DENVER – The Corepower Yoga studio off of E Hampden Ave is filled with life and music that sets an inviting and blissful tone. Upon entering your nose becomes filled with appealing scents and greetings from everyone in the room. Instructor Saralyn Howard sits at the front desk, greeting everyone by their first name as they enter the studio.
On average yoga instructors in the U.S. make about $20,000 a year, this rate does vary depending on the location, studio, and level of experience the instructor has. For instructors in places like New York the yearly salary can be $62,400 a year. According to reports by CNN yoga may be a low paying field for many but it is growing rapidly as health and wellness are becoming higher lifestyle priorities throughout the U.S.
Howard; yogi, yoga instructor, and studio assistant at Corepower Yoga in Cherry Hills has been teaching the art of yoga for nearly a year and a half now. Howard fell in love with yoga when she began doing it as a form of training for tae kwon do and had continued with it out of the love of teaching others and the rewarding responses she gets from her students.
With an undergraduate degree in chemical and biological engineering Yoga is just one career choice for Howard on her way to earn her PhD in biochemistry. Working about 50 hours a week at Corepower while attending school has been a lot of work for Howard, but luckily it is in a field she loves. Working as a yoga instructor part-time while also having another job is not uncommon and often is the best way to make a living and have the opportunity to teach people something that can be meaningful and beneficial for them.
Reflecting on her favorite memory of working as an instructor Howard said, “I think I have great moments almost everyday, when a student comes and tells me that my class really helped them get through something or any time I am able to help someone’s day it’s a great memory and I think that’s a pretty awesome thing.” As for the downsides of working as yoga instructor Howard struggled to think up what she doesn’t like about her job, early hours being the only factor that bothers her.
For those interested in teaching yoga Howard feels that in order to be an instructor the most important traits to have include a genuine personality and an open mind. Having a passion for yoga is really important for someone who wants to become a teacher especially since most of the rewards of the job come from day-to-day experiences rather than from the limited salary.
A typical day at work for Howard includes showing up to the studio early in the morning and helping the studio managers, then setting up the studios and greeting students as they enter. Any time she teaches classes she arrives a half hour early to set up and take time to meet students before her class begins. Howard works on average six to seven hours a day instructing multiple classes and working at the front desk when she is not.
Before becoming a yoga instructor it is required that teachers go through a specific training process as well as obtain a high school diploma. The training is a 200 hour registered yoga teacher certification process that is done by Yoga Alliance. Once a registers yoga teacher certificate is obtained in order to teach at a studio like Corepower, instructors go through at audition process.
When talking about reasons to get into teaching yoga Howard put it quite simply, “if you love it and it’s something that you want to pursue, do it.” Becoming a yoga teacher is far from a limiting career with many different options available after teacher training, “there are so many avenues for yoga teachers, getting your own business, working at Corepower and I think teaching is something that is beneficial for everybody,” said Howard.