8 Expert Tips to Make a Yoga Teacher Website That Shines

Marketing yourself can feel downright unyogic, but it is possible to do it authentically—starting with your website.

As a yoga teacher, you are brilliant at what you do. Now, you need to figure out how to market yourself. The first step: You need a website. Your studio and event partners expect it, your clients ask about it, and it legitimizes you as a professional. If you utilize it correctly, it can also help to grow your audience organically. Here are eight expert-backed tips for making your website stand out.

Read the full article on Yoga Journal!




Yoga Teachers: Here’s Exactly What You Should Charge For Classes

There’s no magic formula, but these tips and strategies will help you identify a price that you are comfortable charging.


Determining how much to charge for your classes and workshops is one of the first challenges every professional yoga teacher faces. As teachers, it is often hard to assign a monetary value to our teaching when yoga is closely coupled to our passion for a practice that has given us so much. It can be a delicate balance between sharing what you love while also being equitably compensated for your time and energy. After all, teaching yoga is an energy exchange, and energy flows best when there is balance. While there is no perfect formula to calculate your rate, here are some tips and strategies to help you identify a price that you are comfortable charging.

See also: 5 Reasons Why Even the Best Teachers Need Liability Insurance

1. Begin with your values

Start out by asking yourself some basic, yet important, questions; reflecting on your answers can be a great starting point.

  • What is your main motivation for teaching yoga? Is it simply to enjoy and share the practice with others, or is it also a means to support yourself and your family?
  • What are your expenses and will they be covered by the prices you set? It may not make sense to pay more for childcare or transportation than you earn for teaching a private session. So be sure to consider these costs when calculating your prices. Other expenses you may want to consider include taxes, managing your website, accounting and more.  Don’t forget to include travel time as part of your pricing calculation!
  • Do you want to work for someone else or for yourself? While there is much more freedom to set your own price levels when you work for yourself, it is important to determine if it is worth the time and cost of marketing, accounting, and more. On the other hand, working for someone else often involves accepting the compensation set by the employer, with very little negotiation room.

Read the rest of the article on Yoga Journal’s website!

5 Reasons Why Even the Best Yoga Teachers Need Liability Insurance

The trade off in cost is definitely worth your peace of mind.

As yoga teachers, there’s one thing we don’t like to think about, and we certainly don’t like to talk about it: a student getting hurt in class. Just the thought of it probably makes you shudder in fear.

If a student becomes injured during one of your classes, you might feel guilt-ridden that it may have been your fault—or frustration because it definitely was not your fault. There’s also likely fear, because you could be legally or financially responsible. It somewhat follows the antithetical storyline of the best-told Greek tragedies; you don’t make much income teaching yoga, and now you may get sued for it?

Read the full article on Yoga Journal’s website! 

8 Ways to Build Your Client Base as a Teacher

You just finished your YTT. Here’s how to stand out from the crowd to build—and keep—a strong student following.


Building a solid client base is one of the prime goals for any yoga teacher. With good reason: There’s nothing more demoralizing than showing up week after week prepared to teach, only to look out into an empty class! But how do you build up a loyal student community that truly represents your vibe? While there is no easy answer or template, this expert advice will help you on the road to success.

Read the full article on Yoga Journal!




3 Can’t-Miss (and COVID-Safe) Yoga Destinations in Portugal

This article was originally posted in Yoga Journal. Read the article here.

With over 86 percent of Portuguese citizens vaccinated, Portugal is one of the safest and easiest places to travel in Europe during the ongoing pandemic. Here’s where to go.

Ah, the grand European vacation. There is nothing more romantic than packing your bags and humming “La Vie en Rose” while you decide how to best pack your travel yoga mat. With more than 86 percent of Portuguese citizens vaccinated against COVID-19, Portugal has proven to be one of the safest and easiest places to travel in Europe during the ongoing pandemic. So for those of you looking to finally break your international travel hiatus from the last 18 months, a yoga vacation in Portugal may be just what you need.

Whether you’re looking to immerse yourself in regional culture and history, enjoy stunning and serene countryside, or lay out on vast sparkling beaches, Portugal has what you seek. The truth is, there are plenty of hotels and resorts to choose from in this European country that welcomes 28 million travelers per year. However, for those of you looking to quench your thirst for travel with a yoga-inspired respite, we’ve selected three destinations that are perfect for your next yoga holiday. Here, we take you on a journey through this magnificent country nestled between Spain and the Atlantic Ocean to the best yoga destinations Portugal has to offer.

