We will discuss how much do Bikram yoga instructors make. Bikram yoga continues to thrive today as a multibillion-dollar industry.

Firstly, created and popularized by Bikram Choudhury in the 1970s. And Bikram yoga continues to thrive today as a multibillion-dollar industry. Practitioners follow a 90-minute series of 26 postures and two breathing exercises. Also, they practice in a room heated to 105 degrees Fahrenheit. In 2010, a yoga instructor teaching fulltime could expect to earn an average of $31,090. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. Other factors such as class size, location, and overhead costs can impact instructors’ salaries.

bikram yoga industry


Secondly, Bikram requires nine weeks of intensive training at a studio for those who want to become certified to teach. Training costs between $10,000 and $15,000, including hotel and airfare expenses. Start-up costs are higher for Bikram yoga instructors looking to open their own studio after earning their teaching certification. Bikram studios must pay an initial $10,000 to open a franchise which includes training. And also pre-opening support as well as additional ongoing fees, including a percentage of gross revenues.


Many Bikram yoga instructors are self-employed and teach classes at several studios. Earning between $20 and $40 per class. Those who work full-time on staff at a yoga studio, spa, or health club make between $25,000 and $40,000 per year. Not only do teachers with more experience and a full class schedule typically earn an even higher salary. But also bringing home upward of $75,000 annually.

bikram yoga studio

Private Instruction

Bikram yoga instructors can also teach private lessons. With students shelling out anywhere from $75 to $200 and up per session. Some private instructors teach at events at corporate retreats. Where one can expect to earn upward of $500, depending on the number of classes being taught. Because Bikram yoga is a copyrighted brand, private instructors must be sure to adhere to its requirements. This can mean investing in a heater or humidifier to teach in the proper environment.

private class


Bikram yoga instructors who teach in a metropolitan studio typically earn more than those who work in a rural area because of a higher student ratio and more expensive class fees. Teaching in a metropolitan area might also mean the opportunity to teach more classes, which can result in a higher salary.

bikram yoga location

2018 Salary Information for Fitness Trainers and Instructors

Fitness trainers and instructors earned a median annual salary of $39,820 in May 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. On the low end, fitness trainers and instructors earned a 10th percentile salary of $24,120, meaning 90 percent earned more than this amount. The 90th percentile salary is $55,010, meaning 10 percent earn more. In 2018, 356,900 people were employed in the U.S. as fitness trainers and instructors. “The average is about $50 a class,” they said. “And you have to be at the studio 30 minutes before and stay 30 minutes after.” So, $50 for about two and a half hours of work. So about $20 an hour is what it breaks down to.

What makes a bad teacher :

  • They just recite the dialogue. Like a robot. Adding no personality or emphasis in their voice when reciting it.
  • They don’t pay attention to the students’ energy. Are students reluctantly moving into poses? Are they sitting out a lot of poses en masse? Then it’s probably too hot or your energy in motivating them.
  • They don’t pay attention to the time. Many times, I’ve seen classes rushed at the end. I’ve seen teachers – who are not new to teaching – go over by as much as 10 minutes after starting on time! I’ve also seen some cut-second sets of poses in a 90-minute class.
  • They lecture or nag students – ones who are clearly trying hard and don’t have attitudes. I want to say to these teachers, “I get it. Someone hurt you. And you feel compelled to take it out on the students. But go fuck yourself and stop picking on them.”
  • They don’t teach the poses properly... I’ve had SENIOR teachers correct myself or other students incorrectly on poses.  Locked Knee? They have no idea what that actually means. Standing Separate Leg Stretching? No, you fucking dumbass, that does not mean you bend your knees to scoop up the heels – the most important part of that poses is the process of opening up the back of the legs first!

Good studio owners take student feedback and fellow teacher feedback seriously. They coach. And they weed out those from teaching who are bad. Bad studio owners and I’ve only come across a few in my time. Do none of that and don’t lead by example when they themselves teach. So to be the best Bikram yoga instructor, one who gets the number of classes they want a week and can therefore make a living, you have to do more than just show up to class and teach.

Your future will not create itself. Now that you know how to make money teaching yoga, it’s time to take action.

CLICK HERE to become a yoga teacher.