How Do Yoga Studios Pay Teachers?

Child-friendly yoga mat

If you want to be a yoga instructor, you might be wondering, “how do yoga studios pay teachers?” Yoga teachers can be compensated in three different ways.

If you want to be a yoga teacher, the most important question is how do yoga studios pay teachers? There are three ways they can do this; flat-rate compensation, which is typically a set fee per class; student recruitment, meaning they’re paid per student; or a flat rate, along with bonuses per student.

The earnings of a yoga teacher can vary quite drastically depending on the payment system, the studio, and experience. Let’s take a closer look at how yoga studios pay teachers. If you’re considering opening your own yoga studio, check out our tips for owning a yoga studio that succeeds.

Flat-rate Compensation

Yoga teachers generally work as company employees or contracted freelancers. Under the flat-rate compensation structure, they are paid by the hour, minute, or per class. For example, a yoga studio may pay an instructor $50 per class, even if the course is only 25 minutes long. However, the same studio could pay the yoga teacher $30 per half-hour or compensate them for each minute they spend teaching.

How Do Yoga Studios Pay Teachers
Freelancers can often pick up work with multiple yoga studios

Also, there is a significant difference between an employee and a freelance instructor. A yoga studio that hires a yoga teacher as an employee may offer higher compensation, but in return, they may have a contract against that yoga teacher working for a competitor during their employment. However, freelancers are generally non-exclusive and can often pick up work with multiple yoga studios. Then there’s the matter of health insurance and unemployment insurance, benefits that are usually available to employees but not to independent contractors.

  • Simplified payroll.
  • Clear financial expectations.
  • No recruitment goals to worry about.
  • It can offer the lowest compensation out of all three models.
  • Fewer incentives for instructors to market themselves and their company.

Payment Based On Recruitment 

One payment method some yoga studios employ combines compensation with marketing by rewarding yoga teachers for driving new business and promoting their brand. In this model, a teacher’s salary is based on the number of students they have in class. It’s a model similar to someone owning a yoga studio, as teachers only make a profit based on how many students attend class.

The average rate yoga teachers earn in this model is $1 to $3 per student. A teacher can usually make between $30 to $90 per class if teaching 30 students. Remember, these figures can vary per studio. 

When yoga studios use the per-head model, instructors are more likely to be more active in marketing and recruitment efforts to bring in new students since new students mean more money. For example, an instructor teaching 50 students per class could be looking at $50 to $150 per class. These yoga studio digital marketing techniques should help bring in clients.

  • Motivates yoga teachers to be more social and deliver a more personalized and enjoyable yoga experience.
  • Rewards yoga teachers who can actively promote themselves and the yoga studio’s brand to new students.
  • Studio owners tend to be more hands-on and work hand-in-hand with instructors.
  • Offers more earning potential.
  • It can be very stressful for yoga teachers.
  • It can make students feel like they are being pressured to recruit friends and family.
  • Earnings can vary significantly based on factors beyond the yoga teacher’s or the studio’s control.
  • The yoga studio and instructors have to be very diligent about tracking attendance.
  • The number of students can vary based on the time of day, making some shifts more profitable than others.
  • Personalized instruction can suffer with too many students for one class, reducing overall customer satisfaction.

Flat-Rate Plus Recruitment Bonuses

This model combines aspects from the recruitment and fixed wage systems to provide more earning security for yoga teachers while providing opportunities to make more for those good at marketing. In this model, a yoga studio would reward yoga teachers who exceed a certain minimum number of students. This is the optimum model for many studios and teachers as it can also reduce stress, competitiveness, and envy among instructors, while rewarding go-getters.

Relaxing and socializing after hot yoga class
Bonus for new recruitment or exceeding attendance numbers

An example would be an instructor guaranteed $50 per class and an extra $30 for every ten students they recruit beyond a certain minimum. So, if the studio has a minimum of 50 people per class and the instructor can bring in 20 more, they will be composed of their base pay plus a $60 bonus for new recruitment or exceeding attendance numbers. You might be wondering how does Yoga With Adriene make money.

  • This model combines the best of both models.
  • Instructors can also earn more based on their efforts to retain and recruit students.
  • Yoga studios often cap the maximum amount of compensation for the attendance bonus.
  • Too many students can still mean the teacher is not as attentive to their clients.