Casa Fuzetta: Family-owned luxury in the Algarve

Courtesy of Casa Fuzetta

The Algarve (pronounced “al-gaarv”) is the Southernmost region of Portugal. This province is home to shimmering beaches, world-renowned surf breaks, and some of the best seafood in the world. In the years prior to the pandemic, tourism boomed here, and portions of the pristine 150-mile coastline became home to many touristy seaside resorts and construction-spatted traffic. But thankfully, there are still small, less-developed fishing villages and secluded beaches in the region, and this is where you can find our first Portuguese yoga destination.

Casa Fuzetta is an exquisitely renovated historic home located in the quiet fisherman’s village of Olhão (prounounced “ol-yowng”) in the heart of Portugal’s Algarve that is perfectly suited for hosting small-group yoga retreats. Originally a classical residence, it was lovingly restored over three years, with restoration completed in 2016. Local craftsmen and artisans were gathered to restore and preserve the property’s architectural heritage and imbue it with contemporary design and comfort, including a truly spectacular rooftop pool (pictured above).

At Casa Fuzetta, yoga spaces abound; from the rooftop deck, to stunning library space, to the opulent entry hall, you can find many lovely settings for group asana practice. A magnificent stained-glass meditation space is the perfect getaway for rest and quiet time, or opt for a live yoga class in the limestone courtyard. Yoga mats and props are available for each guest, as well as smart technology water bottles to ensure you stay hydrated during your practice.

The best part of Casa Fuzetta is that it is family-owned and personally managed by the owner, Tara Donovan. Her eye for design is noted in the elegant furnishings that adorn the house, some of which were passed down by her great-grandparents. Every element was chosen with functionality, comfort, and beauty in mind. Donovan understands the importance of connection both to others and within yourself, and Casa Fuzetta was built for just that. Whether you want to sit by the fireplace with your journal and morning tea, or practice restorative yoga on the yoga deck in the afternoons, the atmosphere of Casa Fuzetta will warmly embrace you. It truly is the perfect place to host an intimate yoga getaway in one of the most beautiful places in the world.

Quinta da Comporta: Where the locals vacation

Courtesy of Quinta Da Comporta

Comporta was recently named the “Hamptons of Portugal” by Fodor’s Travel. But the label is somewhat misleading, because this lovely Portuguese town cannot be compared to any other place in the world. In Comporta, rural Portugal still survives in tradition-steeped fisheries and rice fields that span from the town all the way to its pristine beaches. While this seaside town is an easy getaway from Portugal’s capital city of Lisbon, located just 75 miles south, it seems worlds away in its disposition.

Here, among the miles of golden seaside sand dunes, you will find Quinta da Comporta, a vacationers’ paradise perfectly suited for awe-inspiring yoga getaways. Whether you want to plan a yoga retreat or a personal getaway, this wellness resort is a haven for peace and tranquility. Its outdoor yoga shala overlooks the serene rice fields, or you can practice aqua yoga in their indoor or outdoor pools, or roll out a mat in their state-of-the-art indoor gym. If you seek the non-touristy experience and want to vacation where the Portuguese themselves get away, Quinta da Comporta is where you will find it. The property is designed to remain faithful to the region’s provincial style: brightly whitewashed walls with vibrant blue accents, and a quiet respect for the land where fisherman and rice farmers have lived in symbiotic harmony for centuries.

The village of Comporta is the highest volume rice producer in all of Europe, so after morning asana practice, be sure to take a bike ride through the nearby rice fields. Then head back to the spa for a treatment that uses Quinta da Comporta’s own skincare product line, Oryza Lab (latin for “rice”), all made from rice directly farmed in the region. After your treatment, you may want to take a relaxing dip in the resort’s stunning heated pool before having dinner at their farm-to-table restaurant, which harvests fruits and vegetables from its own on-property garden. Protected by strict environmental laws, day-to-day life in Comporta follows the same easy rhythm as it did hundreds of years ago, to help you reconnect to the simpler things in life while you breath in the fresh sea air during pranayama practice.

Six Senses Douro Valley: Come for the yoga, stay for the transformation

Courtesy Six Senses Douro Valley

As the world’s oldest demarcated wine region, Douro Valley was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2001. Its magnificent landscape is characterized by remarkably engineered terraces covered in vines with wine-making history that dates back over 2000 years. Beauty and relaxation are a way of life in Douro Valley, and if you are looking for a personal yoga retreat, this is it. 

