Yoga has a long history, dating back over 5,000 years, to the Indus-Sarasvati civilization in Northern India. This meditative, low-impact exercise has evolved over time, combining a variety of techniques, beliefs, and ideas. As Eastern medicine gained merit across the world, yoga followed, with studios being introduced globally. With its popularity growing, so has the need for qualified, reputable yoga instructor schools. Many of these schools offer a combination of services, each centered on the concept of reducing stress and holistic healing.
Learn how to start your own Yoga Instructor School and whether it is the right fit for you.
Ready to form your LLC? Check out the Top LLC Formation Services.
Start a yoga instructor school by following these 10 steps:
- Plan your Yoga Instructor School
- Form your Yoga Instructor School into a Legal Entity
- Register your Yoga Instructor School for Taxes
- Open a Business Bank Account & Credit Card
- Set up Accounting for your Yoga Instructor School
- Get the Necessary Permits & Licenses for your Yoga Instructor School
- Get Yoga Instructor School Insurance
- Define your Yoga Instructor School Brand
- Create your Yoga Instructor School Website
- Set up your Business Phone System
We have put together this simple guide to starting your yoga instructor school. These steps will ensure that your new business is well planned out, registered properly and legally compliant.
Exploring your options? Check out other small business ideas.
STEP 1: Plan your business
A clear plan is essential for success as an entrepreneur. It will help you map out the specifics of your business and discover some unknowns. A few important topics to consider are:
- What will you name your business?
- What are the startup and ongoing costs?
- Who is your target market?
- How much can you charge customers?
Luckily we have done a lot of this research for you.
What will you name your business?
Choosing the right name is important and challenging. If you don’t already have a name in mind, visit our How to Name a Business guide or get help brainstorming a name with our Yoga Instructor School Name Generator
When registering a business name, we recommend researching your business name by checking:
- Your state's business records
- Federal and state trademark records
- Social media platforms
- Web domain availability.
It's very important to secure your domain name before someone else does.
What are the costs involved in opening a yoga instructor school?
As mentioned, most yoga schools start out as studios, offering daily classes within the community. Therefore, many of the costs associated with opening your school have already been incurred. You will need a dedicated space to host the school’s students. Some printed material may be necessary for your teaching, but the bulk of your classes will be through guided learning. If your vision is to host students from all over the world, it will also be necessary for you to assist students with lodging and food. Some schools have found success hosting in their own homes or studios, while others negotiate affordable rates with establishments within the community.
What are the ongoing expenses for a yoga instructor school?
Like any business, you will incur standard business expenses, such as rent, utilities, marketing, and website hosting. To ensure your school stays on top of the latest trends and teachings, it is important that you invest in yourself each year. Conferences and continuing education classes can be found all over the world, ranging in price from $300 to upwards of $1,000. Be sure to include travel expenses in your budget and strive to visit someplace new and inspiring each year. This will help keep you balanced and feed your hunger for greater knowledge.
Who is the target market?
While it is true that you will be targeting a small niche of individuals, you do carry one distinct advantage - you understand these people, because you are one of them. Your ideal customer is one who has experienced the positive impact yoga makes on people’s lives, and is ready to share that blessing with their community. They embrace the principles of Eastern medicine and are on their own personal path of growth.
How does a yoga instructor school make money?
Your yoga school will likely generate revenue from multiple different sources. First, you should have a number of students who regularly attend yoga classes, instructed by either you or one of your employees. Clients are charged on a per-class or monthly basis, depending upon your fee structure. This will help you sustain through those first years, as you realize your vision for a yoga school. When setting prices for your instructor classes, be sure to consider who you want to attract. If boarding and food are part of the package, set prices accordingly. Your passion for sharing this lifestyle should not stand in the way of reaching the business’s financial goals.
How much can you charge customers?
Yoga school fees vary, depending on how the school is designed and what is offered. Schools that include room and board in their fees charge $2,800 to $3,400 per student, per class.
How much profit can a yoga instructor school make?
Since many yoga schools also host yoga classes, it’s difficult to uncover specifics regarding the profit behind yoga schools. However, if your school’s fees are set at $3,000, and you incur $1,000 in expenses per student, your profit per student is $2,000. If you host a class of ten students, four times a year, that’s an annual profit of $80,000.
How can you make your business more profitable?
To increase annual profits, most schools choose to offer less intensive classes, charging up to $1,800 per student. For students seeking a less hands-in approach, consider selling DVDs, offering online courses, hosting webinars, and publishing their own yoga instructor books. Those seeking to offer a well-rounded school have also found success hosting classes in other aspects of holistic healing.
Want a more guided approach? Access TRUiC's free Small Business Startup Guide - a step-by-step course for turning your business idea into reality. Get started today!
