For Yoga Teachers – Renting a space for yoga classes

Renting a space for yoga classes header

For Yoga Teachers – Renting A Space For Yoga Classes

Is 2023 the year you set up your own yoga classes?

If so, you’re probably weighing up the amount of work involved in setting up your own classes, with the return (financial and personal enjoyment, amongst other things) to determine if it’s right for you.

Running your own yoga classes really can be incredibly rewarding. Creating your own community, teaching exactly as you wish to and feeling in complete control over the feeling of the classes are all very tempting, and something that yoga teachers who teach part or full time should experience at some point in your career (well, if you wish to, that is!)

However, this can all feel a little overwhelming too…. Where do you start? What if no one comes? What if you get ill? What if…..

Well, yes there’s a lot to think about, but the good news is that we’re here to help!

First of all, you might like to earmark Episode 27 of our Yoga Hero: Teachers podcast ‘Setting up your own yoga classes’ to help you get started. But, unless you’re teaching online (and if you are, check out our short course How to Teach Yoga Online to ensure you’ve covered all bases) you’re going to need a brick and mortar place to teach your yoga classes in. And after many (many, many, many) mistakes made by Yoga Hero over the years, we’re here to share all our learnings with you!

If you’re considering renting a space for yoga classes, there’s quite a few things you’ll need to consider, and some are more important than others. You probably won’t find the absolutely, gob-smackingly perfect space that meets all of your needs, so do manage your own expectations. Before you go and view a space for yoga classes, you need a crystal clear idea of your non-negotiables and your nice to haves.

So how do you prioritise your requirements? Well, by considering the populations that you work with, and their needs, and your needs too. If you don’t have a car, you need somewhere that’s walkable to or somewhere with good transport links, and ideally somewhere that you won’t have to cart 20 mats to week in, week out. However, if you and a lot of your customers will be driving, you might prioritise parking. If you have very little time to promote your classes, you might prioritise somewhere that has lots of potential customers on the doorstep, or a large social media following, etc.

Before we crack on with a list of things to consider when renting a space for yoga classes, grab our handy checklist to take with you when you’re viewing a space for yoga classes. Honestly, don’t even leave the house without it! It’s really easy to get excited when you’re at the space, so much so that you forget your priorities or you forget questions that you want to ask. So, grab yours now:

Rent a space for yoga

Take this handy checklist with you each time you view a space – from a meeting room for a workplace session, right through to renting a space full time.

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    And so, let’s crack on with 15 things to consider when renting a space for yoga classes:


    Locality is a massive consideration when teaching in-person. From just our experience, if it’s half an hour or more to get to you, people either won’t come, full stop, or when a barrier comes up – the kids not going to bed / traffic / bad weather / feeling under the weather… they won’t come. And when they don’t come, it usually takes people a while to get back in to the rhythm of coming back weekly.

    So, working on the basis of half an hour travel time or less, when you’re considering renting a space for yoga classes, consider the public transport / walking / driving times to the venue.

    And one more consideration about location – if most people will be driving, look at parking options, and costs nearby.


    Again, super super important. If the space costs too much, you won’t earn any money and, unless you have money meaning you don’t need to earn any, you’re then risking burn out, working too many hours for not enough income and managing the worry that goes along with this.

    Different venues charge in different ways.

    Some venues will charge a set rate, or a percentage per person – a common split is 60/40 with the teacher getting 60%. If the venue is charging per person, make sure there’s no minimum fee that they need. For example, if you charge £10 per person, and they want 40% (£4 per person), if only one person books on, do you actually pay them £4, or, have they stipulated somewhere that it’s say, £20, or 40% per person, whichever is the higher.

    Also consider the other end of the bracket – what happens if you have loads of people there; you’ve built up a loyal following, you’ve done loads and loads of promotional work, you get 20 people week in, week out, and the same maths we just did, you’ll be paying the venue £80 per class!

    Payment per person is great because it’s lower risk; as long as there’s no minimum payment. But if you’re confident in your following, your ability to promote etc, you may be paying through the nose just by having a loyal attendance at your classes.

    Other venues will charge per hour or per a set time, say a half day or full day. If the venue you’re looking at or thinking about charges a set rate for an hour, check if there’s buffer time before and after this for welcoming your yogis, taking payments etc; or will the class before be leaving as you start yours? That’s a really important consideration, people can sometimes feel short changed if they’ve paid for an hour but they actually get 50 minutes just due to the logistics of the venue.

    Whether the venue charges per person or per hour: investigate if there’s a discount for block booking – usually there is and there should be; you’re rewarded for your commitment to the venue.

    And lastly, ask how you will pay the venue. Will you be taking all the monies from your customers, and paying the venue afterwards, or will they manage the bookings and the income and they’ll pay you? If it’s this option, how soon will you get your money? All this is really important. If you’re busting a gut promoting and teaching your classes now, only to find out you get your money in 90 days, that might really affect whether you decide to go with that space or not.

    Size, and usable size

    Another very important; make or break consideration is the size of the space. How many mats can you fit in? Take one or two mats with you and measure how many you can fit in, baring in mind you won’t want to put people behind pillars, or underneath a low, sloping ceiling etc. I have previously rented a small room above a cafe, which, on the floor fit 7 mats in. But as soon as I got 7 people in there and started a class; inhale raise your arms to the ceiling; three of them actually hit the ceiling. Oops!  That space turned out to be perfect for one to ones, it was cheap, there was more than enough space, it was cosy and warm, we could have a delicious coffee after, but it did not work for classes.


