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How Much Do Yoga Teachers Really Make on Retreats?

yoga retreat

Yoga retreats afford an opportunity to unplug from all of the distractions of modern life and recenter in a new locale. With new locations and new experiences, comes new growth, both for student and teacher. But how much do yoga teachers really make on retreats? The answer depends on a variety of factors, most importantly the planning behind the excursion. 

Today’s deep dive is focused on what yoga teachers can realistically expect to make on a yoga retreat and how best to maximize your earnings potential.

Planning is Everything with Yoga Retreats

As with most things in life, the better your planning is for your yoga retreat, the better you can plan out how much you can expect to make. Financial planning requires considering all your costs, your revenues, and your time horizon for achieving success. Well, the same rings true for yoga retreats. 

Know Your Costs

Knowing how to host a yoga retreat takes carefully considering all of the costs of the trip. A spreadsheet can help you organize these costs into a more cohesive list. Start with exploring options for a retreat center and what it will take to get there. Add up your airfare and other transportation costs, food, lodging, and other necessities in order to start to develop the full breadth and depth of the costs of the trip. 

Consider Your Revenue

Next, you’ll need to consider what you can actually make for the yoga retreat. This is performed by taking a per-person cost you’re charging and multiplying this by how many students you can reasonably accommodate on the trip and in the retreat center’s facilities. Obviously this will vary considerably based on where you’re hosting the retreat. Ask venue staff to see what kind of head count they can accommodate and then be real with yourself for how many students you can handle. Since your revenue is dependent on how many spots you fill, you’ll need to get a good figure in mind for how many students you can host. 

Know How Long it Will Take to Realize Profits

Finally, you need to understand the time horizon from expending costs yourself to realizing these revenues. Often, event venues need a deposit, airfare needs to be booked in advance, and other costs need to be laid out up front. If you incentivize students with early-booking discounts, you can realize your revenues sooner than if you wait until later in the process to collect their fees. How long it takes to receive your revenue can greatly impact how much you make over time. For example, even if you end up making $4,000 on your yoga retreat but it takes you months to get there, you’re only making a couple grand per month on a time-adjusted basis.

Knowing What to Charge for a Yoga Retreat

Asking the internet, “how much do yoga instructors make on a retreat” is likely to turn up a wide range. Some sites claim you can make $20,000 easily but is this figure realistic? How much yoga teachers make on a retreat, just like a yoga teacher salary, is highly-dependent on a number of different factors. Experience level, clientele, location, duration, amenities of the center, and a thousand and one other variables all go into your bottom line. 

Be realistic with your level of experience and the types of students you typically undertake. If you already have a really strong following in an area with a higher cost of living, there’s a good chance you can charge more for the retreat. Most yoga retreats offer a form of all-inclusive stay, i.e. the meals, lodging, transportation, and other costs are all rolled up into a single fee. This is one of the most straightforward ways to project both your costs and your revenue. 

A great resource can be checking with a travel agent in your area to see what they’re currently getting for an all-inclusive resort-type vacation for the number of days you wish to host the retreat. It’s not unheard of for a 7-day retreat to go for $2,000 or more per person. If you ended up with a retreat of ten people, that’s $20,000 in gross revenue. Just remember, to get profit, you’ll need to subtract out your expenses.

How to Charge More for Yoga Retreats

Now that you’ve got a pretty good understanding for what to charge, the next step is increasing your profits. We don’t mean to sound money-centered but yoga retreats are in fact a money-making operation for most yogis. Being mindful of your costs is a good first place to start, but to truly maximize profits, you need to deliver a great experience. 

Make sure your yoga retreat incorporates a few best practices present with any yoga session such as:

  • Advanced sequence planning.
  • A clean and organized place for classes.
  • A keen interest in the safety of everyone involved.

These aspects may sound easy but they’re crucial aspects to a great class and a great retreat experience. The better the experience, the higher the rates you’ll be able to charge and the more profit potential you’ll be able to realize.

Avoiding Costly Mistakes on Your Yoga Retreat

There are a number of ways that your profits can be severely hindered on a yoga retreat or may even cause you to lose money by hosting it. Obviously, losing money isn’t the name of the game for hosting a yoga retreat so avoiding costly mistakes needs to be a priority. 

The number one rule with booking a venue is to negotiate for a better rate. You’re bringing a whole group of people to their resort. That means more people for the hotel, restaurants, shops, and other activities around your retreat, as well. Connect with these entities to negotiate the best rates for everything. 

A good rule of thumb is to always get at least three different bids on any particular activity so you have something to compare to. It never hurts to ask for a discount and the most they can say is no. Overpaying for something that you could have easily negotiated for is the number one way to eat into your profits. 

Building a Following and Capitalizing on the Experience

Once you’ve actually held a yoga retreat comes a really crucial aspect to making even more money on future retreats. Social media plays a key role in the minds of today’s savvy consumers. If they’re going to shell out $2,000 for a yoga retreat, you need to convince them ahead of time why it’s worth it. That takes real life experiences from past retreats. 

Getting going at first can be tough since you won’t have this, but going forward make sure you have pictures, videos, testimonials, reviews, and more to really catapult the legitimacy of your operation. Don’t be shy about asking your students to review your services. If you’ve put in the time to plan a great yoga retreat, most students will gladly be willing to tell others about their great experience. This helps build your following and can help you charge a higher rate for future retreats.