How Yoga Instructors Are Hosting Airbnb Experiences

By: Steph Ball-Mitchell, E-RYT-500, RPYT, RCYT, YACEP, CAADC

How Yoga Instructors Are Hosting Airbnb Experiences

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Increasingly more yoga teachers have found fulfillment in hosting yoga experiences through Airbnb's website.  Airbnb has been a space for travelers to find unique places to stay for some time, and in recent years the site has started offering experiences to travelers.  The process of registering your yoga experience is simple and many have found teaching yoga this way to be a rewarding adventure.  

What is an Airbnb Experience and How Do Yoga Teachers Host a Yoga Experience on Airbnb?

Airbnb has been connecting local homeowners with travelers who are coming through their area for years. Now Airbnb is connecting local yoga teachers and other local activity providers with travelers who want to experience those activities.  Their tagline is "live like a local," which seems to invite a very specific group of people who seek the experience of the community which they're visiting.  

Travelers can search for experiences on Airbnb's website whether they have booked a stay through the site or not.  In fact, locals could even search for an experience on the Airbnb site, although that's not very common.  When sifting through Airbnb's experiences, travelers will learn how long the experience is, where it takes place, what is included in the experience and what they will be doing.  They also get to read about their host.  The price is listed and the traveler books the experience on the site, making the payment to Airbnb.  

Yoga teachers can sign up to host an experience on Airbnb's website.  Airbnb experiences should "demonstrate expertise, insider access and connection."  Yoga teachers are experienced in the instruction of yoga, meeting the requirement for expertise.  Insider access can be offered through finding a beautiful local place for your yoga class and human connection is naturally fostered through the teaching of yoga. 

When yoga teachers sign up to host a yoga experience on airbnb, they must know the date and time of the yoga experience, what the yoga experience will entail, how long it will last, the address where they will meet students, what is or isn't included (such as mats or other props) and what the price will be.  Airbnb will collect payment from students and retain 20% for their fees.  The remaining 80% of the payment will be deposited to the yoga teacher's bank account.

Benefits for Yoga Teachers to Host a Yoga Experience on Airbnb

There are many benefits for yoga teachers hosting a yoga experience on Airbnb's website.  Among the benefits for hosting a yoga experience are:

Yoga teachers have low overhead or no overhead when hosting yoga experiences on airbnb

Most of the time, yoga experiences that are offered on airbnb take place in outdoor spaces.  Many yoga teachers teach in places with beautiful scenery like beaches or parks.  There are times that you may have to pay a small amount of money to be able to use these public spaces, although they are often free for public use.  Yoga teachers don't have to worry about renting studio space or maintaining the expense of a yoga studio. 

Yoga teachers meet new people with every new yoga experience they host on airbnb

Many of the students who come to the yoga classes offered on the airbnb's site as a yoga experience are travelers.  While anyone can go on the airbnb site and sign up for an experience, it is most common that people who have booked their stay through airbnb will then follow the prompts to look for an experience in the area while traveling.  For this reason, yoga teachers have a constant flux of students in their yoga classes that are listed as airbnb experiences.   how to make money as a yoga teacher

Yoga teachers have lots of flexibility in scheduling when hosting a yoga experience

When you decide to list your yoga class as an experience on airbnb, you are able to set your own schedule.  This offers yoga teachers a lot of flexibility in scheduling.  The yoga experience on airbnb does not have to be at the same time or even on the same day.  Some yoga teachers just list one experience at a time at their own convenience.  Other yoga teachers have regular yoga experiences listed.

Yoga teachers may be able to build a student base when hosting a yoga experience on airbnb

When the students who sign up for a yoga experience are taking the yoga class, many of them will connect with the yoga teacher.  The yoga teacher has the opportunity to collect email addresses after the class comes to an end.  For yoga teachers, email lists are very valuable, especially as we see a shift towards online yoga classes.  

Yoga teachers don't have the hassle of advertising when hosting a yoga experience on Airbnb

Traditionally, yoga teachers who want to start a new yoga class bear the burden of filling it up.  Social media promotion, paid advertising and word of mouth are all conventional methods of filling up a yoga class.  When you're hosting a yoga experience on airbnb, the airbnb website does the work for you.  You don't have to promote the class or pay for advertising.   Your students will find your experience and sign up for your yoga experience through airbnb. Airbnb is one of the biggest and most well known online travel resellers and your yoga event will get incredible exposure.

Things Yoga Teachers Should Know Before Hosting a Yoga Experience on Airbnb

As with anything else, there are certain things you should know before hosting your yoga experience on airbnb to ensure that your event goes as smoothly as possible.  Here are a few of the things yoga teachers should be aware of: how to make money as a yoga teacher

Airbnb guests who book experiences want to "live like a local"

Don't forget the tagline for Airbnb experiences is to "live like a local."  To make your experience as desirable as possible, you want to include as much local flair as possible.  For example, I have hosted "mountain sunrise pranayama" in the Pocono Mountains at a local park.  I've hosted "sunset beach yoga" at the beach in South Carolina.  While teaching the class, I tried to drop in little fun facts about the area and its history.

