Hiring Yoga Teachers
It is common sense to realize that having great teachers can make or break your yoga studio business. One of your biggest concerns as a potential yoga studio owner should thus be hiring the best possible teachers, as these teachers will comprise the studio’s foundation.
How Much to Pay?
Knowing how much to pay your staff is one major consideration when starting a studio. In the San Francisco Bay Area, for example, yoga teachers earn approximately $4 to $5 per student, with many teachers receiving at least $25 to as much as $75 or more total per hour. In New York City, new yoga teachers make $5 to $6 per student until they have regular classes, in which they make approximately $60 to $75 per class.
Certified teachers will cost more than non-certified ones, but certification alone need not be your top hiring criteria. It is actually more important to find teachers who have exceptional communication skills, as a teacher who is able to communicate with sensitivity and compassion will be much more valuable than a well-read one.
Yoga studio owners often report that the number one character trait for outstanding yoga teachers is charisma. Students want to be taught by someone who is confident, personable, down to earth and knows who he or she is and is not afraid to share this in a humble manner. Beyond the desire for a good workout, people often continue to attend yoga classes because they feel seen and understood by their teacher.
That said, talent and experience teaching also count a great deal. Many yoga studio owners report that it is essential to develop a good eye for teachers who have a combination of talent, emotional maturity, a strong work ethic and potential for growth. It is important to hire teachers who seem truly and deeply inspired to share their yoga practice with others, as well as those who fit the kinds of class descriptions your studio offers. Some yoga studios have many different kinds of teachers for several different kinds of classes. Others are more homogenous, so who you hire depends on the degree of diversity of your class offerings.
It is also a good idea to take into consideration which teachers are ideal for beginner students (generally those who are most pleasant and compassionate). Certain people are better suited for advanced classes for people who want an intense workout. Still other teachers might be more skilled in understanding the alignment of the body, which attracts another crowd of students.
Another important criterion to screen potential teachers by is how comfortable they are with taking on leadership roles within your studio, particularly if you would like your studio to outlast your time there.
The amount of classes your most qualified teachers will teach depends on what type of yoga your studio will offer and your studio’s location. Some studios try to experiment at the beginning to see how many classes they can ideally offer and what times are the best for attracting the most students.
Some smaller studios offer just three to four yoga classes per day aimed at the standard 9-to-5 working world (before and after work), stay at home mothers, students and those who are unemployed. Larger studios like Jivamukti Yoga School in New York City and Yoga Works studios in Los Angeles, on the other hand, offer 150 yoga classes in a given week.
When you are ready to interview candidates to fit the teaching slots you assign, make sure to carefully craft a thorough list of interview questions. Define each of the position you hire for. Include the must-have qualifications and qualities your teaching candidates (and bookkeeper, fundraiser, etc.) must have.
Be sure to check the references of the candidates you have to teach at your studio to make sure that the picture the applicant paints of him or herself is consistent with the opinions of at least 2 other people. Avoid hiring pessimistic, dishonest or emotionally needy people, as well as those who possess a history of not following through on projects. Listen deeply and attentively to each person you interview to make sure he or she is a good fit for what kind of people you wish to work for your studio.