The majestic River Douro supplies the region with the irrigation it needs to grow its precious wine and port-making grapes. In this magical region, you will find Six Senses Douro Valley, set in a beautifully renovated 19th-century manor house. This destination focuses its offerings on luxury, sustainability, wellness, and in particular, yoga. There are no shortage of yoga and meditation classes on the daily activities schedule. Or, you may choose from three-, five-, seven-, or 10-day personalized yoga packages, with programs such as Discover Yoga, Yoga Detox, and Yogic Sleep.

For karma yogis, Six Senses is committed to giving back to the Douro Valley community by supporting at-risk youth and animals, as well as protecting the land in and around the resort. Additionally, your retreat may also include experiences steeped in Portuguese tradition and earth-centered sustainability. The Douro Valley continues to rely heavily on its agricultural industry, and farming families often pickle and ferment their harvest to ensure their own food supply throughout the year. Six Senses keeps these traditions alive by offering courses in organic gardening, pickling, and fermenting so you can learn the Portuguese traditions of food preservation.

Outdoorsy yogis can experience forest bathing or take a tree climbing class, as the property is graced with 10 acres of beautifully preserved forest. Or boost your mental health with a bike ride through the vineyards before taking a kayak out on the tranquil Douro River. Be sure to schedule time in the Six Senses Spa, where your massage begins with a sound bath before you slip into blissful relaxation. The perfect way to alchemize the energy of the Douro Valley and reconnect to your senses.   

A trip to magnificent Portugal offers something for every yogi; whether as a small-group retreat at family-owned Casa Fuzetta, a large group escape at Quinta da Comporta, or a personal, yoga-inspired getaway at Six Senses Duoro Valley. Yoga is about connection and these three destinations offer the perfect antidote for the isolation and disconnection felt by so many over the past 18 months. 


Why You Shouldn’t Tell Students to Tuck Their Tailbone—And 4 Other Cues To Rethink

Avoid these commonly used (and misused) phrases—and replace them with these better ones.

As yoga teachers, you probably spend countless hours curating and planning classes that fit your individual teaching style and the needs of your students. But how often do you find yourself repeating instructions that are verbatim from your own teachers? In doing so, have you reflected upon whether these cues are really helping your students get the most out of their practice? If your primary goal is to offer instructions that are concise and easy to follow, do your cues actually make sense? We polled some experts to advise us on commonly used (and misused) phrases that teachers should avoid and replacement cues that may better serve our students.

Read the full article on Yoga Journal!


Offering Hands-On Assists? Don’t Make These 5 Mistakes

After you’ve made sure your student wants to be touched, follow these hands-on assist upgrades.

As yoga teachers, we often default to providing hands-on assistance to guide students into more comfortable asana positioning. But despite our earnest efforts, we may sometimes cause more harm than good. As yoga teachers guided by the principle of ahimsa, staying informed and observant as we guide our students may be our highest expression of non-harming.

Read the full article on Yoga Journal!



You’ll Be Ready to Move After This Short Series of Spine Stretches

This was originally published in Yoga Journal. Read the original story and watch the video here.

Dr. Ingrid Yang, yoga teacher, yoga therapist, and YJ’s September/October cover model, shares a 4-minute practice to warm-up your spine.

It’s been said that you’re only as young as your spine is flexible, and there’s some truth to that. The spinal cord holds our lifeforce energy, so warming it up properly before any form of movement—including yoga—not only helps unleash that energy, but also supports your spine’s health (and yours).

In this short practice, Dr. Ingrid Yang—yoga teacher, yoga therapist, and YJ’s September/October cover model—guides us through stretches that move your spine in every direction, so you’ll be ready to flow.

This Doctor Pioneered a Breathing Technique for COVID-19 Patients

This article was originally published in Yoga Journal. Read the full article here.

There’s only one window in the hospital room. It doesn’t open, but it stretches nearly the entire length of the wall, from built-in bench to ceiling, inviting light into the otherwise stark space. A large treble clef sculpture centers a modest fountain in the courtyard outside. On one of San Diego’s classic unseasonably warm April mornings, the air catches and carries the dancing water droplets to the ground. Inside, an orchestral performance of a different sort unfolds.

Here, in the COVID unit of Sharp Memorial Hospital, mechanical whirring replaces the string section, pumping medical devices sub for the woodwinds, and a sharp, irregular intake of crackling breath establishes the bass rhythm. This last instrument belongs to Vernon, a man in his 60s who was diagnosed with COVID-19 two weeks prior. Tubes in his nostrils meet in a V under his chin where they flow to the oxygen tank sitting at his side. His eyes are closed, his maskless face relaxed, hospital sock–adorned feet planted evenly on the ground as he sits in front of the window, the treble clef fountain at his back.

