Yoga instructors can either get paid through a yoga studio, or they can be self employed.

On average, yoga instructors can make $30.00 per hour give or take. In spite of this, salaries can vary especially if the instructor is freelancing and self employed.

If you’re planning to work for a yoga studio, there are generally 4 ways that you get paid for your instruction -

1. Hourly

This is done on a per class basis. How many hours do you hold for a single session? And it is on a per class batch meaning different students may come in depending on arrangements and on how many students are eager to have a session with you on the yogi mat.

2. Per head

You can also get paid based on the number of students attending the class. This is great if you can charge a fair amount per session. If you charge $4.00 for example and you have 10 students, that might be a fair and reasonable price considering your time and your overhead with your yoga studio.

3. Salary with Recruitment Commissions

Some yoga studios can also opt to pay their yogi instructors flat rates with bonuses for having enrolled students. If you enroll a certain number of students for a given month, for example, you may be given a commission for those.

4. Freelance

If you want to work for a yoga studio there can be some arrangements for part time. Or you can work as a private yoga instructor! In this case, your rates will depend on your arrangements with your customers.

Flat Rate vs. Per Student Yoga Instructor’s Salary

Most studios want to pay instructors a flat rate. This means you get the same amount whether you bring 100 students in or not.

If you’re employed by your own boss then you can negotiate and have your salary be given incentives per number of students. You can also go for the enrollment bonuses if you would like or registration commissions.

But if you’re confident you can bring in more heads at a given time? That might be the beneficial arrangement.

The great advantage of Salaried workers though which can be flat or Hourly is that they will get paid even if only 2 or 4 people show up.

Click here to learn about How to Calculate Holiday Pay for Hourly Employees

How can Yoga Instructors Negotiate their Salary

Yoga instructors can opt for higher pay if they can offer something of value.

In general, studios a are looking for people who are charismatic and confident. If you can sell the ability to stay relaxed, to do the exercises even though you are not experienced and to talk students into going through the Asanas properly, then there’s a higher chance you can get paid by the headcount.

If you aren’t confident about recruiting a number of students, then having an hourly salary arrangement is a surer way to get compensated for your efforts.

You must also make sure your payments are recorded through the use of pay stubs or pay slips. These documents record your earnings over time and ensure that

How Much is a Yoga Instructor’s Pay per Student?

Usually, you can get $1 – 4 per student if you can bring them in and depends on your level of experience. You may also opt for an hourly salary and see if you can get referrals to bring in more heads.

If you can bring in more heads for the yoga studio, then your management may oblige and give you the higher rates you’re looking for.

Or you can have a fixed salary plus increases if you can pull in a higher number of students.

In general, there may be no single approach to getting paid as a yoga instructor.

Proof of Income for Self Employed Yoga Instructors

If you’re opting to have a private practice and coach clients on your own, then you may choose to go the freelance route.

A freelancer is also an independent contractor.

1. Pay Stubs

Pay stubs are your best chance of showing proof of income if you’re self-employed. If you don’t have one yet, you can generate them through using a free online pay stub generator. Using pay stubs gives you the chance to calculate your remittances and stay on top of taxes.

2. Proof of income letter

If you’re working part time or as a contractor, you can ask a proof of income letter from your boss.

If you’re both self employed and work for a studio, your studio might have it’s own invoices and pay slips. Keep these pay stubs or pay checks to make sure you can keep track of your income from time to time.

3. Online payments

If you’ve been paid online via bank or debit, then these can also serve as proof of income. Keep screenshots of online payments you receive. Especially if you’ve been coaching yoga via Zoom in the pandemic. Online payments can then be reflected in your check stubs as well.

4. Income tax returns

Your income taxes are important and they show how much your earnings are relative to how much you've remitted to the government. State and federal taxes can vary. So check in with your local state laws and mandates

Here is an article on What are Payroll Deductions?

Other Proof of Income Forms for Freelance Yoga Instructors

Form W2

These are filed at the end of each year before January 31st, if you’re working for a yoga studio your employer is tasked with reporting your W-2’s to reveal your income for the past year.

Form 1099

These forms are filed by independent contractors. If you’re earning as a freelancer, then you need 1099’s to show you’ve been earning for a given period of time.

Form W-4

Employers complete this form and files them with withholding taxes. The W-3 form is then used to calculate federal income taxes.

Form I-9

This form verifies your legal status to ensure that you’re eligible to work in the US if you are an expat.


If you want to become a yoga instructor, you can choose to either work for a studio. Or teach yoga freelance. In either case, you must ensure you get paid!

You can show proof of income through your pay stubs, a proof of income letter, your bank statements or your tax returns. If your stint as a yoga instructor is making you self-employed, then you must file income taxes.

You can track your income through the use of your pay stubs and check stubs and make sure you stay on top of your remittances.