The positives of working in a gym are that you are likely to have a pre-set up and equipped teaching environment, a more or less guaranteed supply of already health-conscious students who would be interested in experiencing the potential benefits of yoga, limited administration and advertising costs, and a reliable income. All of this will help you concentrate more on teaching and less on the organisational side of being a more independent yoga teacher.
For gym members there is an opportunity to try out yoga in an environment that is familiar and comfortable to them, perhaps for free as part of their membership. In addition, having a gym class or classes as part of your teaching schedule gives you more exposure to interested students who may also like to come on your more extensive yoga workshops or residential courses elsewhere. This means that you may increase your client base and earning opportunities.
Possible issues that may arise while working as a yoga teacher in a gym include a lack of control over your teaching environment including possible surrounding noise, heating issues and a lack of suitable ambience depending on the culture and focus of the gym. Yoga is supposed to be calm and meditative in most forms. If the room next door to the studio is blasting high-paced music for a cardio or HIIT class, this is likely to disrupt your class. This may be something that the management at the gym can help with by selectively arranging class times so that the two don’t coincide.
On a similar note, the timings and length of classes will have to fit the overall gym schedule. The pay rate that looked good when you were first starting out may look less so when there are 30 people in your class who are attending week in week out mainly because they like you and your class. This may make you feel like your work is undervalued.
There may be an expectation from gym members of a certain approach to yoga which may or may not fit your own view. When you complete a yoga teacher training course, you will learn various styles and you will probably choose one which you develop your own classes from. This means that your yoga classes may not be favoured by all of the potential clients at the gym, so you may have to take on board feedback that the gym receive to choose a more popular form of yoga.
Finding your own facility in the community can mean that you may find an environment more suited for yoga where you can organise your own timings. Additionally, being more in control of your environment will generally mean that you can set the tone of what you teach and how you go about it. Your classes are less likely to be disrupted by noise like they could be in the gym.
You will also be able to charge students individually. This means that there is the opportunity to earn more, provided your rental is a reasonable price, as students will be paying you directly.
Many students will enjoy coming to a community facility especially if it is in their residential area and they can walk or cycle. This may also develop a better community amongst your clients and the classes will feel more exclusive in terms of being specifically yoga oriented so class members may have more in common with one another compared to in a gym class.
More control and higher earnings potential comes at the cost of having to organise and administrate everything yourself. Finding a facility with the right amount of space, heat, light and available at times you would like may or may not be easy.
If there is no storage for yoga equipment you will have to either bring some with you or limit yourself to students who are prepared to invest in and bring their own equipment. That is after you have done the advertising and marketing to bring your own students in the first place.
When you start out there is no guarantee of making any money at all depending on the facility rent in relation to student numbers; and if you want to go away you may have to find cover for your class or continue to pay rent while you are away.