There is no guest minimum for yoga teachers hosting a yoga experience

While it works out well for travelers that there is no guest minimum for yoga teachers who host a yoga experience on airbnb, this can be a challenge for the yoga teacher.  This means that if only one students signs up for your experience, you are still required to host the experience.  I can tell you that none of the yoga teachers I know who have hosted experiences have ever had fewer than five people sign up, but it is possible.  When you decide to host the experience, you are committing to following through even if you only have one student.

Your yoga experience on Airbnb should be unique and your price should reflect it

Your yoga experience on Airbnb should be unique.  You want to put a lot of thought into how you can offer a taste of local culture with your yoga event and come up with a one-of-a-kind yoga event offering.  With this type of thought and planning, you will charge more than you would for a typical yoga class.  Examples of yoga events on Airbnb that have been successful are:

  • "Yoga in Central Park" - a 1-hour yoga class in New York for $40
  • "Sound Healing Meditation" - a 1-hour singing bowl meditation for $125 in New York
  • "Mind + Body + Beach Yoga" - a 1-hour yoga class in Laguna Beach for $99
  • "Baby Goat Yoga" - a 1-hour yoga class with goats in Alvin, Texas for $45
  • "Paddleboard Yoga on Green Lake" - a 90-minute paddleboard yoga class in Seattle for $60
  • "Forest Bathing, Meditation & Yoga" - a 60-minute experience in the Catskills for $85

Airbnb has a calendar to manage your bookings

Airbnb has a calendar to help you manage your bookings; however, the airbnb calendar cannot sync with your personal booking system.

There are certain activities that Airbnb does not allow

When hosting your yoga experience, you will want to stay away from political talks and activities, sexually suggestive activities and discussions, and extreme heights, caves and other technically specialized outdoor activities.  These are not permitted by Airbnb. 

You may get lots of last minute bookings

Travel data shows that many travelers do not book their tours and activities in advance.  Many prefer to book their activities once they reach their destination.  Even if you list your yoga experience on airbnb months ahead of time, you may find that most of your bookings are rather last minute.

Airbnb sends your payment 24 hours after your experience

Your payment for all of the guests you host in your yoga experience will be sent to your bank account 24 hours after the yoga experience.

Airbnb does not provide insurance but your insurance should cover you

Airbnb does not provide insurance for its activity hosts, but your insurance should cover you. To be certain, you can call your insurance company and tell them where you will be teaching. You may even list that location on the policy. If you don't have insurance, I recommend beyogi.

Only Airbnb guests can attend your Airbnb yoga experience

Airbnb requires that only guests who register through their site can attend your yoga experience hosted through Airbnb.  This means you cannot advertise elsewhere or bring other students to the yoga event you are hosting through Airbnb.

Airbnb is not the only online space to host an experience

While I have personal experience hosting yoga events on Airbnb, it's important to know that they aren't the only show in town.  You can also host your yoga events on other websites like Viator or GetYourGuide.

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Grow Your Yoga Teaching Career In Exciting and Unconventional Ways

Hosting a yoga experience on Airbnb is one of many exciting and unconventional ways for yoga teachers to grow their careers teaching yoga.  We all love this sacred practice and it brings so much joy to share it with others.  Finding what is special and unique about your local community and melting that with your passion for yoga in an airbnb experience is one way to earn a living as a yoga teacher.  To discover other ways to expand your career as a yoga teacher, please join us in our 200 hour online yoga teacher training or our 300 hour online yoga teacher training.

About the Author

Founder of Online Yoga School and Yoga & Ayurveda Center

Steph Ball-Mitchell, E-RYT-500, RPYT, RCYT, YACEP, CAADC

Steph has over 25 years of experience in yoga and movement.  Her understanding of yoga and the human body has been influenced by lifelong dancing and holistic health.  She found her life’s purpose in helping people become happier and healthier through her own healing journey.  Steph assists her students in knowing the joy and wonderment of integrating the mind and body through accessible yoga.  She encourages an authentic and life-nurturing practice, one that brings greater consciousness to each moment and every movement of the body with a heavy emphasis on breath.  

With a masters degree in counseling, Steph brings awareness, acceptance and a down to earth approach to her classes.  She studied with Maty Ezraty and later completed her second 200-hour training with Nancy Candea at Yoga Impact in New Jersey and her 300-hour training with Chris Loebsack at Boundless Yoga Studio in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.   The perpetual student, Steph has studied with Leslie Howard, Travis Eliot, Bryan Kest, Donna Farhi and countless others.  She has extensive training in pelvic floor yoga, restorative yoga, yin yoga, power yoga and accessible yoga.  Most recently, Steph was certified as a Grand Master of Meditation through Swami Vidyanand.

Steph founded Yoga and Ayurveda Center with her husband.  She later launched Online Yoga School to support her local trainings and has recently launched a virtual yoga studio to accommodate the international community of trainees.

When she isn’t on her mat, Steph can be found volunteering, enjoying her husband and children, dancing and cooking.  She currently enjoys serving on the board of World Yoga Federation and Meditation Alliance International and previously enjoyed serving on the Education Committee of Yoga Alliance and places a strong emphasis on inclusivity in her teacher training