Alignyo contributor Blair Atkins recently completed her yoga teacher certification through CorePower yoga. Here, she shares five things to consider before becoming a yoga teacher.

Teaching yoga can be a rewarding and inspiring profession, but like most occupations, it isn’t without its difficulties. If you truly intend to teach yoga as your profession, it is important to consider these 5 things before diving in.  

You won’t make a lot of money at first – or any at all! 

Teaching yoga can be a profitable profession (private lessons with yogalebrities cost a small fortune!), but keep in mind that you may have to teach a lot of free classes or donation classes first to gain exposure and experience. Teaching yoga is a competitive field in many major cities and it can be difficult to make it onto a studio schedule right away without having taught dozens of classes in your community first. 

The money you spent getting certified wasn’t the last you’ll spend. 

Getting certified to teach yoga isn’t cheap, but even after you’ve paid off your training, it most likely won’t be the last fee you’ll pay to educate yourself about yoga. The most successful teachers are constantly attending workshops and registering for additional courses, for which there is a cost.  

You may not teach in your neighborhood studio. 

In many big cities, yoga studios are as prevalent as Starbucks. But you may not land a teaching position at the yoga studio down the street from where you live. Many yoga teachers we know have spent many years driving around from studio to studio teaching wherever they could before earning positions at studios closer to home. 

You will work when others aren’t. 

A yoga teacher’s schedule may seem ideal because he or she doesn’t have to work 9 AM – 5 PM five days a week like most office employees do. However, consider that by teaching yoga you are committing to work when other’s aren’t. The most popular yoga classes are held in the morning before most people go to work, in the evening after they leave the office, and on weekends. Are you willing to give up your Sunday morning routine of brunch and a stroll around the park to teach yoga?  

Your work doesn’t end when the class does.  

To many students it seems as if a yoga teacher’s work ends when class gets out. However, consider the time it takes outside of the studio to create playlists, plan your class, market yourself, and stay dedicated to your own practice by attending just as many classes (or more) than you did when you were simply a yogi and not a teacher. These outside responsibilities can add up! 

If you’ve dreamed of teaching yoga, don’t let this discourage you. But it is important to be realistic when it comes to pursuing your passion of teaching yoga. That way you can better prepare yourself to be as successful a teacher as you can be.