When people experience the transformational power of yoga they dream of turning their hobby into a business. And with so many fantastic places all around the world to learn how to become a yoga teacher, it’s easier than ever to take that first step to becoming a qualified yogi. But what can you do once your yoga teaching is over?
We caught up with Aline Quack, Head of Partner Development at Urban Sports Club to find out how you can turn your yoga into a business. And we chatted with Lars from Yogang who’s experienced this transition first-hand.
Find the perfect teacher training to set you up
Aline is a yoga teacher herself and feels that the best way to get confident in your abilities is to find an inspiring and motivating teacher training. “I was at Ashiyana Yoga in Goa,” she says. “It was beautiful. It’s a good holiday as well – I learnt tons in a four week crash course.” Aline was able became a qualified yoga instructor after 200 hours of training. “You can imagine how exhausting it was,” she says. “Six days a week from morning to evening of meditation, theory, bodywork and yoga of course.”
Aline says that a great way to find your perfect teacher training is to ask someone you admire. “I would suggest finding the style you like, the teacher you like, and then ask where they trained. It’s a great way to find your style – and through Urban Sports Club you can test a lot of studios!”
Establish a community
Lars is a Berlin-based yoga teacher and part of yoga collective Yogang. This group of friends has created a strong following – it’s easier to spread the word when there’s eight of you! Yoga has always been a big part of Lars’ life, but it was only after experiencing the challenges of working in fashion advertising that he decided to explore his passion and start his own yoga business.
“I started yoga when I was 13,” Lars says. “My whole family are yoga teachers – my parents and my brother too.” Lars did his teacher training when he was 21, but accepted a job in the fashion industry shortly after completing it. “It became clear over the years that I need something that has a true purpose besides generating profit. So I started teaching yoga again at the beginning of .”
Joining a collective and yogi community is a great way of building a community and a reputation. Aline says “There are lots of yoga groups you can join on Facebook – communities of teachers. That’s a good way to start as you can substitute classes which is a good way to get started – if they like you they’ll book you again and you’ll build up relationships.”
Hit up USC!
As well as teaching yoga, Aline heads up USC’s Partner Development. She says to register your yoga business as a USC partner “you need your certificate which is 200 hours of teacher training. We need a VAT number (Steuernummer) to show you’re self-employed and allowed to write invoices to us. You just go to the Bürgeramt, pay 20 € and get a trade license. With this you can earn as a small business owner a maximum of € 17,000 per year tax-free.”
“When you have that, contact us through our partner page and we’ll get in touch with more information. We’ll look at your business, where you’re at, whether you’re just starting out or are already established.”
Urban Sports Club partners with yoga teachers that already have a business foundation. “We need a price system because that’s how we negotiate our partnership and the payout per visit. And of course we do free advertising, free marketing, bring in customers and so on.”
Lars says that for Yogang, working with USC was a no brainer. “You can’t miss Urban Sports Club – it’s changing how people participate in classes. For me it was as organic as starting here – it was the next step. With us you can per class or buy a ten class package or come through Urban Sports Club – but we don’t have membership options.”
Find your space
This is the hard part, especially in the major cities like Berlin. Aline teaches yoga on Wednesday’s at Black Sheep Athletics. “I found the space through a friend. Berlin is a tough area because there are so many yoga teachers. It’s all about word to mouth,” Aline says. But, to get around that, there’s always the cities that are less saturated. “It’s easier to start in a small town,” Aline says. “Like a city where yoga isn’t so big and it’s not such a trend so you have the chance to make a difference. I think in smaller towns yoga is still growing – but Berlin is a bit saturated.”
Lars and Yogang teach in a space they rent from a cafe in Kreuzberg called Take a Brake. “Friends of mine, Sarah and Ava, started this collective. We’ve been friends for quite some time, six years or something. Ava got in touch with Susanna who’s the owner of the cafe, she had this space, and it started really organically.”
It all starts with passion
Yoga teacher training is so popular because people want to pursue their passion. Just like Lars, yogis are beginning to dream of turning the thing that makes them feel good and brings them joy into a business. Lars recently decided that he needed to change something in his life, and start working towards something he finds fulfilling. Luckily, the German government are happy to support and fund fledgling entrepreneurs who want to start their own business.
“There are startup funds in Germany where you get supported to start your own business,” Lars explains. “My business is about wellbeing in the work context. I wanted to go back to where I came from, advertising, fashion, lifestyle. I worked in that industry because I had a passion for it and I loved it. But at one point it became really demanding and was only about getting more money. My business is my way to give something back because I know how it works. There’s no time for nothing. You spend so much time at work, you’re always in a rush, there’s no time to eat, there’s no time for anything. So I wanted to find open spaces during work time to teach yoga in offices and agencies and co-working spaces.”
Lars’ background in yoga and his experiences in the workplace makes this the perfect business idea for him. But he thinks that it should all just come from passion. “With yoga it should be about doing something good and being passionate about sharing knowledge and helping people.”
If you’d like to partner up with USC, get in touch with our team.
And if you’d like to take part in a yoga session, find out what classes and courses are near you.