When you meet someone, they usually want to know what you do for work. There is generally a polite conversation briefly covering the topic and then you move on. For me, it usually goes a little something like this:
“What do you do for work?”
“I’m a yoga teacher.”
“Cool! What else do you do?”
“That’s it. I teach full time.”
“You make enough money to live doing that?”
It’s never coming from a place of negativity, but people are generally shocked to find that this “is all I do”. The thing is, my perception and experience of life is very different than what most people are looking for, so teaching yoga IS enough for me. I’ve adapted my lifestyle around my income and am very happy with my choice to do so.
I’m 29, live with my sister, have a wonderful boyfriend and the sweetest kitty. I pay very little rent compared to most people because I’m perfectly content living in a small space with few things. I am happy with my beau and I’m not sure I ever want to get married or have children so I’m not worried about buying a home to create a life for little ones. I create my own schedule because I work for myself. My hours are incredibly flexible and I work essentially whenever and wherever I want because I’m a private contractor.
The biggest differences between my job and someone else’s are that:
- Most of my work is accomplished at home and I happen to only get paid for the work I do in studios – I basically get paid for about 35% of my work.
- If my students don’t pay, decide to go on vacation, skip a month, etc… it’s harder for me to get paid. So I can do the same amount of work and still make less money.
- People don’t understand why some workshops cost more money – the break down between instructor, studio and business expenses makes my income smaller than the asking price. They don’t want to pay because they don’t understand, which equals less support for teachers like myself.
So is being a full time teacher worth it? YES! Because:
- I work from home and if I need a break in the middle of the day I can take a walk, visit my family, head to the park, swim at a pool, snuggle my cat and do whatever I want whenever I want.
- As long as I’m being the best teacher I possibly can be, my can students take a break from their practice and when they eventually find their way back, I’m still there eagerly awaiting them with a smile on my face. Because life is full of breaks. Just because someone takes a “leave of absence” from their mat doesn’t mean they won’t be back. Some months I make hardly any money at all and others are very fruitful.
- I have the ability to charge what I think is appropriate for events. If someone can’t afford a workshop, there will eventually be one that they can. I’ve just recently realized they beauty of expanding my ability to connect with students through incredibly affordable avenues of yoga like offering donation classes, workshops and cheap online programs. Sometimes I can still offer more pricey events in which someone will be able to afford and those really help me pay rent.
Being a full time yoga teacher is AMAZING! I get to connect with different people every day in a way that makes them feel good! I’m a private contractor and get to do my job wherever I want. If something isn’t working in my favor I can drop it and try something else. I am choosing to live in a state of abundance – trusting that what I have is all I need. It is and incredible lifestyle and totally enough for me to “just be a yoga teacher”.
Whatever it is that you do, it’s enough. You’re enough. Believe it and live it!
Much love to you! See you next time!