In a recent study conducted by the research team at beYogi, when asking about “the state of the yoga industry” 62% of yoga teachers said they were very likely to supplement their income outside of teaching yoga classes.
And I get it! It is a tough time to be teaching in person classes right now.
Not only are small businesses permanently closing, but many others are just scraping by.
With yoga studios mostly being small, independently run businesses it is hard to deal with new regulations, mandatory socially distanced classes, partial or full country shut-downs, and a decrease in the willingness and ability for students to spend money on their practice, there is a lot of pressure on yoga teachers and owners to keep the lights on.
How to Supplement Your Income Outside of Yoga Class
But the good news is that by thinking outside of the box and diversifying your offerings there is a way to supplement your yoga teacher income, and I am going to share my top 5 ways to start doing that now.
1. Live stream your classes & offer replays (or replay packages)
We are going to kick this one off with the obvious, but if you aren’t already teaching virtually you need to be.
This one change can help you stay afloat during financially uncertain times and will give your business an extra level of resilience in case you ever find yourself in a situation that forces you outside of your space or teaching from home again.
There are many simple ways to teach online. You could just set up a zoom account and accept online payments, charge a small monthly fee on a platform like Patreon, or accept donations via PayPal for live streamed classes.
If possible make sure that you are recording your classes so that if people want to join later they can still purchase a spot in the class for the replay, or take it one level further and record all of your classes and resell the replays in smartly packaged groups like “5 classes for hips” or “My favorite restorative practices” that people can purchase after the fact.
Remember when you are marketing your classes online, that you don’t need to stick to just your current students.
Start diversifying and looking at people globally that might be looking for classes like yours.
2. Add a virtual signature offering
You’ve probably heard of a signature offering before, but the question is do you have one?
A signature offering is an online product that you are known for, and offer as an evergreen product or run a few times a year live.
A great signature offering is something that can be packaged up and sold online, and helps people learn, deepen their practice, or gain a skill they didn’t have before. This can look like many different things.
It could be an online training in something you are known for, like my 30-hour online meditation teacher training. It could also be an introduction to a topic you love like the Yoga Sutras, Ayurveda, or backbends.
Whatever it is, a signature offering can help you supplement your yoga teacher income by generating a new revenue stream, but also introduce your audience to something new and fresh that you love.
3. Offer a workshop or special event
An alternative to a signature offering would be creating a unique live workshop or event that you run virtually one or several times during the year.
I personally have begun running quarterly virtual retreats in which people can join me from all over the globe to take an afternoon to reset, restore, and escape at home.
Each retreat has a different theme, and consists of practice, workshop, meditation, and other special touches that make it a one-of-a-kind event.
Just because we are mostly at home these days, doesn't mean we can’t offer the kind of experience we used to have in the studio. Although virtual retreats work well for me because I was already running retreats before COVID, you can create whatever you want.
Your own creativity is your own limit.
You could offer an intro workshop to a topic you’re skilled in, or help people create a sacred space at home, or maybe you want to mix it up and offer a candlelight restorative class or collaborate with another teacher or healing to make a fusion class come to life.
Adding one or two virtual events to your calendar each quarter not only keeps your teaching fresh, but will help boost your income and bring some excitement to teaching at home.
4. Get paid to create content
When it comes to supplementing your income you might need to take a different approach and begin sharing yoga in a way that doesn't require teaching classes at all.
This is something that I personally did a lot of when I was building my business, and looking for new and creative ways to diversify my income.
There are many websites, online platforms, and publications that are looking for people just like you to create online yoga content for them.
This might look like doing freelance writing for a publication, or helping out a studio as a virtual assistant, or being paid per video created for an online studio that offers a wide range of classes and teachers to their audience.
A few places that you can keep an eye out for these types of job postings are places like Yoga Trade, Upwork, Indeed, or keeping an eye out on social media for businesses that hire teachers for these types of projects.
When it comes to freelance work, remember that you will probably be paid per piece of content created so you can take on as much or as little work as you want to supplement your income.
5. Think outside the yoga box
If you’re looking to supplement your yoga teacher income with something outside of yoga, then it might be time to really think outside of the box.
What other passions, skills, or training do you have outside of yoga?
Maybe you also have an MBA and you want to offer small business or entrepreneurial coaching or mentoring?
Or perhaps you are a Tarot card reader and you want to start offering sessions doing readings?
Maybe it’s time to dust off your crochet skills and start selling your handmade products on Etsy or you want to revive your old Zumba classes?
It has never been easier to sell products online, or offer a new service virtually so think outside of the box and make a list of other products, skills, or offerings that you could market and sell outside of the yoga box.
We all have them, it’s just about picking the one that you are ready to pursue in this moment. You might find that adding a new side hustle outside of yoga is just what you need to supplement your income during this time.