Knee to knee with Vernon sits hospitalist-physician Ingrid Yang, MD. Her hands gracefully carve the space between her and Vernon, gesturing as she conducts a symphony of yoga therapy. “We’re going to inhale through the nose, three, two, one,” she says, drawing her hands slowly upward as together she and Vernon expand chest and belly. “Hold for a count of three, two, one. Exhale through pursed lips—try to depress, use the contraction of the diaphragm—that’s nice.”

There’s a musicality to Yang’s presence, from her bell-clear voice and cadence of speech to the rhythmic way she moves through the world. A trained Reiki healer, she’s a master of shifting energy—almost visibly sculpting it at all times, knowingly or not. She gestures continuously as she speaks, leading Vernon through a pranayama-based protocol she developed that’s so simple it could easily be dismissed. But when dealing with a virus that steals breath from those it infects, where the dominant prescription has been isolation, breathing together creates a life-changing connection for Yang and her patients.

Heart uncentered

After emigrating from Taiwan in the 1970s, Yang’s parents—Christine, an attorney, and James, a physician—settled in Newport Beach, California. As immigrants, they had to adjust their priorities, Yang says, replacing sentiment with success in order to survive—a way of life they instilled in Yang and her older brother as well. “Surviving means having job security, and a title so that you’re indispensable enough to not be marginalized,” Yang says.

Feelings were neither tolerated nor nurtured in her home, so Yang buried hers. She learned to play the role others expected of her as an Asian-American girl, to be “good” and “quiet”—but as a result, an internal disconnect grew: Intellectually, Yang understood her value as a motivated, high-achieving young woman, but she struggled to embody much beyond that emotionally.

At 18 years old, she found herself an anxious, type-A freshman at Barnard College of Columbia University in New York City. She tried a few yoga classes at a friend’s recommendation, but struggled to connect to the practice.

And then, it happened: One day in class, Yang moved into Trikonasana (Triangle Pose). She turned her head to bring her gaze to the ceiling, breathed into the posture, and felt an unfamiliar lightness. A knowing spread throughout her, that she didn’t have to be anywhere or accomplish anything, that she could simply breathe.

“It was the heart expansion,” says Yang, who’s now E-RYT 500 and C-IAYT certified, and who co-authored the book Adaptive Yoga last year. “The actual physical space of my heart, then taking a breath as I expanded the heart and connecting that thought, physical space, and breath. It all suddenly came together.”

At the same time that Yang was exploring this new relationship with yoga, she also developed a bond with her Aunt Shiu-mei, who worked in a lab at Columbia. Shiu-mei brought her niece lunch and helped her with homework. When Yang needed a break from the city, she decamped to Shiu-mei’s New Jersey home for a weekend of cooking, eating, and talking. Where Yang’s parents had been all work and no play, Shiu-mei’s life was full of social outings and travel, of joy and independence. Shiu-mei gave Yang something she hadn’t before experienced—a soft, nurturing kind of love.

Dharma realized

Over time, yoga helped Yang reconnect with the heart she’d been discouraged from nourishing for so long. After completing her yoga teacher training in 2005, she started leading vinyasa classes—something she continued all the way through law school at Duke University and into her first year as a corporate lawyer back in New York City.

In 2005, Yang was 25 years old, making six figures, and killing it by her parents’ standards. But her gut wasn’t sold on this version of success. Then, while in Canada at teacher training, she got a call: Aunt Shiu-mei, who had recently developed idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis—a lung condition that makes breathing incredibly difficult—had suffered a stroke.

Immediately, Yang booked a flight to be at her aunt’s bedside. When Shiu-mei took her final breaths, her niece was there. “Her passing lit both a light bulb above my head and a fire under my ass,” Yang says. Hit by the quickness and fragility of life, she walked away from practicing law, which she’d never truly enjoyed, a few months later. She returned to North Carolina to open a yoga center. “For the first time in my life, I actually followed my instincts,” she says. Her parents looked on in fear, Yang says, believing their daughter was trading in her laudable career to become a gym teacher.

Blue Point Yoga opened directly across from Duke Medical Center in 2006 and was a fast success. The nurses, doctors, and specialists who filled Yang’s classes were curious, posing all sorts of questions about the mechanics of the practice that she didn’t feel equipped to answer. So she researched anatomy and kinesiology in her free time and discussed science in her instruction. Yang loved learning about the intrinsic relationship between yoga and science. She confided in an old friend, who was an oncologist at Duke, that if she could do it all again, she’d be a doctor. “What do you mean, do it all again?” the friend replied. “You’re 27! You still can.” It was all the encouragement Yang needed. In August 2011, Yang entered medical school at Rush Medical College in Chicago.

