Quidelines for Payments to Yoga Teachers - Mentor Moments Episode #10

Our guest is Leigh Blashki, Vice President of Yoga Australia, the national peak professional body for Yoga Teachers in Australia.

Leigh is here to talk about the Guidelines for Payments for Yoga Teachers which Yoga Australia released to its members in June 2012.


Listen Here


Show Notes –  The show notes below are a summary of the interview. For the full content please listen to the audio and refer to the YA  guidelines.

Welcome Leigh, firstly Id like to thank you for coming back and contributing to YTP. Your interview we did earlier in this year is a very popular many people have enjoyed “Your Story”. Listeners if you haven’t heard it yet I do encourage you to. Listen here.


B: Leigh I’m glad your here in your role as Vice President of Yoga Australia to talk us through Yoga Australia’s recommendations for Payments for Yoga Teachers. Is it just me but I find the conversation about salaries to be a bit awkward. It seems to be both a point of discussion but also something you perhaps shouldn’t discuss and at times a point of contention! Do members contact Yoga Australia frequently to get guidance on this sensitive topic?


L: Yes they do, particularly  new teachers. Yoga Australia as the peak professional body for the yoga industry, takes responsibility to provide guidance in relation to a number of professional matters, one of which is rates of pay for its members. In late 2011 a sub-committee was formed to undertake research and make appropriate recommendations in relation to payments for Yoga teachers. (1:37) This number represents the time point in the  audio


B: How was the research into rates of pay conducted?

L: We looked at similar industries to see what people were paid and get some form of parity with other industries.  There is a fitness award that operates throughout Australia. Research was conducted in 2010 by sportspeople.com.au. They looked at a range of salary rates across the fitness industry and came up with recommendations. (4:53)

The YA did a random email survey with teachers across a couple of states. That information fed into the “guidelines”. I must state that this is NOT an Award they are only guidelines to form a benchmark. (6:10) Some people are being paid well under the bench mark (8:20)

B: What are the minimum rates of pay YA has recommended for class or setting?

These teacher payment guidelines are recommended minimum payment rates for general classes irrespective of the venue/teaching space. The guidelines indicate situations in which a different payment may be expected. These guidelines will be reviewed every 2 years.

Class type/setting Recommended minimum/base payment rate

Situations in which different payment may be negotiated

Group-based Yoga classes conducted in Yoga studios, fitness centres or other public or private venues, excluding corporate classes

$65 per hour

  • experience /level of teacher
  • specialised class (eg: pre/post natal, back care, corporate)
  • class longer than 1 hour
  • lengthy travel
  • supply of props and other resources by teacher
Personalised / one on one Yoga sessions

$75 per hour

  • lengthy travel
  • experience /level of teachers
  • supply of props and other resources by teacher


The guidelines are there for both studios and teachers. They should feel comfortable to use these guidelines as a benchmark for negotiation.

The guidelines for Payments for Yoga Teachers can be downloaded by clicking on this link: Payments for Yoga Teachers Guidelines 2012


Q: Are there situations in which different payments may be negotiated between the teacher and employer?

L: Yes other than the considerations identified in the guidelines certin settings may attract a different base rate. For example:

  • Working for organisations in drug rehabilitation, (12:07)
  • Senior citizens groups
  • As part of a conference (12:45)

Negotiation is important, to discuss the considerations and needs of both the employer and employee.

Whilst it was tempting to consider setting the rate higher for more experienced teachers, we thought that it might become a disadvantage to them.


B: May I post the guidelines that YA have produced in the show notes of our interview?

L : Yes that would be fantastic, a great service to Yoga Australia and the yoga industry in general.

The guidelines for Payments for Yoga Teachers can be downloaded by clicking on this link: Payments for Yoga Teachers Guidelines 2012


B: Information regarding Superannuation payments was also in the published guidelines. In what circumstances are yoga teachers entitled to be paid the current Superannuation rate of 9%?


L: Everybody needs to consider his or her own circumstances and check with an accountant or finance professional.

If a contractor is regarded as an employee under the ATO guidelines, then she/he must receive superannuation (currently at the 9% rate) from the person or organisation who contracts/employs her/him if the gross amount earned in that calendar month is $450 or greater.


B: Is there is a bit of a “grey” area on whether yoga teachers are considered an employee or independent contractor?


L: Superannuation payments may apply if an employer/employee relationship exists. This is to be determined case by case. If a Yoga teacher teaches as a contractor for an organisation, it needs to be determined whether an ‘employer/employee’ relationship exists.


B: When is a person a contractor or employee?

Generally, a worker is an employee if they: (19:11)

  • are paid for time worked
  • receive paid leave (for example, sick, annual or recreation, or long service leave)
  • are not responsible for providing the materials or equipment required to do their job
  • must perform the duties of their position
  • agree to provide their personal services
  • work hours set by an agreement or award
  • are recognised as part and parcel of the payer’s business, and
  • take no commercial risks and cannot make a profit or loss from the work performed.

For more information on Superannuation click on this link: Payments for Yoga Teachers Guidelines 2012

B: Are there guidelines for people to check?

L: As each Yoga teacher’s situation may be different from others in relation to employer/employee status, it is advisable to seek the assistance of the ATO’s decision making tool at (ATO decision making tool) (21:20)


B: It’s strongly advised that the advice of a taxation specialist/accountant is sought on matters of income and expenses, tax and superannuation. (21:49)


Thank you Leigh, is there any thing else you would like to leave us with?

Yes, Yoga Australia is available to members who are seeking information and support. Please contact our office. (24:50)

To our listeners interested in becoming a member of Yoga Australia  please visit the website at www.yogaaustralia.org.au/ (25:48)

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