STEP 2: Form a legal entity
Establishing a legal business entity such as an LLC or corporation protects you from being held personally liable if your yoga instructor school is sued.
Form Your LLC
Read our Guide to Form Your Own LLC
Recommended: You will need to elect a registered agent for your LLC. LLC formation packages usually include a free year of registered agent services. You can choose to hire a registered agent or act as your own.
STEP 3: Register for taxes
You will need to register for a variety of state and federal taxes before you can open for business.
In order to register for taxes you will need to apply for an EIN. It's really easy and free!
There are specific state taxes that might apply to your business. Learn more about state sales tax and franchise taxes in our state sales tax guides.
STEP 4: Open a business bank account & credit card
Using dedicated business banking and credit accounts is essential for personal asset protection.
When your personal and business accounts are mixed, your personal assets (your home, car, and other valuables) are at risk in the event your business is sued. In business law, this is referred to as piercing your corporate veil.
Open a business bank account
Besides being a requirement when applying for business loans, opening a business bank account:
- Separates your personal assets from your company's assets, which is necessary for personal asset protection.
- Makes accounting and tax filing easier.
Recommended: Read our Best Banks for Small Business review to find the best national bank or credit union.
Get a business credit card
Getting a business credit card helps you:
- Separate personal and business expenses by putting your business' expenses all in one place.
- Build your company's credit history, which can be useful to raise money later on.
Recommended: Apply for an easy approval business credit card from BILL and build your business credit quickly.
STEP 5: Set up business accounting
Recording your various expenses and sources of income is critical to understanding the financial performance of your business. Keeping accurate and detailed accounts also greatly simplifies your annual tax filing.
Make LLC accounting easy with our LLC Expenses Cheat Sheet.
STEP 6: Obtain necessary permits and licenses
Failure to acquire necessary permits and licenses can result in hefty fines, or even cause your business to be shut down.
State & Local Business Licensing Requirements
Certain state permits and licenses may be needed to operate a yoga instructor school. Learn more about licensing requirements in your state by visiting the SBA's reference to state licenses and permits.
Most businesses are required to collect sales tax on the goods or services they provide. To learn more about how sales tax will affect your business, read our article, Sales Tax for Small Businesses.
Certificate of Occupancy
A yoga instructor business is generally run out of a storefront. Businesses operating out of a physical location typically require a Certificate of Occupancy (CO). A CO confirms that all building codes, zoning laws and government regulations have been met.
- If you plan to lease a location:
- It is generally the landlord’s responsibility to obtain a CO.
- Before leasing, confirm that your landlord has or can obtain a valid CO that is applicable to a yoga instructor business.
- After a major renovation, a new CO often needs to be issued. If your place of business will be renovated before opening, it is recommended to include language in your lease agreement stating that lease payments will not commence until a valid CO is issued.
- If you plan to purchase or build a location:
- You will be responsible for obtaining a valid CO from a local government authority.
- Review all building codes and zoning requirements for your business’ location to ensure your yoga instructor business will be in compliance and able to obtain a CO.
STEP 7: Get business insurance
Just as with licenses and permits, your business needs insurance in order to operate safely and lawfully. Business Insurance protects your company’s financial wellbeing in the event of a covered loss.
There are several types of insurance policies created for different types of businesses with different risks. If you’re unsure of the types of risks that your business may face, begin with General Liability Insurance. This is the most common coverage that small businesses need, so it’s a great place to start for your business.
Another notable insurance policy that many businesses need is Workers’ Compensation Insurance. If your business will have employees, it’s a good chance that your state will require you to carry Workers' Compensation Coverage.
FInd out what types of insurance your Yoga Instructor School needs and how much it will cost you by reading our guide Business Insurance for Yoga Instructor School.
STEP 8: Define your brand
Your brand is what your company stands for, as well as how your business is perceived by the public. A strong brand will help your business stand out from competitors.
If you aren't feeling confident about designing your small business logo, then check out our Design Guides for Beginners, we'll give you helpful tips and advice for creating the best unique logo for your business.
If you already have a logo, you can also add it to a QR code with our Free QR Code Generator. Choose from 13 QR code types to create a code for your business cards and publications, or to help spread awareness for your new website.
How to promote & market a yoga instructor school
If you have decided to take your yoga business to the next level by opening a school, you have, hopefully, built a name for yourself within the community. Word-of-mouth will serve as a great source of advertising. In fact, many teachers have even found success advertising to their current customer base.
Throughout your personal journey with yoga, you will make connections from every corner of the world. Approach these healers, seeking out mutually beneficial partnerships. This should include: other instructors, acupuncturists, and Ayurvedic holistic healers. Health food stores are also a great resource for advertising your services.