An inflamed response

The summer of 2020 passed in a haze of disconnect. Uncertainty sat on the shoulder of every decision made, colored by a draining combination of simultaneous information overload and asphyxiation as Yang, in her second year as an attending physician with Sharp-Rees Stealy Medical Group, and her fellow health care workers grasped for any bit of intel that could shift the wind.

Dozens of beds were filled in the COVID unit at Sharp Memorial, hidden behind two sets of doors that Yang could enter only after adorning herself in full PPE. Inside the unit, Yang would stand outside her patients’ doors before entering, watching them gasp for breath, even with the help of a machine. Looking through the door’s window, Yang realized she was mirroring her patients: She had stopped breathing.

Instinctively, her yoga training kicked in. Yang began taking a few breaths to ensure she was present before entering each patient’s room. “Taking this deep breath before I went in was an acknowledgement—that this is really hard, this is all really, really difficult—and then, in that process of caring for myself, being able to let it go and leave it at the door so I could really be there with my patients,” Yang says. It helped. Soon, she wondered whether simple breathing exercises could help her patients, too.

Breathing into Discomfort

COVID-19 starts as an infection in the respiratory system, a nexus that stretches from nose to lungs. Medical experts hypothesize that when your body detects the virus, it reacts with persistent inflammation—a self-healing response that simultaneously throws the body into a constant state of high alert, which in turn wreaks havoc on your organs and tissues, such as those your respiratory system relies on for oxygenation. But yoga practitioners like Yang know there’s a breadth of research to support a different solution.

“Yoga is uniquely suited to assist with COVID-19 recovery,” Yang says. “All the techniques we’re using in pulmonary rehab—comprehensive treatment program for people with acute lung injury—are yoga techniques. We’ve been doing pranayama, we just haven’t been calling it that

Yang is referring to the large body of research supported by the National Institutes of Health on the negative link between yoga and inflammation. A 2012 study, for instance, showed that people with more-regular yoga practices have lower levels of the chemical leptin, which encourages inflammation, and higher levels of adiponectin, which inhibits it. So, Yang hypothesized, yoga ought to be able to help treat the inflammation that causes COVID patients’ most damning symptoms.

When Yang first brought breathing exercises to her COVID-19 patients, she wasn’t intending to treat the virus specifically, but to help her patients feel better generally, to enjoy and benefit from some sense of connection (to Yang, to an activity, to their breath). But the more she incorporated pranayama into her rounds—encouraging her patients to take a mindful pause and a series of deep, diaphragmatic breaths—the more her lens shifted and the practice evolved from an exercise into a protocol. By applying a yogic scope to diaphragmatic breathing, Yang realized she would have two rich bodies of work to reference—her yoga training and her medical training—the marriage of which could guide others in working with COVID-19 long-haulers, as she writes about in the winter 2021 issue of Yoga Therapy Today.

“Diaphragmatic breathing exercises can work to strengthen weak respiratory muscles,” writes Yang about pulmonary complications. “After all, the diaphragm is a muscle, and people often experience global weakness post-COVID. Exercising and strengthening the diaphragm will benefit any postviral syndrome or inflamed physiology. … The primary goal is to strengthen the lungs and their supporting musculature; the secondary benefit is relaxation and activating the parasympathetic nervous system.”

More recently, Yang has been meeting with the hospital’s physical therapists to discuss how to implement the breathing practice more widely, and regularly lectures via webinars to help educate yoga therapists when it comes to aiding their patients with recovery.

Yoga therapeutics for COVID-19 go beyond breathing-related manifestations, Yang says. Movement helps ease vascular blood clots caused by virus-caused tissue damage and inflammation; the lung expansion that comes with Salabhasana (Locust Pose, also called “proning” in the medical field, and a favorite recommendation of Yang’s) soothes musculoskeletal complications; and mindfulness meditation or yoga nidra serves as a powerful therapy for the emotional trauma and disconnect that COVID-19 leaves in its wake.

Underlying each therapy, no matter the symptom or cause, is connection, and in this way, yoga serves one of our most basic human needs.

“In some ways, it’s my job to save lives, which is a little hyperbolic—most days I’m just helping people get through their chronic medical issues. But if I can give them a piece of what saved my life, my self-worth, my heart…” Yang trails off. “We underestimate the degree to which connection and heartfelt love and permission to feel can affect people’s healing, and yoga gave me that permission.”