State of Yoga 2023: Industry Insights

Image by Shannon Hartigan

Who is Yoga Australia?

Yoga Australia is Australia’s peak body supporting yoga teachers, yoga therapists, enthusiastic students, and practitioners.  Incorporated in 1999 as an independent ‘member-based’ organisation, we support all styles, lineages, and traditions of yoga. We are a thriving community of yoga teachers, yoga therapists and teacher trainers delivering high quality across Australia.

Yoga Australia’s values are grounded in ancient teachings and philosophy. We support the ongoing development and growth of yoga as a recognised profession and viable career path in Australia. 

Yoga’s Place in Culture and Society

The canon of Yoga describes both a state of being and a practice for attaining that state of being. It contains a path to understanding the perspective of the Vedic rishis, and the communities of the Indus Valley, on the threshold of recorded history, who experienced uninterrupted awareness of the paradoxical co-existence of duality and nonduality. They sought to promulgate methods for ordinary people to be lifted to a transcendental state of togetherness. The oral and palm leaf teachings prescribe methods for individuals to traverse the worlds in a way that is integrative, harmonious, and for the benefit of all.

The ideas of yoga are perennial and are found in documented history for over 5000 years, existing in many forms as a means to enlightenment. The Vedas (1500 BCE) and the Upanishads (as early as 8th century BCE) describe consciousness and knowledge, propose arrangements of the cosmos and the material world, and the explain the emergence of linear time.

Around the 2nd century BCE, with growing technology and the spread of language, sage Patanjali was able to collate and record what is known as the Yoga Sutras.  Patanjali codified the teachings he had access to in the form of the Eight Limbs of Yoga.  A linear succession of steps or limbs is a common method of describing the path to enlightenment, with various Upanishads describing other arrangements of limbs. For the most part, the methods and structures described by Patanjali form the basis of yoga as we know it today.

Far more recently, in the 20th century, yoga made its way into the West.  As the British occupation of India matured, Indian gurus began to visit the West to talk about such lofty topics as consciousness and nonduality.  Thus began the great and somewhat barbaric project of translation of Sanskrit terms into English.  Any attempt to understand the roots of yoga must acknowledge the imperfections and inaccuracies inherent in such an endeavour.  To describe knowledge surpassing 5000 years of age using a much newer language, containing its own ideas of religiosity and power-structure, is fraught to say the least.

In just the last few decades, with cheap air travel and glossy magazines we have seen a new angle on the teachings.  One that promises to assist modern people to glimpse the worlds that are unavailable to the physical senses, so that they can reconcile the apparently ordinary with common, if suppressed, experience of the ineffable.

Now, with the influx of easy access to simple yoga that focuses on physical health and the development of concentration and longevity, we have a population perfectly poised to unfold continuing awareness of unity and the scientific truth that all actions affect all beings.

Setting Educational Standards

Called Becoming a Yoga Professional, our new curriculum has been designed to assist training providers to achieve high level outcomes for their students, and to demonstrate to governments and health providers that the profession of yoga safely and ethically supports participants. 

See the full post for all the details:

Earning Income as a Yoga Teacher

As a self-regulated industry, pay and pricing for yoga teachers and their services has in the past been left to individuals to negotiate. Many teachers and employers feel uncertain about how much to charge or pay. Exacerbating this uncertainty is the wild variance in expertise and experience observed in modern yoga teachers.

Even more recently, we see wage stagnation affect the viability of teaching yoga as a career:

As the peak body for yoga in Australia, Yoga Australia is committed to establishing clear salary guidelines commensurate with classification levels. We recognise that more experienced teachers deliver more effective classes and thus better outcomes for students.  We hold that teachers who demonstrate continuing education and consistent development over many years ought to be remunerated accordingly.  For example, Yoga Australia requires Senior teachers to accumulate more than 10 years of teaching experience and 1000 hours of formal training, and their pay rate scales accordingly.

In making these recommendations Yoga Australia supports the positive perception of yoga as a safe profession operating under exacting standards.  Our thriving community of members ensures support for teachers, improved conditions, and wage parity across the board. 

See the full post for our recommendations:

Expanding Teaching Opportunities

With nearly 60% of Australian yoga teachers identifying as “self-employed” it is timely to explore some less considered revenue streams.  It is common knowledge that yoga is taught in yoga studios, gyms, online, in a corporate environment, and home studios. However, there are other avenues to explore…

See the full post for our recommendations:


Yoga provides a guiding light during difficult times.  Whether online or in person, yoga joins us together as a community, and strengthens our resolve as individuals.  Many are coping with the stressors, anxiety, and the illness of long-covid, the impacts of dramatic climate changes, the costs of sky rocketing living expenses and pressures of finding a roof over our heads.  Life is filled with variables and challenges.  Through the practices of yoga we learn to self-regulate and adapt to the challenges of life.

It is important to know that, particularly in Australia, there is a peak body working for you, for the profession, and for the legitimacy of yoga in all its forms.

For 25 years Yoga Australia has been the leading light in this field, and we intend to keep advocating for:

Fair conditions for yoga professionals
Higher standards of education for yoga teachers and yoga therapists
Full and complete presentation of the whole scope of yoga, beyond style and lineage
You can support us by becoming a member and shining the light of yoga in your own daily life.
Header image “Kinship” by Shannon Hartigan