The yoga industry brings in over $37 billion per year, and as the community grows, so do the opportunities for employment. When most people think of yoga as a profession, their minds immediately jump to yoga teachers and studio owners. Although these can certainly be viable pathways to earning a living through yoga, they aren’t the only ways.
If you live for yoga and want to make it your livelihood, read on—here’s a look at some of the best yoga jobs and career opportunities.
Although getting your yoga teacher training doesn't guarantee a job, it does set you on the pathway to becoming a professional yoga teacher. A teacher training course typically costs between $1,000 - $3,000, and varies between 200- and 500-hour training certifications.
Though many yoga teachers start out teaching free classes or teach as a supplement to another job, more established yoga teachers are able to teach full-time and make a living.
Salary: According to Glassdoor, yoga teachers earn an average annual salary of $46,474.
If you’ve always thought you might want to open a yoga studio but you aren’t sure, working as a studio manager is a solid starting point. Although the job takes obsessive attention-to-detail, a mind for the “bottom line,” as well as top-notch people skills, it can be an excellent way to get a feel for the business side of yoga. And, jobs at yoga studios often come with enticing perks, like free classes or a reserved spot in special courses and workshops.
Salary: Glassdoor reports that yoga studio managers earn an average annual salary of $40,171.
Yoga-savvy individuals keen on owning a small business might want to consider opening a studio. However, it’s important to remember that there are more and more yoga studios popping up everywhere, every day, making competition fierce and success difficult to come by. Generally, it’s a good idea to establish yourself in the yoga community—usually as a teacher—before opening your own studio.
And, of course, location is a huge factor in the success of a yoga studio. Breaking even in a place like New York City or Los Angeles can be a difficult feat, as there are literally hundreds of yoga studios within city bounds. But, if you happen to live in a small town with more people who are interested in yoga than there are yoga studios, you might just be in luck.
Salary: It varies—but any new business comes with risk. Yogi Times notes 80% of all new businesses (not just yoga businesses) fail within the first five years. So, it’s a good idea to diversify revenue streams if you’re thinking of starting your own studio.
Yoga festivals are an increasingly popular phenomenon, from 3HO Yoga Festival in Europe, the famous Bali Spirit Festival in Ubud, Bali, to Wanderlust Yoga and Music festivals held in a variety of locations.
If you're a yogi who also happens to be interested in event production, you might enjoy working for one of these festivals. You can also consider working at a music festival that includes yoga classes.
Salary: Glassdoor reports that festival directors earn an average annual salary of $44,223.
Music—and yoga? There’s actually a closer connection than you might think. As the popularity of yoga grows, the types of classes are evolving, too, and it’s becoming increasingly common for teachers to play music during their classes.
Many large classes, workshops, festivals, and retreats feature DJs that drop unique beats to accompany the yoga flow. MC Yogi, for example, has made a name for himself mixing music made specifically for yoga.
Salary: According to PayScale, DJs earn an average annual salary of $40,514.
If you have stellar people skills, you might want to consider working as a brand ambassador for yoga-related products or services, whether it be a new health food, a type of yoga mat, or a line of yoga wear. Many brand ambassadors run booths or demos at yoga festivals, studio openings, and other yoga-related events.
Salary: Glassdoor reports that brand ambassadors earn an average annual salary of $32,151.
Many companies now offer their own lines of athletic clothing purposed for yoga, and there has also been an uprise of smaller brands designing unique yoga wear lines.
There are also several big-name companies that focus primarily on apparel for yoga. Lululemon is one example. The Canadian-based shop has more than 400 storefronts, and given the breadth of the company, there are numerous opportunities for advancement to higher-level positions.
Salary: According to PayScale, retail sales associates earn an average annual salary of $36,804.
There has been continuing research into the physical and mental effects of yoga and its relation to health outcomes.
Scientists have looked into yoga for diabetes, cancer, HIV, multiple sclerosis, post-traumatic stress disorder, and even for smoking cessation, menopause, and many other conditions.
Many researchers are still exploring the benefits of yoga, in a variety of different fields, from psychology to physiology.
Salary: PayScale reports that research scientists earn an average annual salary of $80,285.
All of the research behind yoga has been used to design both psychological and physical therapy programs that utilize yoga and meditation. Yoga therapists often work in community health centers, rehabilitation clinics, or physical therapy offices, though some may open their own private practice.
Although the field is an emerging one, several universities offer advanced degrees in yoga therapy and yoga science. For example, the Maryland University of Integrative Health offers a Master's Degree in Yoga Therapy.
Salary: Per ZipRecruiter, yoga therapists earn an average annual salary of $65,484.
It’s no secret that the yoga industry rakes in lots of cash. For better or for worse, there’s a lot of money to be made, and a wide market for yoga-related merchandise.
Entrepreneurs of all kinds have capitalized on the opportunity, and in recent years there have been a variety of new products introduced to the market: from custom yoga mats to non-slip yoga socks, from wild printed yoga leggings to food and drinks popular in the yoga world, like coconut water and kombucha.
So, if you have stumbled onto a clever idea, you might want to see if you can make something of it.
Salary: As you might imagine, entrepreneurs’ earnings vary widely. Zippia reports that entrepreneurs earn an average annual salary of $76,000, with high earners pulling in more than six figures.
How to Find the Best Yoga Jobs
Network: Ask around at the classes you attend to see if anyone knows a studio that's hiring. Tell your friends and colleagues that you’re looking for opportunities.
Target a Specific Employer: Check the websites of yoga products and services you're interested in to see if they are hiring.