Are you a kids yoga teacher or instructor looking to teach yoga in schools (and get paid for it)?
You offer amazing services that make a difference in the lives of children. You understand the value of bringing yoga to kids.
Yoga can help kids with:
- Anxiety management and emotional regulation
- Self-esteem and confidence
- Enhancing the mind-body-breath connection
- Improving balance, coordination, strength, and flexibility
- Improved immune system functioning and health
You KNOW this! This is why you are passionate about teaching kids yoga in the first place!
Kids spend the majority of their days at school. In fact, kids will spend roughly 1400 hours in school each year!
We can take advantage of this by bringing yoga into schools. Children (and teachers) everywhere will benefit!
But… getting into schools can be tricky. Especially if you don’t know the right people or the right steps to take, it can prove to be a bit of a challenge.
So, how do you get your amazing services into the school system? How can you ensure that ALL children have the opportunity to benefit from yoga and mindfulness?
If you’re asking yourself these very questions, then you’re in the right place. This post is for you!
HOW TO TEACH YOGA IN SCHOOLS: GET INTO SCHOOLS
Check out these 5 C’s on how to teach yoga in schools and get paid to do it:
Step 1 – CLARITY
Get Clear on your Goals
Start by making a plan for yourself. Write out a proposal clearly outlining your who, what, when, where, why, and how.
Answer any questions that a school may ask about your services:
What age group are you hoping to teach?
What would the schedule look like?
What skills will you teach and how will the students and classroom teachers benefit?
Back yourself up with some research. To stand out, make sure to answer the question:
What makes you unique?
And don’t forget to share your WHY!
WHY do you want to teach Yoga to children in the first place?
In the words of Simon Sinek: “People don’t buy WHAT you do, they buy WHY you do it.”
To sum up “Clarity,” get clear on:
- your unique offering
- WHY you want to teach yoga to children
- how the children will benefit
- which skills you will target for the specific population
- writing a clear proposal
Step 2 – CONNECT
Reach out to friends, family, or anyone you know who has a connection in a school. See if they would be willing to introduce you to someone who has the power to decide what comes in and what stays out.
You can make phone calls, ask for a face-to-face, or even reach out on social media.
Social media can be quite powerful in spreading your message far and fast.
Don’t be afraid to ask people you don’t know.
Search for groups on Facebook—your local neighborhood or school community groups.
You may not know anyone who’s been in your shoes or has the answer, but someone out there sure does.
Make connections online and ASK AWAY!
It never hurts to ask.
What’s the worst someone can say? No? Well no’s won’t make you worse off than you already are. But there’s always a chance someone says yes!
To sum up “Connect,” connect with:
- family and friends to see if anyone have any contacts in schools
- social media groups to express interest in teaching yoga in schools
- local community groups who might be able to help
- school decision-makers
Step 3 – CREATIVE
Think outside of the box when it comes to reaching out to your community.
Hire a professional to book your schedule for you if you have no clue where to even begin.
Public schools can pose a challenge because of the many hoops you have to jump through. So why not try reaching out to private schools or summer camps.
Questions to consider:
Is there a way to get your service out to the community for them to SEE the value behind your message?
Can you host a free yoga class at your local library?
Can you sign up as a vendor at your local farmers market or at a teacher’s conference?
Are you able to offer some free value through online services where those can get a sneak peak of what you offer?
When the community can get a sense of the value you provide for free, they may be more willing to accept your paid services in their schools.
To sum up “Be Creative,” get creative about:
- ways to reach out to the community
- hosting free demo classes (local library or local festival)
- where to host an information table (farmer’s market or teacher’s conference)
- reaching out to preschools, private schools, or summer camps to gain a reputation
- having someone else do your marketing and scheduling for you
Step 4 – CONFIDENCE
Have Confidence in Yourself
This is where mindset comes into play! We can be our own worst critics.
You are getting in the way of your own self if you are not willing to believe in your capabilities.
How can we cultivate an abundant mindset?
