It’s not about the money, right?

I mean, we all teach yoga to help others from the goodness of our hearts.

We’re so passionate about it that we’d gladly do it for free and live on the ramen noodles we buy from the change stuck in vending machines and all that jazz, yes?

Well, sure!

Aaaaaand we all need to feed and take care of ourselves in order to deliver these valuable teachings!

It’s often this inner conflict in yoga teachers that makes negotiating a raise challenging: we’d do it for free, but realistically we can’t…and we shouldn’t (at least not all the time).

Money is an energy exchange and we all deserve to get back an amount that is proportionate to what we give.

So if you’re feeling those “icky” feelings of resentment creeping in around inequitable pay for your efforts, it’s time to have that convo!

I know many of us who get into this “yoga teaching business” don’t actually like business—that’s why I’ve got your back! Check out 6-steps to help you feel confident about negotiating a raise at your yoga studio.

1. Do Your Inner Money Work

Trust me, we all have some money issues to iron out. Take care of yours before walking into this negotiation because if part of you doesn’t think you deserve this raise, it ain’t gonna happen, honey! Use books, podcasts, whatever resources you need to make sure you KNOW in your heart that you are worthy of and ready to receive this additional income.

I have a few blog posts about how to earn money as a yoga teacher and what it’s really like when to teach yoga. I suggest checking them out to get started.

2. Do Your Research

Once you’re confident that you’re worthy, get confident about the amount you want to receive. Use Google, study the yoga industry, ask teacher friends, see what others are earning, and do your due diligence to determine the amount that you know is fair to ask compared to other similarly qualified teachers in your area. 

3. Have Your Numbers Ready

If you’re not already tracking the students that come to your classes, now’s the time! You will be able to see how many students are coming to your classes, how consistent your class size is, how often you have repeat students, etc. Then you have this as hard evidence demonstrating that you’re a badass teacher and an asset to the studio.

4. Clarify & Communicate Your Why

Why do you teach yoga? Why do you want a raise? And how do those things go together? Be honest about these things with your studio owner or manager. For example, “I am teaching to help people with anxiety because yoga has helped me with that same struggle. Making more money from my classes will help me to take an online yoga for anxiety course so I can better help others with this issue.”

5. Think About THEM!

Business is at least a two-way street and the best business deals leave all parties feeling good about the agreement. So figure out which of your studio’s needs you can fill.

  • Do they struggle with turn-over and seek longer-term teachers? Perhaps include in your convo your desire to teach there for the long-haul.
  • Do they love those who offer unique, niche classes or interesting workshops? Tell them you want to use the additional income to continue your education and commit to offering a new class or workshop in return.
  • Do they value teachers with the most availability? Mention that additional income per class would allow you to quit your part-time job so that you will be available to teach more classes.

Figure out which of their problems you can or already directly solve, then work that into your yoga teacher bio, your yoga resume, and your pitch.

6. Remember Your Yoga

Yoga reminds us to be kind and gracious, to do our best and speak our truth, and then to let go of the rest. So if you’ve done the steps above, then it’s time to surrender. Breathe. Listen with openness and humility to what your manager or studio owner has to say and let go of what is beyond your control. Every opportunity to use our voice for ourselves in nerve-racking situations makes us stronger. Be grateful for the opportunity for this conversation and proud of yourself for doing it.

Good luck, my yogi teacher friends! Determining what is fair compensation for our work and receiving that amount is a journey for all of us. Just remember…your inherent worth is never defined by money. Now go get ‘em!

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