Are you a studio owner unable to pay your yoga teachers for classes?
Maybe you just opened a yoga studio without the means to pay a full staff or unable to pay yourself yet.
I get it. Yoga is expensive and opening a yoga studio is even more expensive.
As a traveling yoga teacher, I’ve experienced it all!
From being completely unpaid and broke to being more than financially compensated by yoga studios BIG in the business.
Since I’ve experienced both sides of the yoga financial spectrum and everything in between, I want to share with you my:
DO’S and DON’TS on HOW to treat your unpaid yoga teachers.
(And what they deserve if you can’t pay them.)
Let’s get started!
Provide them with FANTASTIC housing. Either offer them a small guest house of their own (air conditioning and heating included) or a PRIVATE hotel/hostel room.
Provide a mixed dorm or dorm of any sort.
Provide anything YOU WOULDN’T live in.
Provide ALL meals and please be accepting of allergies and diet restrictions.
Offer them the same meal for the entirety of their stay with you.
Provide transportation. This needs to be a WORKING bicycle, motorbike, car, quad AKA anything that will help them get around.
Provide transportation gear. This means helmets and anything else that is needed to go with the vehicle you provide.
Say “Well if you can fix it, then you can use it.”
NO. You need to provide something that is already working to help your yoga teacher get to and from where they need to be.
Have your yoga teacher do exactly what you advertised, meaning: Teach Yoga.
Change your story to “I need a babysitter too.”
Unless your yoga teacher agrees to that beforehand and you offer compensation. Otherwise it’s a no.
Pick up your yoga teacher from the train station or airport or arrange pick up for them if you can’t.
Make them pay for it or make them find their own way to your studio. Traveling is exhausting and it gives us peace of mind to know things are handled upon arrival.
Hold your yoga teacher accountable. Yoga teachers can occasionally be flaky. If they’re at your studio to teach in exchange for everything you’ve provided then they need to show up. Confirm two weeks before and confirm the week of. Be communicative for your studios needs and have them communicate their needs. That way everyone is clear on what is needed!
Yell or lose your temper. If something is lost in translation kindly and directly communicate what is needed. If it’s lost again then professionally part ways and move on.
Provide the little things.
A map of your area
A list of fun things to do and places to see in your area
A washer or dryer
Introduce them to your friends and community.
Treat them poorly or tell them there’s nothing to do in your area. They just traveled or moved to come be your new yoga teacher. Adjusting to a new environment can be difficult. So be kind and know that the little things can help someone feel at home right away!
I know this post is a controversial topic in the yoga world. However, being unpaid doesn’t happen in any other job field.
I wrote this post for yoga teachers to know their worth and what they should expect from any unpaid teaching position. I wrote this post for studio owners to know the criteria to hiring a yoga teacher without pay.
As yoga teachers, it is our jobs to hold space for others. In order to do that we must be able to hold space for ourselves. If we are working or living in environments that do not serve us then it will reflect onto our students. Which is never good. So studio owners, hold space for your yoga teachers. When the space is held, your students will feel nurtured and your studio will thrive!
To learn more about being a traveling yoga teacher, check out my online course:
Brytta is a world traveling yoga instructor from NYC. She is a lover of glitter, SUP Yoga and climbing waterfalls. When she's not adventuring around the world and teaching yoga, she's writing about her adventures and coming up with new ways to take her yoga off the mat and into the world! When she's not doing any of that, she's outside studying constellations and making wishes on shooting stars. A big fan of discovering new books to read, her current favorite reads are:You are a Badass, Polishing the Mirror and Yoga Girl. ♥