We begin by taking smaller steps within.
We can write out positive affirmations and repeat them daily.
We can visualize ourselves where we want to be.
We may not believe in ourselves immediately. That’s okay.
By taking these necessary steps, we will win over the subconscious thoughts in our brains.
Our brains will shift from self-doubt to “Okay, I can DO this! This is possible!”
The first step is doing it! Get yourself out there and believe in your capabilities. Remember, we can always work on shifting our beliefs.
To sum up “Confidence”:
- Take notice of your mindset
- Turn negative thoughts into positive ones
- Get curious about ways to build your confidence
- Keep moving forward!
Step 5 – COMMIT
Once you have your plan, make a promise to yourself to stay committed. Acknowledge that things don’t happen overnight. Good things take time. So be patient and stick to your plan.
You CAN persevere! We are human. Don’t get discouraged if your self-doubt shows up again. Use that as a reminder to check in with your “Why.”
Why you’re doing this important work in the first place!
Your “Why” will guide you on this journey.
Now, what happens when we try something, and it doesn’t work?
What happens if we fail?
Remember, there is no such thing as failure. We always learn something from a missed attempt.
Failure allows us the opportunity to grow and learn from the experience.
So ask yourself, “What did I learn?”
How can you pivot and try again?
“Failure is the key to success; each mistake teaches us something.”
– Morihei Ueshiba
To sum up “Commit”:
- Commit to taking small steps every day towards your goal
- Commit to your “WHY” and use as your guiding light
- Commit to being patient and persevering
- Know that this might not happen overnight, but keep at it!
WHAT AN EXPERIENCED KIDS YOGA TEACHER HAS TO SAY
To get further insight, we spoke to Lani Rosen-Gallagher of Full of Joy Yoga, who has been teaching yoga in schools for over two decades. Here is what Lani says:
It may depend on where you live, but Lani says the most successful gateway is preschools. She recommends offering a free demo class to show why yoga is important for kids. You can charge a flat rate for preschools.
Elementary public schools:
Lani warns that elementary schools may be the hardest to get into. It is possible to have a full-time job just serving public schools. You have to work to set yourself up to be the expert in your area by using word of mouth, making yourself known, and becoming the go-to person in the area.
Here are a few different ways to get paid when you work in a public school:
– School pays you (PTO money or school funds)
– After-School Program (parents pay you)
– SEL funds or grants (school would have to apply for the grant)
– Non-profit pay for an 8-week session (ex. United We Om)
– Donors Choose or other online fundraising platforms
Lani says that a library class is a great way to get yoga in front of children. They typically have funds available, or you can offer free demo classes. You can even make preschool connections there.
For Funding Help:
You can Google “Community Foundation” for your particular area. For example, see:
-Community Foundations for Greater New Haven
-Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts
TIPS FROM OTHER KIDS YOGA TEACHERS
To hear from our other kids yoga teacher colleagues (many of whom have created successful full-time yoga businesses teaching school yoga), we asked this question on social media:
What’s your #1 tip for getting into schools to teach yoga (and be paid for it)?
Contacting the PTO/PTG at a public school can be a wonderful way to get in. (I have never had to actually be the one to contact them because they have always contacted me over many years, and many different schools.) However, it’s been a wonderful way to get connected to the parents the faculty, the administration, and of course the children.
Tara Rachel Jones
Own your why—get clear on why you want to teach yoga to kids in schools versus in a studio. Once you own your why and get clear on why you want to teach in schools, you’ll be able to get clear on your vision. You’ll know exactly what age group you want to teach, how often you want to run your class, and what you want your students to know at the end of your time with them. Getting clear here allows you to clearly communicate your vision with school administrators. Your passion, your why, will go a long way towards convincing administrators that they, and their students, NEED you.
Emily Fleming Yoga
Call, email, repeat. Sometimes it has taken us years—other times, immediately.
