Have you ever wondered how yoga teachers make their income while they travel? Good question – and here are a few tips…
These are exciting times for those of us who are already yoga teachers or are thinking of becoming yoga teachers. There are more opportunities – especially for those who want to travel! Over the last 10 years, I have met many people who live and travel (full-time or part-time) as travelling yoga teachers. It is possible and it offers a whole new world for anyone who wants to experience what it is like to take their yoga off their mat and into the wide world.
As a freelance yoga teacher, learning new skills and building a business is all part of the experience. This is something that takes time and helps us grow as yoga teachers, on a personal and professional level. One of the biggest adventures in learning is getting out of our comfort zone and experiencing new countries and cultures.
💡 TO START: Yoga Teacher Business Tips…
► Develop a daily routine that works for you – As a freelance yoga teacher and business owner, you are in charge of your day. Even if you are a new yoga teacher and/or working in another job, it is important to develop a business owner and entrepreneur mindset – This is very different from an employee mindset. A big part of this is about finding a daily routine that works for you. In your daily routine, you can create and commit to showing up and doing the work, even if it is just a few hours a week to begin with. As time goes on, it will probably change and evolve as we grow in our business.
► Set up a strategic plan of action – If you are thinking of travelling as a yoga teacher, this is the time to start planning for your travel and how you are going to make money. It helps to plan a few months in advance as you get the ball rolling. Having a solid marketing plan also is essential for any business. Master your marketing and you will be able to build the travel lifestyle you enjoy.
► Build an online presence and community – This is important because it is where you will build and connect with your community as you travel. Have a good website to start with. Social media will also be where your future yoga studio owners will see who you are. Most connections happen online so you never know where the opportunity might come from. Don’t forget to grow your email list with students who are interested.
► Explore your niche – Having a niche can simplify a lot of things and can also help you by creating a focused area where you are an expert in your field. Pick a niche that you enjoy and want to explore in much more detail with your students.
► Beware of burnout – This is a big topic and very real in the health and wellness community. Burnout happens to many yoga teachers for many reasons. This is something that we can practice Self-awareness in our own personal yoga journey.
► Travelling during Off-Peak times can save you a lot of money. When you are making your plans, you will see the difference and how much you can save, even if it is just a month after the peak times. Don’t let the weather put you off too. Just because you are travelling Off-Peak, it doesn’t mean that you will have to endure the worst weather. Some Off-Peak times offer some pretty good weather despite it not being a popular time to travel. For example: Many Mediterranean countries (like Spain or Italy) will still be fairly hot in October, so you can still enjoy the sun without the Summer price tag.
6 Ways to earn an income while you travel…
Contact yoga and health spas in advance to set up classes and workshops…
Research and clarity first. It is a good idea to be clear in your mind on what setting you prefer and what you expect from your next destination. Here are some reflection questions to get started:
- Do you want to work in a city or nature setting?
- Are you going to work with big or small groups?
- Who is going to take charge of the bookings – you or the yoga studio? Or both?
- What are you going to offer them?
- What is your budget for travel, yoga room rental, accommodation etc?
- Who is in charge of marketing the event – you, the yoga studio or both?
One of the best ways to get contacts and see opportunities is through social media – There are many dedicated Facebook groups for yoga teachers in different locations, so you could start by joining a yoga group in the place you want to travel to and asking there. On many social media platforms, you can also do a search and see how the space is before you contact them.
Find free opportunities to teach yoga…
If you do some research, you will probably spot some great ways of teaching classes where you don’t have to put any money down in advance! This could be an exchange set-up where you teach in exchange for accommodation in a hotel or retreat space. Many yoga retreats ask for yoga volunteers to work for free in exchange for the full board and food – This might not just be to work as a yoga teacher and could involve other duties that the yoga retreat needs (gardening, food prep etc). So, it isn’t really free – but it is a great exchange idea.
If you do decide to go for an exchange position, make sure that you are very clear as to what is/isn’t offered and what you are expected to do – To avoid any complication, having a contract or written agreement before you go is important. Travel costs will most likely not be included.
Teach in a retreat…
Yoga retreats are great if you have your own existing student base – Unless you are teaching for the yoga retreat’s students, having your own yoga retreat usually involves you being in charge of bringing your own students and getting them to book. This is not always the case – If a yoga retreat is looking for a teacher to help teach their own students then this is a different setting… this could be a good option if you want to start without your own students.
To extend the last point further, you could think about going all out and organising a full retreat. This will involve more planning and maybe some set-up costs, but it can be worth it as the prices for the students/clients will be more. You will usually also have the food and accommodation included in the pricing so you don’t have to worry about it.
Freelance writing – It’s time to get creative! Writing could be another way to share your skills… and get paid for it. Research and connect with magazines and websites to see what their submission and payment guidelines are. With every article, include your contact and website details so readers will find you and you will gain a wider audience.
Earn income through blogging and ebooks – I always recommend having a blog on your main website. If you wish to take it further and enjoy writing, you can focus a lot of your business on your blogs and online content. You could include ebooks on your website and on other platforms (like Amazon) to share with your yoga students. There are many other ways that blogging can help you make money when you travel. Do some research on how to make money through your blog and online content and you will see how many options there are now.
Teach practitioner and yoga teacher training courses…
Being an expert in your field can offer you many more opportunities – with more income and opportunities to travel. If you have been teaching and doing your yoga and/or therapies for a while, have you thought about starting practitioner and teacher training courses? Think about the average investment people pay for a Reiki course or a yoga teacher training course… you could be earning this. And if you have a good size group of students who are paying for a yoga teacher training course, it will cover the costs of your travel and retreat.
Share your yoga classes online…
The yoga world has shifted online. Many yoga teachers now choose to work fully or partially online. This saves a lot of time and money. It also opens our audience to anyone around the world.
Make money through online studios – There are a growing number of online fitness studios that share live classes or video classes with paying students. This could be a great way to make additional money as you travel. You can also create your own online yoga studio with memberships.
Use YouTube as a form of making some income – People love to *see* who you are – and what you offer. It’s easy to begin the process of starting this up and might allow you to make some income through your videos. Bear in mind that making money through YouTube alone is not much, but if you use it for marketing your services and offering online courses.
Create your own online yoga programs – This can be a really valuable way of creating passive income. It may take time and money to invest in creating a quality course – But if you are good at marketing your services to your community and know how to create real results for your yoga students, this is going to be a part of your business that you can launch over and over again. Many yoga teachers choose to create online courses that can potentially earn them a lot of money, which is great for travelling.
Affiliate marketing – If you have yoga products that you love and trust, share them on your website and gain a small percentage when a person buys the product. This can be through well-known websites like Amazon or with specific brands that offer this service. This is another way of gaining passive income along the way.
With time and by building connection and trust, you can start to build your own list of places that you know and love to teach in. Once students and yoga studios/retreats know you from your first experience with them, it usually becomes a relationship that you can nurture for future travel plans. Most of the yoga teachers I know that do travel regularly always enjoy using the same places where they have a good experience – And this gives them a home-from-home feeling while they are on the road! This also brings new opportunities and references for more to come.