How to keep customers coming back
Since this is a one-time, 200-hour class, you will have to get creative when identifying ways to retain students. Those most successful in the industry continuously strive to grow as natural healers and teachers. Continuing education classes often prove profitable, while many take it a step further, learning other aspects of Eastern medicine, such as Ayurveda.
STEP 9: Create your business website
After defining your brand and creating your logo the next step is to create a website for your business.
While creating a website is an essential step, some may fear that it’s out of their reach because they don’t have any website-building experience. While this may have been a reasonable fear back in 2015, web technology has seen huge advancements in the past few years that makes the lives of small business owners much simpler.
Here are the main reasons why you shouldn’t delay building your website:
- All legitimate businesses have websites - full stop. The size or industry of your business does not matter when it comes to getting your business online.
- Social media accounts like Facebook pages or LinkedIn business profiles are not a replacement for a business website that you own.
- Website builder tools like the GoDaddy Website Builder have made creating a basic website extremely simple. You don’t need to hire a web developer or designer to create a website that you can be proud of.
STEP 10: Set up your business phone system
Getting a phone set up for your business is one of the best ways to help keep your personal life and business life separate and private. That’s not the only benefit; it also helps you make your business more automated, gives your business legitimacy, and makes it easier for potential customers to find and contact you.
There are many services available to entrepreneurs who want to set up a business phone system. We’ve reviewed the top companies and rated them based on price, features, and ease of use. Check out our review of the Best Business Phone Systems 2023 to find the best phone service for your small business.
Recommended Business Phone Service: Phone.com
Phone.com is our top choice for small business phone numbers because of all the features it offers for small businesses and it's fair pricing.
Is this Business Right For You?
Are you a yoga instructor who is ready to take your professional transformation to the next level? One of the many beautiful aspects of yoga is that it calls to many for continuous growth. If you are a passionate learner who yearns to share your teachings with others, opening a yoga instructor school may be exactly what you are looking for.
Want to know if you are cut out to be an entrepreneur?
Take our Entrepreneurship Quiz to find out!
What happens during a typical day at a yoga instructor school?
If you are considering opening a school, you likely possess the thirst for knowledge and drive to continuously grow on a personal and spiritual level. You love to dabble in every aspect of healing practice, learning as much from your students as they learn from you. While you may employ an instructor or two, you will spend much of your time teaching yoga classes, practicing at least one session a day with your students. A complete yoga training class requires 200 hours of training and is often done as a retreat for attendees. During this time, your duties will increase, as many of your students will be traveling from other areas of the world. Immersing yourself in the program is critical to your school’s success, as building deep connections is what will set your school apart from the others.
Running a school of this magnitude requires you to wear many hats. When not instructing, you will need to manage the business aspect, network with others in the community, and market your school/studio.
What are some skills and experiences that will help you build a successful yoga instructor school?
To open a yoga instructor school, one must possess significant amount of knowledge regarding the history and concepts behind this age-old practice. Owners should have completed the 200-hour course, and have traveled the world learning from some of the greatest teachers. Running a successful and recognized studio prior to opening a school is highly advised. Yoga Alliance offers a number of classes and resources to start you on your path to fulfilling your vision.
What is the growth potential for a yoga instructor school?
Over the last few years, the yoga profession has been ranked as one of the top-growing careers, indicating significant room for development. Those realizing significant growth fully immerse themselves in this way of life, sharing their journey with others along the way.
Take the Next Step
Find a business mentor
One of the greatest resources an entrepreneur can have is quality mentorship. As you start planning your business, connect with a free business resource near you to get the help you need.
Having a support network in place to turn to during tough times is a major factor of success for new business owners.
Learn from other business owners
Want to learn more about starting a business from entrepreneurs themselves? Visit Startup Savant’s startup founder series to gain entrepreneurial insights, lessons, and advice from founders themselves.
Resources to Help Women in Business
There are many resources out there specifically for women entrepreneurs. We’ve gathered necessary and useful information to help you succeed both professionally and personally:
If you’re a woman looking for some guidance in entrepreneurship, check out this great new series Women in Business created by the women of our partner Startup Savant.
What are some insider tips for jump starting a yoga instructor school?
Since most individuals enter this field because of their love of yoga, it is easy to lose sight of the fact that you are running a business. Remember, yoga is about balance. Spend the time necessary to maintain balance, focusing on marketing and networking in the community, both on a local and international level.
How and when to build a team
If you have become accustomed to running your yoga business yourself, now is the time to start building your team. Marketing and handling the business and teaching in the studio will likely keep you busy enough. While your school may start out hosting only 3-4 certification classes a year, there is a great deal that goes into planning such a business venture. Adding at least one team member will free up enough of your time so that no aspect of your growing portfolio suffers and you are able to focus the majority of your time on educating students.