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Five Things About Being a Yoga Teacher in NYC

You can’t spread that healing energy when you’re depleted of your own..

So you want to be a yoga teacher? It’s a fulfilling career choice that’s for sure! One that can expand your mind and soul after just your first day of teacher training. You want to be a yoga teacher because you love to help others, you’ve found yoga to be your favorite escape, and now you want to share it with the world! I get it. You want everyone in on this secret, but where do you begin? Are you going to make enough money to survive in a city like New York? Where should you get your training?  Chill, let’s talk.


Just like any fulfilling relationship, it takes building trust and a sense of community to know if it’s a good fit for both of you. Studio managers most likely won’t just hire you if you come off the street with a smile and a resume.  They want to see you practice and enjoy practicing in their space. Talk to the karma yogis at the front desk, introduce yourself to teachers. Immerse yourself in the community you want to represent and be a part of! It’s not only for them to get to know you, but it’s also for you to get to know them. Sometimes we all want to work at that one really cool yoga studio, but then realize you don’t like the vibe after all.


My favorite teachers are like my mentors. I don’t just gain knowledge on asana, but also on the whole crazy process behind being and becoming a yoga teacher. They have gone through it all. They know the red flags to look for when teaching in a studio, how to not sell yourself short when booking privates,  they remind you not to teach in two boroughs on the same day for too long, and will be another person you can count on to understand your YT woes. Your mom doesn’t quite get why your hair is always in a bun when you Facetime…


You’re an entrepreneur now! Which means you have to put in the extra hours to get your name out there and showcase your personal teaching style. It can be fun if you keep yourself organized, seeing that you have a budget planned out for the month, maybe a type of content calendar where you map out the ways you’ll market your classes. You can definitely make money as a yoga teacher, you just have to put the time and effort into it.  It’s going to take a lot of time, I barely have this down, but there’s yoga in patience; patience is a practice. Have fun learning about yourself! Your strengths, weaknesses, and then play on those to help you become better at putting yourself out there and getting students into the studio or sending you emails for a private session.


It’s really easy to get caught up in what a yoga teacher should look like based off of 2018 Instagram, but not to worry because you know yourself and won’t stray from that! All our bodies are different, and so there is no “right way” to practice. How could there be when our forearms are not the same and our femur bones aren’t the same so how could your downward dog look like mine when I have fibro and need to modify almost every pose? There can’t be! There’s also different styles of Yoga to learn from and learn about that hold their own set of alignment cues. This shouldn’t discourage you, but excite you with all the possibilities of growing you have! Don’t stop at a 200 hour certification from your home studio, go explore! Take different trainings, travel, read books on philosophy and lineages. In turn you’ll realize you ego was never a part of your practice and it shouldn’t be a part of your teaching.


So you have your certification, you started teaching at a local studio, but you’re broke and are WILLING AND ABLE to travel to the ends of the earth for more teaching opportunities. How could you not? The yoga teaching path was not paved with crisp dollar bills and you have groceries to buy!! I get it. What we all need to “get” is how we can be open without being torn apart. As an entrepreneur your instinct is to dive head first into your passion and you want to be a yes man to every opportunity that comes your way, and that’s amazing, but you will oh so quickly burn out like that time you left your flat iron on in your room all day. Keep track of your bodies natural energy levels so you know what times are intelligent for you to teach, organize snacks so you can have your on-the-go munchies ready, and again, just stay true to yourself. Working as a teacher you exude so much physical and emotional energy that it’s important that you choose where you work wisely. You can’t spread that healing energy when you’re depleted of your own.

Becoming a yoga teacher was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made for myself. It continuously helps teach me patience, perseverance, and how to be a student again. Yoga breaks down barriers we build within ourselves and the world around us, and it’s beautiful that you want to help others bring a mallet to their own walls. I hope these words help someone navigate through the ever so exciting world of teaching yoga and being self-employed in general. It’s a long and rewarding journey, but just like your first steps to becoming certified, it will be a journey worth traversing for the rest of your life.

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