Yoga is for everyone, and everyone can benefit from yoga. So yoga should be financially accessible for students. But financial stability (pardon the pun) is a must for the teachers as well as the students.
When I first decided to complete a Yoga Teacher Training course I was convinced that I would never teach yoga; I went to India to train to be a yoga teacher in order to expand my own personal practice. Yoga was, and is, my escape from stress. I never wanted yoga to become stressful or merely an income generator. I never wanted to be forced into pricing anyone out of the market, off of the mat.
But how do you create a price that accounts for the training and time that has gone into the class? How do you ensure that both the teacher and the students are content with the price?
Teachers have found a whole host of creative solutions to this potential issue. I have met yogis who live and teach yoga in India, enjoying the affordable hippy, hipster slice of paradise. I have met individuals who teach yoga as a hobby but who rely on their income from practicing law. This is a wonderful position to be in. But to be able to teach yoga in this way is relatively unique. What about the yoga teachers who are living in the Western world and teach full time?
I would suggest that the first way to overcome this issue is to charge people what they can afford. Differentiate your prices so that yogis who are on a tighter budget can attend your donation-based classes and perhaps take advantage of student-discount pricing. Yogis who are less worried about money, and who are more worried about time, can attend your regularly priced classes, or perhaps even pay for the extra convenience of a private yoga lesson in their own home. Personally, I offer different prices for students, who tend to be on a tighter budget, than for non-students. Additionally, I teach a combination of regular, paid classes and donation-based classes. Better yet, when it is possible, I try to get funding from alternate sources to my students.
Sounds too good to be true? I would argue that it’s not. What about charging universities instead of charging university students? That way students can enjoy a free class while teachers still get paid.
In conclusion, you can balance funds while in balancing poses. You just have to try to be flexible.