The Children’s School of Yoga
#1 tip: Connect it with social emotional learning. Research which SEL program the school/district uses. Be authentic and let your passion speak for itself. It’s easy to compare, but be clear on what you offer, why you stand out. Make connections—sometimes it’s all about who you know. Create a social media platform where your work is a visual resume. Schools are a business—it all comes down to relationships! Focus on that first. I’ve pioneered yoga in my district for a long time as an independent contractor and then got hired full time as the first wellness coach in a school district in NJ. ☺️ Remember, hustle and heart will set you apart! As former Villanova Basketball Coach Jay Wright says, “Stay humble and hungry.” ✌🏼
Amy Zambrano Yoga
Instagram & Twitter
As a middle school teacher and yoga teacher, I think that yoga teachers must learn the structure, needs, and terminology of schools. I created a training for yoga teachers to learn the “school stuff.” That means understanding instructional language and multitier system of supports. As well as the learning process. Schools perceive yoga as fluff. It’s not. But we need the vocabulary and knowledge to align it with standards.
School Yoga Coach
My #1 tip is to play up the mindfulness aspect as schools are looking for mindfulness and yoga right now, especially in the wake of Covid, when stress levels are so high. Secondly, send a professional email with resources you’ve written on the benefits of yoga in schools (and if you haven’t created a flyer, a blog post, or something else, now is the time to do so). Follow up with a phone call and be persistent about what you bring to the table and how you can help the students.
I think it’s important to know when to volunteer your time in order to showcase what you are doing. I find that a lot of people need to see kids yoga in action to really understand how wonderful it is. I would volunteer my time in my son’s classroom teaching yoga and taught to the whole school on “kids yoga day.” These led to everyone in our community understanding better what I am doing and teaching. I would leave postcards with my information at the front desk and pin them to community boards. It’s important to cultivate relationships and put yourself out there. I now teach in six different schools in my community as a paid position, and teachers often reach out to me about specific events and in-services.
Kids Yoga Jamboree
I would say once you do a great job in one school, it spreads like wildfire to the community, and your business grows like wildfire. Focus on your current clients and go above and beyond. Create sustainable programs by helping connect the community to funding (i.e. multi-year grants) so they can have the “stuff,” such as mats and blocks, to make the program visible as well as pay you generously. After that, relationships are key. Get there early, meet the administrators and other staff present, know the kids. If you are staffing it, make sure your teachers do the same. Relationships get you into schools, and funding helps create staying power. It’s a one-two punch!
Flow and Grow Yoga
Be excellent at what you do.
Look for other opportunities within the school for paid classes. When I achieved my ideal teaching schedule, it was teaching yoga in daycare centers that were located in the school. I also taught in Montessori and private schools that had more budget for hiring teachers.
Kathy Aruna Humphrys
Young Yoga Masters
I agreed to teach yoga for the 2021-2022 school year at the school where I was already teaching academics. I was able to teach my thirty hours in the fall to register with Yoga Alliance as a RCYT and gain teaching experience. Hopefully this year will help me gain future paid teaching positions.
Special Education Teacher
My top three tips for getting into schools to teach yoga are 1) start small by marketing yourself broadly as a kids yoga teacher, on social media, IG, or FB, 2) if you don’t have social media, then help to volunteer, sponsor, donate to some events at some of the schools, you’re interested in being part of and 3) consider those schools where you have connections first—any teacher friends or administrators you may know—and let them know what you’re up to. This is what I did, and then eventually word of mouth follows. It’s how I started my business seven years ago, and it has lead me to where I am today.
The Lovely Little Lotus
Working in a school with an after-school program, I know they’re always looking for guest presenters, family nights, etc. In my area, the after-school programs are through grants and the grant covers great things like yoga classes. The program is before and after school – that’s a great way to get your foot in the door! I’d also say to try and connect with the gym teacher and/or the school counselor to see if you can teach a class or two and then pitch it to the principals / admins. Our school is also allotted money for assemblies, another great way to get your foot in the door while getting paid.