As a newer yoga teacher, you accepted any teaching opportunity that crossed your path, no matter how small the studio, how far you had to drive, or the time of day you were scheduled to teach. Then more and more opportunities arose, and you continued to add—and add and add—classes to your schedule until one day you realized that teaching and sleeping were all you were doing.
Does that sound familiar?
Ideally, teaching yoga is a career that allows you to do what you love—teaching—while also having time to do the things that contribute to you creating a balanced and satisfying life for yourself. When you have an unsustainable teaching schedule, it’s a fast road to burnout, resentment, financial strain, even health issues. Not to mention, your students can sense when you’re not teaching at your best, which can lead to attrition in your classes.
So, what is the ideal teaching schedule? My experience teaching for 20-plus years, along with observing how my students who are teachers build their schedules for success, has led me to create a list of strategies for building your perfect yoga teaching schedule. Although your schedule needs to reflect your own priorities, here are some things to consider:
Teach twice a week at each studio
When possible, offer the same class level, style, and location twice a week at the same studio. Many students get in a rhythm of either Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday with the same teacher. This helps you build your following.
Minimize your travel time
The minutes or hours you spend in transit to and from class can eat up your day in between classes, especially if you teach in a big city. Aim to teach back-to-back classes at the same studio or in the same neighborhood to maximize—or rather, minimize—your travel time.
Be consistent for students
Sub out your classes only when absolutely necessary. Being a consistent presence in your classes is key to maintaining your community and encouraging repeat student attendance. If you’re missing classes frequently, it might be time to shift your schedule.
Balance work and life
While teaching yoga can often be a dream job, it’s still a job, and you still need time to rest away from work. Schedule time for your personal commitments like date night, workshops with your favorite teacher, family time, and travel.
Not a morning person? Don’t teach at 6 a.m. Need to be in bed early? Don’t accept that 7 p.m. class. Also, there is no “correct” number of classes to teach, but the longer you teach, the more you will get to know what works for you. Regularly check in with your energy levels, fulfillment, and financial goals to see if you’re on the right track. When you feel off-balance, take a good look at your schedule and see where you can optimize for self-care, financial success, and opportunities.
See also: So You Finished YTT…Now What?