I once had a friend tell me that teaching yoga was not a “real job.” I was, at the time, working 40+ hours a week managing a yoga studio and teaching full-time, so it sure felt like real job to me. When she said this to me, I had been contemplating going back to the stability and steadiness a corporate job provides. Money was tight and I had bills to pay. She thought “my break” in the yoga world would keep me from building a resume employers were seeking.
I can tell you that teaching yoga is in fact a “real job.” In fact, teaching yoga can be a very hard job. It can be incredibly draining on the body, physically, mentally and emotionally, and most teachers I know are carrying around some ailment with them all the time. You try to find balance, but unlike other jobs, there’s no sick or personal leave, so if you don’t work, you don’t get paid. I can tell you that as much as yogis like to talk about not competing with others, it’s actually incredibly competitive and often, judgmental. I can tell you that most yoga teachers struggle to make enough money or that students believe that since you practice yoga you are in the position to give your time and energy away for free.