Stop Using Yoga Teacher Training Courses to Pay Your Bills

A yoga teacher in purple tights instructs prospective teachers on the king pigeon pose.

By Shannon Brasovan, Two-Brain Yoga Business Mentor

Why did you open a yoga studio?

For me, I wanted to share the healing practice of yoga with people daily. I wanted folks to have the same joy, stress-management tools and bodily ease that I had found.

I can tell you why I didn’t open a yoga studio: to lead teacher trainings full time.

If you’ve ever put a teacher training together, you know it’s a lot of work. And while teacher trainings can be deeply rewarding—financially and spiritually—they are not why 99 percent of owners open a yoga studio.

It pains me to no end when I hear time and again that studios offer training one to three times a year, not because the community is calling for it but because it’s the only way the owner can pay the bills.

Better Ways to Generate Revenue

Let’s cover first why we should offer teacher trainings. It’s obvious: to train future teachers.

We should not offer teacher trainings:

  • To make ends meet.
  • To help folks deepen their practices (there are a dozen other ways to do this in a more sustainable way).
  • To retain clients.
  • To give our teachers a career Growth ToolKit.
  • To teach skillsets or knowledge not offered at the group class level.

Somehow, the top reasons why we shouldn’t offer trainings end up being the exact reasons studios offer these sessions—sometimes upwards of four times a year!

Good News: There’s a better way!

If you opened a yoga studio to share the powerful benefits of a yoga practice, then start there! Gear your memberships and other offerings toward practice. Here are some ideas:

1. Do you offer private yoga? This is an incredible way to help students deepen their practices, pay the bills and retain clients. 

2. How often do you offer a la carte workshops? This is another wonderful way to help people deepen their practices, give your teachers further career opportunities and generate solid revenue.

3. Are your memberships structured so clients can consistently grow their practices and deepen their knowledge and awareness? If so, do you price them appropriately? Or are you price-matching the studio down the street?

4. Do you offer lifestyle programs like Ayurveda challenges or meditation programs that achieve the same level of knowledge transfer as a teacher training without requiring attendees to learn how to teach? 

5. Do you foster a sense of community among your practitioners “off the yoga mat?” One of the biggest pros of a teaching training is the community that’s built, but that can happen just as easily through book clubs, workshops and events!

When the Time is Right…

Don’t get caught in the trap of thinking that teacher trainings are the only way you can run a successful yoga studio. There are other ways that are more beneficial to your entire student base and your bottom line. Those options are your base.

Then, when the time is right and your community is calling for a teacher training, you can offer an impactful sold-out session that benefits everyone!

Click here for more about mentorship for yoga business owners.


One more thing!

Did you know gym owners can earn $100,000 a year with no more than 150 clients? We wrote a guide showing you exactly how.