How to price yoga is always a big topic in our True North Vinyasa 200 hour teacher trainings. It can feel uncomfortable and even wrong to put a financial value on this practice that you love and want to share. For many, especially as studios and gyms may not be an option at the moment, starting where you're standing is a good idea. Most of our trainees have colleagues, friends or family who are interested in taking their classes right after training. The big question is, how much should I charge them? What am I worth as a new yoga teacher? And, should I charge at all actually? Isn't yoga supposed to be free?
Let's start with the last two questions. While it's true that the wisdom of yoga was once a master to student teaching tradition without financial transaction, that is no longer the case. And even then, there was an exchange of gifts (food and other offerings). If you would like to be a modern day yoga teacher and take yourself seriously, you have to be okey with talking about money.
The thing is, yoga is free. Breath and movement exist already in every body, ready to be released. To be guided by a professional who invested in her craft however, should not be free. Step one in pricing is to know your own worth.
Step two is to understand the industry you work in. Yes, it's an industry – a huge multi billion dollar/euro industry. Being a yoga teacher, although often passion driven, is a job. Even if you are just starting out and don't rely upon yoga as an income, please understand that many others do. And that one day, you might also want to. Think sustainably and price accordingly. You want to price as if you had to live off teaching even if you don't. Otherwise you sabotage for others.
But what if you are a brand new yoga teacher then? Wouldn't it make sense to charge less than a more experienced yoga teacher? Of course, if that makes you feel more comfortable. The trick, and we can call this step three, is then to set a time limit on your little internship. If you teach a small group of friends because the practice of teaching has a high value for you, communicate this: "For 3 months, my classes will be €10 per person because I want to build experience teaching a group. After this, I will charge €20 per person (or whatever is standard where you live)". By the time the 3 months are up, if you have done a good job, they will stay with you and you will work sustainably, insuring high quality classes for your group and a chance for you to keep loving your new job.
A few more general tips on pricing:
Articles about the world of teaching and living Vinyasa Flow Yoga by Elin Jensen and Lisa Andersson Rhodiner