HYDERABAD: The nine to five job cycles may not be everyone’s cup of tea. With the recent Covid-19 induced shutdowns and job losses, many are on the lookout for alternative job openings. Off-beat and creative job profiles are not just in demand, but could also bring in a good paycheck. Teaching Yoga is one such career move that some Hyderabadi professionals have made in the past few years.
According to MyYogaTeacher, an app that connects yoga teachers in India to students in the US, the average monthly earning for a yoga teacher on their platform is `32,000 per month or `3,80,000 per year while enjoying flexible working hours from their homes.
We talk to three Hyderabadi women who after working for years in different professions quit their high-profile jobs to embrace teaching yoga. They say they are enjoying this new role that benefits their mind, body, and spirit while helping guide others to improve their mind, body, and spirit.
Teaching someone to breathe well gives me joy
I worked in the environment and sustainability space for over a decade and worked in the US, Delhi, Pune, and Hyderabad. I started my personal yoga practice in 2012. Environment, dance, yoga are my three passions and continue to be. Yoga has started to become popular across the world, everyone has heard of yoga and most people have taken a few lessons. However, three things compelled me to start teaching yoga – the importance of breath, the importance of yoga therapy, and yoga beyond asanas. I am an RYT-500 certified yoga teacher. I teach through the day with gaps in the afternoon. Each consultation is one to one-and-a-half hours long. Unlike modern doctors, a yoga doctor spends a lot of time understanding the individual holistically and not just the disease or complaint that they have come with. I teach out of my studio, ‘Place of Breath’, and travel for workshops. Now, teaching online across the world using all online platforms. I have never stressed too much about money. I have never regretted career shifts, although it has come with a lot of struggles and hard work, now, I don’t think I am making another career shift anytime soon. There are many people in pain all around me who need healing or who need something that can improve their positivity and manage anxiety; there is stress in everyone’s life now. Even just teaching someone how to breathe well and correctly, brings me joy and satisfaction! I see myself teaching yoga until my last breath.
— Harshita Soni, 38, RYT-500 certified yoga teacher, Masters in Engineering, Diploma in Kuchipudi
Could heal myself and now able to make a career
I worked for 12 years in the real state, telecom, and education sectors across India and the Middle East before yoga came into my life in 2013 when I conceived and started my journey with pre-natal yoga in Dubai. After that, I was diagnosed with nasal septum deviation for which the doctor suggested an operation, but I thought of trying to heal it with yoga first. With my one-year pranayama practice, I was able to heal myself. Growing up, I always had an interest in fitness. Getting so many benefits my respect has really gone up for Yoga. We shifted to Bangalore in 2017 and my first priority was to find a good yoga studio. Alongside my full-time job, I did 200-hour teacher training in 2018 and started teaching yoga part-time. In 2019 we moved to Hyderabad and I decided to follow my passion and take up yoga teaching. My previous job was always hectic, was unable to give sufficient time to my daughter. After shifting to Hyderabad I was thinking of doing something where I could spend more time with my daughter. Now, I am happy that I can spend quality time with my family and also able to teach yoga, something I love. I completed my therapeutic yoga teacher training so that I can handle people with ailments and currently am doing level two training. I take online as well as offline classes. I teach Hatha, Vinyasa and therapeutic, pre-natal and kids classes. Earning wise I can’t compare as mine was always a high profile job. I have not thought how long I will do just yoga, but I love teaching it.
— Supriya Gupta, 36, freelance yoga teacher, CFA and Maters in Finance
Making three times more money now than I used to
I was a teacher in a Hyderabad-based school and worked as a professional artist. The transition to becoming a yoga teacher happened when I started looking for more depth in my knowledge of yoga and enrolled myself in a teacher training programme about three years back. And there was no looking back after that. All I wanted to do was to share my experience with yoga that I had built up with 20 years of my personal practice. After a few years of physical yoga training, a friend prompted me to go for this online yoga platform ‘My Yoga Teacher’ and that was a real transformation. I started getting clients from across the ocean. The work I do is interesting, there is no commute required and I make good money. I make almost three times more than what I used to make in my previous job. I work four to five hours on average. Each session is for an hour. My students are mostly from North America. This is until now the most amazing job for me as it is the full use of my time and energy.
— Vineeta Sharma, 41, senior yoga instructor, MSc in organic chemistry
— Tamanna S Mehdi