remember, as a teacher trainer, you must have 500 hours of teacher training and five years of teaching experience.

Opening your own studio could also be an exciting opportunity, be it building a studio in your garden or renting a room in your community.

Whatever you do in the future, keep an eye on market trends and make sure you do regular competitive analysis to stay on top. For example, can you take advantage of the growing popularity of paddle boarding and offer paddle board yoga classes?

Not sure if yoga class is right for you?

Here are a few other business ideas to consider instead:

Is there anything else you want to know about becoming a yoga teacher? Let us know in the comments.

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