How I Started Teaching Corporate Yoga and Never Looked Back

Teaching Corporate Yoga is an ongoing series for yoga teachers who would like to teach yoga in offices. Why would you want to do that? Read on!

When I quit my office job 15 years ago and became a full-time yoga teacher, everyone told me I was nuts. Ok, not everyone. Some people just gave me “that look” – you know, the “What can you possibly be thinking? LOOK”. And my mom said she just wanted me to be happy (which I wasn’t when I was a journalist).

To be honest, I was downright terrified to take the plunge into teaching yoga and leave my job. I went between feelings of “I’m so excited to do this” to “What the heck was I thinking?” but I was hoping other people would at least cheer me on and encourage me. Not exactly the case. I quickly learned that I had to become my own cheerleader.

“I quickly learned that I had to become my own cheerleader.”

Most of the people who suggested I should keep my job and teach yoga part-time on the side were actually yoga teachers! To be fair, they meant well – some of them didn’t earn enough to pay the bills. I mean, most of us yoga teachers know that teaching yoga is not the easiest way to make a living and sometimes the pay is, well, crap. We don’t start teaching yoga to get rich anyway. I certainly didn’t.

Why did I become a yoga teacher, by the way? Let’s travel back in time. I’ll make it brief, but I would love to share my story with you. Back in 2003, I had an office job that was boring and barely paid above minimum wage. On the suggestion of a friend, I went to a yoga class one day. 10 seconds into my very first class I had chills going up and down my spine. I loved it and was hooked right away. Within a few months, I had completed my teacher training, quit my job and started a corporate yoga company.

So here I was – brand new instructor, excited to teach, BUT not interested in burning myself out and teaching five classes a day, 6 days a week. No, thank you.

I mean, wouldn’t it be nice to just teach two or three yoga classes a day and make a 5 or even 6 figure yearly income? Is that even possible, you might be asking? I wondered the same thing. It is, and that’s what I love about teaching yoga in offices. Financially, it makes sense.

If you want to provide a sustainable income for yourself as a corporate yoga teacher and you live in a large city of at least 60,000 people, you can build a team of teachers that extends beyond just yourself, similar to how a yoga studio owner would not teach all of their studio’s classes.

So…here’s what I’ve learned so far on this incredible journey as a corporate yoga teacher:

1. You can teach yoga as a hobby, part-time OR full-time

You can make $100 a month or $10,000 a month. It’s up to you. The more serious you are about creating an income by teaching yoga, the more you will attract teaching opportunities. You can run your own business and hire other yoga teachers to work for you. Earning $10,000 a month won’t happen overnight of course. In my experience, this usually takes at least a year, and the result depends on the efforts of that individual teacher.

2. Teaching corporate yoga is one of the best ways to make an income as a yoga teacher

Unlimited pool of clients + super stressed out busy people who have no time to get to a studio + companies with wellness budgets that pay you $80-$120 a class or more + teaching yoga mostly during the day (and enjoying free time in the evenings and on weekends) + having the ability to hire other teachers + plus never worrying about managing a physical studio = (In my opinion), an excellent way for yoga teachers to make a great income teaching yoga, all while helping a lot of people.

What’s the first step in getting corporate yoga clients?

Start by calling a few companies close to where you live. Do some research beforehand to determine who you should talk to. If in doubt, ask for their Human Resource Manager.

Don’t tell them everything about what you do on that first call and don’t launch into a sales pitch. Be nice, be yourself (remember, they’re just people like you) and create some curiosity around what you do.

Ask them if they’d like to try a yoga class with you. Teach them once for free and if they like it, talk to them about doing regular classes with you once or twice a week.

And don’t get discouraged if they’re not interested. No doesn’t mean “no”; it simply means they don’t “know” enough to say yes right now. Move on to another company, and follow up with this one again in 3-6 months.

3. You should never take advice from others if you believe something bigger is possible

I’m grateful to those yoga teachers who told me many years ago that I should not attempt to teach yoga full-time. I’m grateful because I believed I could anyway, and so I didn’t listen to them. Don’t let anyone crush your dreams. You can do anything you want – literally anything.

Building a full-time yoga teaching career won’t happen immediately, and it will take a LOT of work, but with dedication, persistence, and patience, you can absolutely do it.

It comes down to this:

  1. Do what you love, and the money will follow. Just find a way to make it work.
  2. Help people – a lot of people. Give. Be of service.
  3. Have a backup plan until you reach your goal – a part-time job in the evenings or on weekends, or perhaps teaching or working part-time at some studios and gyms. Another source of income will ensure you can still pay your bills, eat and have a roof over your head.
  4. Don’t listen to anyone who tries to discourage you.
  5. Believe you can. When people ask me how I believed I could be successful by teaching corporate yoga before the proof was there, my answer was always “Why not?” Why would I NOT believe I could do this? Just make sure you really, really believe, because there will be dark times on this journey (there always are), and if you don’t have that inner strength, it becomes way too easy to give up. Knowing WHY you are doing this will mean quitting isn’t an option.


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