Yoga Therapy Opportunities and The Job Market
“What are the job opportunities for a Yoga Therapist?” is a common question that we get asked by prospective students. “What does the field look like and how does it ‘work’ to work as a Yoga Therapist?”
For years the primary way to earn a living as a Yoga Therapist was to be in private practice, as yoga therapy clinics are not common. Yoga Therapists often had specialties within the field and clients would seek them out. This is still the case. Many Yoga Therapists work alone as experts in yoga techniques for physical issues, mental health issues, chronic diseases, etc.
Yoga Therapists who work this way have a wide range of fees they charge. Our general impression is that a Yoga Therapist salary is in the range of other alternative healthcare providers. Experience, of course, can elevate the ability to charge more for services. In major cities, we’ve seen rates from $85-200 per hour. In smaller locations, the bottom of that scale is more the norm with rates dropping to the $60 range in less affluent areas.
Now that yoga therapy is gaining acceptance with the public and with more integrative healthcare providers we are seeing job opportunities for Yoga Therapists emerge outside of private practice. We have seen Yoga Therapists from our school employed at addiction centers, hospital programs such as cancer centers and mental health departments, with chiropractors and wellness centers, at the V.A. for trauma-sensitive classes, in school districts, and others. Some of them are working one-on-one and some are running classes for specific condition sets.
These opportunities are usually paid hourly. We have seen all of these types of positions advertised for which is very encouraging. The fact that institutions and health care practices know to ask for a Yoga Therapist is a sign that the field in moving forward and that more and more job opportunities for Yoga Therapists are coming.
As a whole, most Yoga Therapists are entrepreneurial and self-employed. Job opportunities for Yoga Therapists are pieced together and with the addition of private clients, this constitutes the working environment. While this may seem daunting at first, it does create the ability for a Yoga Therapist to engage in very rewarding work—in a way that suits them. Many students are working in this way and describe their work schedule as working 1-3 days on site and then filling the rest with yoga therapy private practice and sometimes general yoga classes.
The most encouraging news is that our school is now receiving referral inquiries from healthcare providers for names of Yoga Therapists. These employers are having trouble filling the yoga therapy positions they have available, therefore providing more job opportunities for Yoga Therapists. This makes a lot of sense considering how much the field of yoga therapy is gaining recognition and popularity, but the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT) has roughly only 6,000 Yoga Therapists holding their certification (C-IAYT).
We see this moment as a very exciting time to enter this emerging field early in its development as becoming a “profession”. We are honored to be an integral part of this new paradigm in wellness by sharing the mission to spread the availability of quality, practical, and ethical yoga therapy.