The economics of being a yoga teacher are brutal – at least according to a recent piece in New York Magazine. As the article puts it: “Yoga in America is increasingly a superstar economy, with a few lucrative positions at the very top, many struggling aspirants down below, and a hollowed-out middle…” Brutal indeed.
But is it really? Thousands of yoga instructors use Thumbtack to reach customers each year and we wanted to see if this situation were really as bad as the magazine made it sound. Sure, maybe in New York City you can’t do a vinyasa without bumping into a fellow yoga instructor, but what is the situation like in other places?
To test that theory, we looked at each market where yoga instructors are active in the United States and ranked them by a metric we developed that we call our Market Opportunity Index. The MOI is an index of the number of requests per active professional on Thumbtack in that market. The more requests per professional, the more opportunity there is for pros to come in and clean up by meeting excess demand. The more saturated the market is, the fewer requests there are per yoga instructor, and the harder it is for a yoga instructor to find work in that market.
Our analysis shows that cities like Detroit, Columbus, and Milwaukee are currently vastly underserved by yoga instructors, while places like Boulder, San Francisco, and New York are much, much more competitive.
Prime Areas for Money and Growth
Market Opportunity isn’t the only thing a yoga instructor should look for, however, so for each city in our index we broke down how fast each market was growing and the average price for private yoga instruction in that market. We combined the saturation of teachers in a market, the growth of that market, and the average price for yoga into a Yoga Index that ranked each of the cities on our list from 0-100. Cities near the top are places yoga instructors could consider going if they are tired of the competition in their area.
Because of its fast growth, Nashville, Tennessee is our number one city for yoga instructors. The market is somewhat saturated but the year-over-year growth in yoga requests were far beyond every other city we looked at, putting it at the top of our Yoga Index
When it comes to prices, it won’t be a surprise to learn that the most expensive places to live in the country are also the most expensive places to hire a private yoga instructor – San Jose is number one, followed by San Francisco, New York City, Bridgeport, Connecticut, and Boston. Bridgeport’s relatively high cost for yoga instruction pushes up its place in our Yoga Index, but teachers beware: the market is saturated and growth is low.
The very worst place to be a yoga instructor in America? Springfield, Massachusetts thanks to low growth, low opportunity for yoga instructors and some of the lowest wages. (How do you say ouch in hindi?)
Where Does Your City Rank?
Are you a yoga instructor looking for a new opportunity? Check out our interactive table below to see how your area rates.
|Metropolitan Area||Market Opportunity Index||Growth Index||Average Price||Yoga Index|
|San Antonio, TX||26.4||93||$49.61||90.07|
|Kansas City, MO||12.4||84.5||$56.87||85.05|
|Port St. Lucie, FL||87.6||5.9||$55.83||80.88|
|San Jose, CA||21.2||7.9||$77.11||67.5|
|Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX||69.3||17.5||$45.25||59.41|
|Ann Arbor, MI||45.3||28.5||$50.19||57.75|
|New York, NY||8||18||$69.85||53.85|
|San Francisco-Oakland, CA||9.4||11.7||$71.82||53.38|
|Las Vegas, NV||36.8||24||$53.18||52.94|
|Salt Lake City, UT||66.4||21.9||$37.34||48.07|
|Santa Rosa, CA||21.9||26.4||$54.27||45.53|
|Los Angeles, CA||14.5||14.1||$62.51||44.2|
|North Port, FL||57.8||9.4||$42.15||40.2|
|Cape Coral, FL||47.8||24.9||$37.37||36.72|
|St. Louis, MO||31.8||11.4||$47.05||30.48|
|San Diego, CA||10.6||2.8||$51.81||16.23|
|Fort Collins, CO||13.8||18.4||$43.04||16.15|
|New Haven, CT||17.6||3.8||$47.43||15.18|