Yoga Instructor Salary

by admin on September 2, 2013

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Yoga Instructor Salary


The yoga instructor salary will be based on the instructor’s certification level, place of employment and years of experience in the field. A yoga instructor is a fitness professional that teaches yoga and other types of low impact exercises that are used to control breathing techniques and posture, in order to improve strength and flexibility. To qualify for the position of the yoga instructor, in any specialty area, the potential instructor will need to have completed specialized comprehensive training as a general field requirement.  Here we will not only learn about the yoga instructor salary, but also about their education and certification requirements.

The average Salary for the Position of Yoga Instructor

salary chart for yoga instructors

[Pictured above, yoga instructors national average salary rate is 41k according to]
fitness trainer salary chart

[Pictured above: according to the BLS, fitness trainers earned about 31k per year in 2010. A yoga instructor is a more specialized career so they can command a higher fee, especially if they market themselves well.]


As a professional instructor you have been trained in a specific area and will have learned different types of techniques and philosophies in order to teach yoga one-on-one or in group type settings.  It is designed for physical fitness of the mind and body and reduces the amount of stress an individual experiences. According to the BLS, the instructor will primarily work in gyms or fitness centers and their annual salary will range from $3100-$41,000 a year. Instructors that work on an independent basis will have a salary that can range from $30,000 to $45,000, based on the size of their clientele and their skills as an instructor. The freelance instructor can work independently for different types of fitness facilities such as studios, and teach classes or travel to a client’s home and provide one-on-one sessions.

yoga instructor salary

Yoga Certification and Education Requirements

In order to become an instructor, an individual will need to complete specialized training or certificate programs. The second training program can last for a few weeks to two years, depending on the type of yoga and the coursework included. Every type of yoga is considered to be physically demanding and may require personal experience. As an example, Iyengar yoga features a one-year training program and certification requirements in order to teach. Prospective instructors will select training programs that offer a particular type of yoga they desire to teach.

The 200 hour program for yoga instructors is a widely accepted common education route that is accredited by the Yoga Alliance. A graduate from this program will be eligible to become registered as an instructor with this organization. This particular program is available at many schools  and a student will study and practice teaching methods, physiology, anatomy, traditional yoga methods and the history and philosophy of yoga.   Having a four year bachelor’s degree in a related field can also be beneficial to the potential instructor.  According to the US Bureau of Labor statistics, many potential employers would prefer to hire employees that have this type of foundational knowledge.

Once a program has been completed the instructor will have a few different career options. Instructors will identify with a specific group they would prefer to teach, such as pregnant women, seniors and children. Some instructors will teach yoga because it is considered a therapeutic treatment and will help with certain types of health conditions such as depression, asthma, stress or anxiety.

As a yoga instructor you can find employment in yoga studios, gyms, fitness centers or you can choose to have your own clients and work as a freelancer. This type of career is said to advance within the next four years and will continue to increase, especially for those instructors that work primarily with seniors.

As a professional in this field you will guide students in the areas of yoga that can help them to learn proper alignment and breathing technique. Teachers will also provide philosophical guidance in addition to meditation techniques and nutrition advice. Instructors will teach workshops, work with clients one-on-one or teach classes in studios and fitness centers.

The majority of instructors will gain their skills through training programs, and while certification isn’t a requirement many employers will prefer to employ teachers who are registered with the  Yoga Alliance.

During their education, instructors can take courses in all different types of yoga such as Bikram, Ashtanga, Hatha, Vinyasa and Anusara. Additionally, the style of instruction given can vary by school or individual program instructor.

The training will include courses in physiology and anatomy, instructional techniques and the philosophy of yoga. The student will be able to gain hands-on experience through observation and teaching classes on their own. Many schools will follow guidelines set by accredited organizations for programs that are 200 to 500 hours in length.

yoga instructor salary

Yoga Instructor Certification Renewal Requirements

A student that has completed this program will meet guidelines that have been set by accredited organizations and will be eligible to apply for certification. Certification is done on voluntary basis but may help the instructor land future employment.

Many professionals in this field will attend seminars, lectures and workshops in order to stay up to date with their knowledge in this field. Professionals that are registered with Yoga Alliance will be required to obtain 75 hours of continuing education credits every three years. This can also include new instruction for a period of 50 hours and enrolling in additional courses for 25 hours.

By failing to earn the 75 hours of continuing education credits by the third year the instructor can face suspension of their license or licensure termination. For those that experience either one of these issues they can appeal to the Yoga Alliance organization by writing a formal letter and requesting an extension for the amount of time they have to obtain the remaining hours.


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