I received an email from a Young Yoga Masters trainee in the Mindfulness for Children training, asking about how to start her kids’ yoga business and getting paid to teach kids classes.
She already teaches adult classes so what’s the best way to get going in kids yoga?
She’s considering renting a space and offering classes for three different age groups (tots, 4-6, and 8-13 year old kids).
So who am I to give advice on this topic? Well, I have been self-employed as a yoga teacher for 20+ years, I’ve taught kids yoga in all kinds of environments and successfully transitioned by business to teacher training and recently expanded to help experienced yoga teachers with a turn-key 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training.
All of this helps me keep up to date in the yoga business world!
Keep reading as I answer this business question about how to start teaching.
Can you give me guidance on how and where to start teaching kid’s classes?
I recommend people start teaching as early as possible after taking a teacher training course so they can use what they have learned while it is still fresh in their mind. You can start considering there to teach yoga to children while you are still in a training.
There are two parts to building your yoga teaching business:
1. Get Confident Teaching Kids Yoga
First thing you have to do is to get confident teaching yoga to children which means knowing what to teach in a first class and series so you’re not afraid to teach yoga to children! You know you have confidence if you don’t feel afraid or go into a tailspin wondering what to teach when you get booked to teach a yoga class for children.
Often new teachers get a job teaching kids and get overwhelmed deciding what to do in their lesson plan.
Teach Your Favorite Activities
If this is you, I suggest picking your favourite activities for the first class. Something you feel very comfortable teaching, something you think the kids will like. Since this student took the Mindfulness for Children module, those activities could be:
- The sound-match game with shaking eggs – this activity can last for 2 or 3 classes if you don’t get all the matches done in the first class and you can adjust the game to make it age appropriate.
- Yoga with Props, like the balancing eagle/ or balancing a bean bag on a body part in yoga poses, again, something you can do with all ages.
- Partner Yoga or group yoga poses are favourites with school age children.
- Finish with a meditation or mindful activity like the Feelings Dance or Loving Kindness Activity from the Mindfulness for Children module,
We cover lesson planning in all our training modules and if you have taken other training courses, just pick your very favorite activities from your training.
Teach as many classes as you can till you feel confident!
Start teaching so you solve the mystery of teaching children. You build confidence through experience.
To give you one roadmap of what it means to become a confident teacher, Yoga Alliance requires you teach 30 kids classes after your training, to get the RCYT designation (RCYT = Registered Children’s Yoga Teacher).
It can take 30 classes to get confident. Depending on your previous experience it may take less or more. You’ll know you are confident when you get a new class and you don’t worry about what you will teach.
Get paid in confidence
In summary, building your confidence is required to build your business. Consider lowering your price, volunteering, or traveling a little further for a class, with the idea that you are getting paid in confidence.
2. Get Paid (in Money) to Teach Kids Yoga
Once you are confident in your delivery you can start to be more ambitious about getting a fair price for your teaching skills.
Although I’ve taught in many places over the years the ideal schedule for my business and needs ended up with me teaching mostly in a daycare setting. I had a group of daycare centres that I visited on different days of the week. I didn’t deal with individual student’s registrations or keeping my class numbers and attendance up. I just invoiced the daycare once a month. It worked for me and allowed me to have weekends off or available for doing birthday parties or workshops.
Start with a broad age range then narrow it.
However, the question I received was about renting a space. In this situation, consider starting with a broad age range (5 – 12 years old) and then narrow it down once you see who signs up.
When renting, aim for a decent size group of kids, at least 8 children, before you split the class in two or three age ranges.
If you offer too many classes at first, then you might end up with 2 kids in one class and 3 kids in the other. Wouldn’t you rather teach one class with 5 kids? Focus on giving those kids a great experience so they tell their friends and your class grows.
Give Your Class a Chance to Grow
I have taught classes where one child (or their parent) brings 3 or 4 other kids to the next class. So I also recommend you start the class even if you don’t have your ideal number of children to give your class a chance to grow through word of mouth.
Which means asking the adults to help you spread the news after the first class! Give them a flyer, ask parents if they know anyone who might be interested.
If their kids are having a good time, the parents will be happy to tell others about your class.
Imagine what you do when you find an amazing new restaurant. Don’t you actually enjoy telling others about it? In fact, I want to tell others because I don’t want them to go out of business. The same goes with parents, they’ll enjoy telling others about the amazing kids yoga class they just found.
I’ve never offered a finders fee or bonus for referrals, but you could give that a try. Some teachers give a free class coupon for people to give to others, but I have not used this technique very often.
Most classes build through word of mouth, so I do make it easy for people to share your class with others by having a flyer or newsletter that they can pass along.
Use your connections to reduce your costs.
Now let’s talk about how you can reduce your costs to help you increase your income.
If you have kids, check if you can offer a class at their school. One mom did a 30-minute lunchtime class where the parents paid her directly and because of her connections with the school, she didn’t have to pay room rental.
When I taught in schools, I taught an after school class organized by a parent on the parent committee and I didn’t have to pay a room rental to the school. In schools, I’ve done classes in the music room, in the gym, and even in the hallway (some schools have very wide hallways). Back then my rate was $10 per child per class so if you get creative and use your connections, building the class to 15 kids can make you a very fair wage, maybe more than what you would get paid by a daycare or school directly.
Plus you can up-sell your services, perhaps offering yoga birthday parties to kids, a business opportunity we break down in our Yoga Literacy training.
Building Your Kids Yoga Business takes Time
Building any business takes time and you aren’t going to start with your perfect schedule. Eventually you will be able to drop your least favourite classes as you get more classes you love.
The first step is to get confident in teaching, through training and experience. Then you can build your business income so your business can sustain you.
We’re going to talk more about this and the business of kids yoga in our Monthly free mini-training.
Free Kids Yoga Teacher Mini-Training
Business of Kids Yoga
Every month we conduct a free mini-training and teacher check-in. The November 2021 topic was on the Business of Kids Yoga. It is worth watching the replay that you get with registration.
Also check out the March 2021 Replay: Putting Yourself Out There as a Kids Yoga Teacher
Mastermind: Business Planning and Curriculum Design
If you want to really focus on building your kids yoga business, I recommend the Mastermind: Business Planning and Curriculum Design training. It is a 16 hour module where you will work on your business plan and get help from our experienced yoga teacher trainers AND get inspired by others in the course.
Click the button below to get more info about your training options:
Kids Yoga Teacher Training
Self-Paced, Live-Zoom, or In Person
- Yoga Literacy with the Yoga Alphabet (16 Hour Certificate)
- Themes and Dreams (16 Hour Certificate)
- Kids Yoga and Mindfulness Training- School Age (8 Hour Certificate)
- Chakras for Children (4 Hour Certificate)
- Family Yoga (4 Hour Certificate)
- Mindfulness for Children (16 Hour Certificate)
- Inclusive Yoga (16 Hour Certificate)
- Level 2: Mastermind Curriculum Design and Business Planning (16 Hour Certificate)
- All Modules = 96 Hour Certificate