Your Yoga Teacher 5-year Plan and Tailoring your Education for it

What kind of teacher do you want to be after 5 years? Will you continue teaching classes or will you branch out to find your place in the sun within the wellness industry? If you raised your hand or glass to door number two, then this article is for you! Today we are talking about your future in our global community. Most of us chose this line of work because it is our passion and we can see the professional potential that yoga teaching can bring. Maybe we were inspired by our teachers, the studios we attended, or the retreats we embarked on – whatever the case, yoga pushed us to move out of our present situation and into our present point in our careers. The question is, what’s next?

This article will be all about your next 5 years. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been teaching -  5, 10, or 15 years; There will always be a next move for you and since our practice is ever-evolving, our search for higher education will never cease until we say so. Also, so much has changed for continuing education in our field. Which means that we need a way to approach these changes instead of spending all our money on every course in existence. This is where this article comes in. When you read on, we will talk about how to plan your professional future in a streamlined and structured manner in order to become a presence in your field of study. What do we mean? We will show you how to make a roadmap to becoming an expert in your field in the next 5 years. 

Let opportunities unfold as you live your life and work your way to that place in the sun reserved just for you.

How to map out your career as a yoga teacher

Prioritize your career path

If you ask me, a lifetime is too short to learn everything you want to. I always felt that I started late down this path. At 35, I know I’m never going to be as flexible as I want to be, my personal life is at a stage where running away to do a retreat is NOT an option, I have limits and I have made peace with that. The good thing about limitations is that one’s professional journey is clearer. There are only a handful of roads to go down on. For example, at age 40, with only 6 years of teaching experience,I have to look for a sustainable career path. Something I can keep doing as I get older. Maybe I can even continue after retirement age. I can become a yoga therapist or use my aerial yoga skills to develop more age specific methods to train people. More or less I think along these lines to put my vision in perspective. The point is that you need to reflect on what you want to do and ask yourself if you have the time to keep doing it. At any age you’ll have limitations accepting them as you move forward in your career is part of the journey.   

Figure out your needs vs. wants

Prioritization is a key skill anytime you are planning to do anything. It’s no different for your career. Now that you have chosen a career path, it’s time to look into what you’ll need to reach your goals. If you want to create your own teacher training, then you’ll need to become an E-RYT teacher. To acquire this title, you’ll need to complete your 500 hour TT. If you want to specialize in yoga for a specific age group or body type then a short specific certification might be better for you. What if there are other certifications that you have always wanted to learn? This qualifies as a ‘want’. It’s worth considering if you can generate more income with it so that you can pay for your needs. Otherwise, these “extra expenses” can wait. Always try to think about the big picture before making a decision.

Research on the training programs you’ll need 

When you are exploring your options, it’s not enough that you read about the curriculum or the testimonials these programs have on their website. All of them sound amazing. As they should because they are marketing their programs for folks like us. Analyze the details. When I look into a course, I usually stay away from long teacher-trainings that only have one teacher for the entire course. I believe that to get the most out of an education program you need at least a small team with complementing specialties. Another is when you read what the daily schedule is like, I ask myself if they maximize the days in the workshop for learning or do they just use “filler words”. Ask graduates about their experience. I actually looked through testimonials and reached out through the people I could find through social media when I was choosing my 200-hour YTT. Initiate your investigation and try not to rely on mass media when it comes to making big decisions about your career. 

Text Your yoga teacher 5-year plan and tailoring your education for it

Create a timeline over a period of years

Courses are expensive. We are talking 1.500-3.000€. Unless you win the lottery or take out a loan, this is a big financial investment that might be better distributed throughout a period of years. I decided to wait a while before I take my 500-hour YTT just in case I change my mind about where my career is headed. I am so glad I did because I would have spent so much paying (or be in debt) for all the courses I wanted. I wanted to take my 300-hour YTT, specialize in Aerial Yoga, Functional training, Yoga for seniors, the list went on and on. I wanted to take 30,000€ worth of courses. Then when I sat down and really analyzed my situation, I only needed 1-3 courses. The rest were only nice-to-have. I created a timeline. Going for the most affordable ones first that would increase my income to supply the big training program I longed for. So far I am completing 3 more certifications this year which will supplement the big YTT in 3 years. After that.. I can relax with my education and spend my time doing workshops to recuperate my ROI (Return of Investment). As you can see there is a plan in place. Whether it takes a couple more years to complete or not, I gave my career direction.

Learn along the way

Try not to rush into your education. We don’t have academic advisors so we have to observe our evolution and make decisions for ourselves. See where life takes you while you are saving for your dreams. Let opportunities unfold as you live your life and work your way to that place in the sun reserved just for you. 

Let’s recap! 

Figure out what you want in your career. Make realistic goals that you can achieve in the next 5-10 years. You cannot learn everything and you can’t teach everything. Prioritize the courses you want to take up. Eliminate the training programs that are nice-to-have until you’re left with what you need. Do your research and analyze the curriculum. Reach out to graduates from the program, but be careful with social media groups. You’ll get very conflicting answers. Create your timeline. This becomes the map to your career path. Take your time with your education. Experience is the best teacher even after all the courses you take, it’s the hours you put in service to your community that will really shape you. 

Your yoga business has the potential to become a powerfully positive part of your students’ lives. Momoyoga is a simpler and easier way to manage your yoga classes, bookings, payments and yogis all in one place. Try Momoyoga 30 days for free
Jennifer Yusi
My name is Jennifer Yusi. Vinyasa/Aerial yoga instructor, writer for Momoyoga, founder of I believe in the fusion of yoga with different forms of movement. In my downtime, I like hiking, painting and karaoke.

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