Yoga has been growing in popularity over the last several decades, and is now estimated to be a $30 billion per year industry with numerous different specialty markets – and we haven’t reached saturation yet. If anything, the continued diversification of yoga and its Western variants has increased demand for highly specialized teachers and professionals. That’s good news for the growing ranks of professional yogis, but it also means that those who choose to enter the profession need to make wise choices. Choosing and developing the right niche can make or break your career, so take some time to learn the lay of the land and assess your career goals before making any decisions.
Traditional Yoga Styles
Though the yoga market may be expanding, the most popular practices are still those with roots in tradition. That’s why so many yoga teachers specialize in Hatha, Vinyasa, and Iyengar forms of yoga. There’s always demand for classes in these forms of yoga, and they can be leveraged for application in other settings, such as teaching corporate yoga classes to high powered professionals, leading retreats, or as the foundation for managing a yoga studio.
Yoga’s Tech Evolution
Yoga may be an ancient practice, but technology has had a transformative effect on both the practice and the industry. For example, in addition to traditional yoga teacher courses, there are also online yoga instructor courses, which are more affordable and flexible. This has the potential to expand who has access to yoga teacher training. Those who want to become professional instructors training others to be yoga teachers can even specialize in teaching online.
Another way that technology has reshaped the yoga industry is by expanding where people teach classes. Not only can people learn to teach by taking classes online, but companies like Peloton have made it possible for people to take classes from home using special equipment, even streaming their classes live so they can take them with an instructor who is teaching in real time. This opens up a new teaching opportunity for professionals in the yoga industry who are interested in a more modern approach to teaching.
Teaching To The Small Set
Finally, while yoga in the United States was once thought of as something suburban moms and urban elites did, today it has established roots in all demographic groups, including among children. If you’re exploring your options as a yoga teacher, then, why not consider teaching children’s yoga classes? Yoga for kids is part of the growing children’s fitness industry, an outgrowth of the obesity epidemic, an overall decline in access to physical education classes, and even a reduction in the number of children playing organized sports. Yoga for children is also part of a growing emphasis on mindfulness in our school systems, which means there are several different ways you could approach this type of practice.
These options are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to professional options for yoga teachers, so keep an open mind. If you can imagine a setting for yoga – from senior centers to hospitals, cruise ships to YouTube – someone has probably tried it and there’s a good chance you could carve out a career in that niche.