Two years before I had the guts to give up my secure life in The Netherlands I checked Yogatraveljobs every other day at the office and dreamed of the places where I could teach yoga.
Last year my wife and I finally took the decision to fly out and teach yoga around the globe. Our first job on the Indonesian island of Gili Trawangan turned out in a financially negative balance on our side. In return, we had taught 12 to 15 classes a week and also worked in the restaurant of the yoga studio. After six weeks we asked ourselves if we were living our full potential while working and had to pay for it.
When you look at the job opportunities you’ll find a lot of volunteering yoga jobs, sometimes with full board and sporadically a paid opportunity. The question is, why do companies underpay the yoga teachers?
I started teaching three and a half years ago. The first nine months I only gave donation based classes. In my opinion, a yoga teacher can train him or herself in humbleness, feel gratitude and experience an unattached feeling by not having expectations by teaching for free or almost free.
“So teaching yoga is not about making money.”
Still, I like to teach for free, especially when it comes to non-profit organizations, but I have my doubts to teach for free or almost free for yoga studios who make serious money in the yoga industry.
So, I’ll have to rephrase my question about companies underpaying yoga teachers. Yoga studios, surf schools, and retreat centers are trying to make as much profit as they can and who can blame them? Yoga is still a booming business! If you have enough teachers who are willing to take the non-paid job they make more profit.
But…Yoga teacher, you spent at least € 10.000 on teacher trainings, advanced studies, and immersions (at least I did!), so unless you live of a trust fund or teach as a hobby your dream is most likely seeing your self as a yoga teacher who can live from yoga teaching (at least I do!).
If there is one thing I learned in practicing and teaching yoga is that you should be able to be the change that you want to see in life, so I’ll rephrase my question again:
“Why do we yoga teachers agree with being un- or underpaid?”
In my opinion, most yoga teachers like myself are not real business people, being sensitive asking for money etc. we are not living our full potential. As long as we don’t change our attitude towards this, companies will work with volunteers instead of hiring paid yoga teachers.
This article is not meant to be judgmental about yoga companies or yoga teachers but merely to create awareness about the subject. Personally, I will not apply anymore for a job without a fair deal for both parties. This means I can’t apply for all jobs anymore, but that does not matter at all. I am confident about my teaching and I think I deserve a fair pay for it.
What do you think? I am seriously interested in opinions and inspiration about this subject. Feel free to contact me through e-mail; firstname.lastname@example.org or Facebook; https://www.facebook.com/freeasayogi/