How Much Should I Charge for Online Yoga?
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit earlier this year, yoga studios all around the world shut down, and yoga teachers had to cancel their in-person classes. As it became evident that the new restrictions on in-person classes were here to stay, yoga teachers started moving their offerings online.
With this shift from in-person to virtual yoga classes, a question that many yoga teachers started asking is – how much should I charge for online yoga classes?
To answer that question, it is important to first answer the more fundamental question: How much should I charge for yoga classes?
Price Depends on Value, Not Time
Many yoga teachers, particularly those fresh out of a Yoga Teacher Training, are inclined to charge prices as low as $5 or $10 per hour of instruction. Sometimes, they even offer free classes as a way to get more experience in teaching and to build up their credentials.
However, it is important to consider the value that you are creating for your students.
Even a beginner yoga teacher with very limited teaching experience brings some value to their students. By sharing yoga with our students, we are introducing them to a multitude of benefits, much as we have experienced from our own practice of yoga.
The prices you charge should be based on the understanding that you are sharing something of value to your yoga students, rather than an arbitrary numerical value you attach to your time.
Shannon Crow suggests that a good starting point to figure out how to price your yoga classes is to look at the prices for therapists (massage therapy, speech therapy, physical therapy, etc.) in your area. She recommends pricing your classes at a similar or comparable rate to these professionals because ultimately, the practice of yoga is likewise beneficial to your students.
Other yoga teachers price their classes similar to other wellness practitioners such as Reiki healers, acupuncturists and reflexologists in their area, while yet others match their prices to personal trainers or gym coaches.
The (Hidden) Costs of Teaching Yoga
It is a common line of thinking among yoga teachers that if they charge $5 per student, and get 10 students in an hour-long class, they are making $50/hour. This sounds like a reasonable hourly rate, but unfortunately this fails to take into consideration the sometimes hidden and invisible costs of teaching yoga.
So, is one hour in front of your students just one hour of your time? The simple answer is: No.
There is a lot of work that goes into teaching a yoga class. Planning the sequence of the lesson and the cues. Signing students up for the class. Marketing and promotion to get students to sign up. Traveling to and from your yoga session. These are just some of the things that we have to do before we can show up for our students on the mat.
This does not account for overheads such as cost of travel, studio fees, marketing and promotion collateral, props, tools to run our yoga business and more. In addition to that, we also have to consider the time, energy and resources we have invested into earning our certifications, further training and education to specialize, and years of experience.
Tracey Eccleston has shared more about these costs we often don’t factor in when deciding on prices, but being aware of these hidden costs of being a yoga teacher and sharing yoga with our students can help us decide on reasonable prices for our classes.
Yoga Is Not About Making Money!
As yoga teachers trained in the eight limbs of yoga, thinking about how to make money by teaching yoga may seem contrary to aparigraha (non-attachment, non-greed yama). We may question ourselves, “Should I be making money off of something that is such a spiritual practice?”.
This is a valid question, and one that is worth contemplating further. However, it is just as important to look at the big picture, and ask yourself a more pressing question: Can I sustain myself and my business by charging low prices?
For most of us, charging low prices means having to juggle a second (or third!) job, having to teach more classes than you would like, or barely being able to make ends meet. When you charge a fair price for the value you give to your students, you will be able to pay your bills, hire others, give to worthy causes in your community, and make a real difference, apart from the positive impact that you have on your students.
Undercharging – A Profound Impact on the Yoga Industry
When we undercharge for yoga, it not only has a negative impact on us, and being able to sustain our yoga business. It also pulls down the whole industry, and reduces the professionalism in the industry. People see our services as being devalued when there are other yoga teachers offering classes for $5 or $10 per lesson, and they come to expect similar prices from all yoga teachers.
This is something we would never expect from other professionals. Whether it’s a plumber changing the pipes in your bathroom, or an accountant helping you balance your books, or a web developer creating your website – we pay them for the education, expertise and / or experience that they bring with them, not just the time they spend on the task. Why should yoga teachers be regarded any differently?
Some yoga teachers may think that charging less for their classes will help attract more students. However, this is not necessarily true. People tend to associate price with value, and indeed often use price as a gauge of quality. Low prices may then signal to potential students a lack of expertise, a lack of value, or maybe a teacher who isn’t experienced or specialized.
Think about the purchases you make in your own life. Are you more likely to hire an electrician who charges $20 to rewire your home, or someone who charges $100? Would you bring your child to a pediatrician who charges $15 for a consultation or to one who charges $95? What level of service do you expect from a web designer who costs $10/hr vs. someone who costs $80/hour?
So, How Much Should You Charge for Yoga Classes, In-Person and Online?
Taking into consideration all of the above factors like time, effort, experience, expertise, specialization and more – you should be able to arrive at a figure that works for you. Ultimately, it needs to be a number that:
- You are comfortable charging
- Allows you to sustain yourself and your business
- Reflects the value you are creating for your students
If you are still confused about how to price your classes – Here are some figures yoga teachers in The Connected Yoga Teacher Facebook Group are charging for private 1:1 classes.
Online Versus In-Person
What about online classes? Should they be cheaper or priced differently? The yoga teachers in our private Facebook community have shared some of their prices in this discussion, as well as how they structure packages online.
However, the thing is, just because the medium through which you are sharing yoga with your students has changed, doesn’t mean anything else has changed. Shannon Crow strongly recommends charging the same price for virtual classes as you do for your-in person classes.
So Connected Yoga Teachers, how much are you charging to share your yoga with your students, both online and in-person? Let us know in the comments!
We’d also love to promote your virtual yoga offering – add your live and online yoga classes to this global registry to reach new audiences around the world!
Struggling to make the shift from in-person classes to virtual? Need some help to get set up on Facebook, Zoom, Instagram or YouTube? Check out the Offer Yoga Online Masterclass with Amanda Mckinney & Shannon Crow to get started!
Related Podcast Episodes:
Teaching Yoga Online
- 161: Get Your Yoga Online in 48 Hours with Jennie MacGoy
- 165: Offer Online Yoga Masterclass with Shannon Crow & Amanda McKinney
- 120: Teach Private Yoga Online with Yael Oppenheim
- 078: Creating an Online Yoga Studio with Brea Johnson
- 006: Teaching Online Yoga with Rosslyn Kemerer
- 181: Grow an Online Yoga Business with Nikki Naab-Levy
- 130: Make a Profit Teaching Private Yoga with Emily Sussell
- 014: Build Your Private Yoga Business with Kate Connell Potts
- 141: Let’s Talk Money with Katie Brauer
- 101: What I Learned as a Yoga Studio Manager with Shannon Crow
- 042: Money Mindset with Geraldine Carter
Growing Your Yoga Business
About the Author
Crunch Ranjani is a copywriter & editor who specializes in writing content for health & wellness professionals.
She loves to travel and has been a digital nomad since 2013.
Visit Crunch's website.