    It’s amazing how often heating escapes us as a consideration. The first space Yoga Hero rented was £20 per hour, or £50 with the heating on! It was such a massive difference! At the time classes were £5 per person, so to break even with no heating on required 4 attendees, but 10 attendees were needed to cover the rent cost with the heating; and that obviously didn’t take in to account the cost of travel, equipment, insurance etc etc – all the costs that we talked about in our first podcast; Pricing strategies for your yoga offering.

    So, check a) if there is heating and b) if it costs and extra and c) does it actually make the room warm enough, especially consider Savasana here; it’s one thing considering if the room is warn enough for a Power Flow or Ashtanga, where of course you get pretty warm anyway, but it’s quite another to lie on the floor for a good 5 minute if the floor is freezing cold.

    Toilets and changing rooms

    Like heating, it’s amazing how often considering something as simple as toilets gets missed. So, simply check that there’s toilets that your yogis can use, at all he times you’ll be running sessions. In the past I rented a space hourly, which has public toilets nearby… but they weren’t open in the morning, which scuppered me holding morning classes.


    Now, while there’s arguably little or no learning that comes from having a space in a silent area, it usually is quite nice for your yogis to experience some peace when they’re practicing yoga.

    Yoga Hero held yoga sessions in a skatepark for a little while… It was actually a room fit our for dance lessons, which was above the skatepark itself. I – like the novice I was / am – went to go view the space at 3pm, and it was nice and peaceful. But at 6pm, when we had our evening class, the skatepark was full of skateboarders, surprise surprise, and it was so loud and such a racket! And it would be entirely unpredictable noise too; not like a rhythmic noise that people could get used to. That, although it was quite a test of concentration and arguably a real learning zone, it wasn’t peaceful and the attendance at the classes reflected that.

    So – make sure you view then space when you’re going to use it, and when you’ll potentially use it too. Take in to account; will you have windows open or closed? Is there a busy road nearby, especially one that emergency services are likely to use? If it rains, will the noise of the traffic affect your yogis ability to hear your instructions? What businesses are nearby? Is there a reception desk or a waiting room nearby where people will congregate and chatter?


    In pandemic times, people tend to bring their own equipment to classes, so this might not be a consideration for you.

    However, lugging 20 yoga mats around is no joke; so if you’re considering hiring somewhere to hold a few classes a week, you might want to see if they have mats and equipment that you can use, or if there’s somewhere safe, clean and dry for you to store your own.

    Business rates

    In England (I must admit I’m not 100% sure about the systems in the rest of the UK), business premises have a rateable value, which is an amount set by the Valuation Office Agency and used by your local council to calculate your business rates bill. Now because we want to share yoga with people, and yoga mats take up much more space than a person standing up, or a person sitting on a chair, spaces for yoga sessions tend to need to be bigger than spaces for say an office for a small company etc.

    By the way, I’ve always used the measurement of 2m x 1m per mat – which does not account for social distancing at all, but outside of social distancing, this has worked well to give people some space around their mat but still allow enough people to join to ensure it’s financially worthwhile.

    Some businesses with smaller spaces might end up not paying any business rates at all, but for yoga that’s rare, because our spaces needs tend to be bigger. So, ensure that the cost of business rates is included within the cost you’ve agreed or the cost you’ve been quoted, you don’t want to end up with any surprise costs down the line.

    This also is the case for utilities like gas, electric and water and even things like buildings insurance and emptying the bins – make sure that these costs aren’t extra.

    Licensing for music

    Ideally, the venue already pays for licensing for music, but check with them. if they don’t you’ll need to contact the relevant authorities and pay for the music you’re using, or, not use music.


    What other activities or businesses or groups use the space – especially before you class times? Will they be making a mess that you’ll have to clean before each class?

    When I ran classes from the art gallery, I had to go on my lunch hour every day to sweep and mop up the dust from their sculpting and art work – which was amazing – it was just messy, to then go back to my day job, work the afternoon then return back to the gallery in the evening to teach yoga. It was hard graft and not something that I’d factored in, time-wise or energy wise.


    Here I’m talking about actually accessing the space – I’ll talk about accessibility in a moment.

    Will you be a key holder? What happens if you forget or lose your key – is there a plan B? If you won’t be given a key, will there always be someone there? What if someone’s not there, is there a phone number for someone who will always answer? You don’t want to commit to a space, promote your sessions, then turn up to teach with all your equipment and your keen yogis, only to find that they’ve forgotten all about you and the building’s locked up.

    Reception area

    Leading on from access – consider if there’s an area that lends itself to you welcoming people, checking them in, taking payments etc. In the art gallery I had an iPad and a float box, and one day the float box went missing while I was showing someone to their mat. Also consider that if someone were to come in and wanted to quietly tell you about a health condition, could they do this privately as your sort of reception space?


    Not all buildings are, or can be, accessible for all. Consider your offering and your audience, and prioritise accordingly. Consider the size and clarity of signs, whether there’s a hearing loop, if there’s a lift, disabled toilet, baby change. Talk to your yogis; what do they need, and what would they like to see, and bear those requirements in mind when looking.

    Social media following

    Promoting your yoga offering can be a black hole of your time and effort. If the space you’re considering has a large and loyal social media following, and they will promote your sessions, that could save you a lot of energy! Similarly, if the following is small, and non-existent, it’s worth considering why, if it’s hard to find, will you spend half your time sending people directions? All things to consider!

    Potential customers

    This leads me on to what’s near the space – which we talked about in terms of whether they’ll make a mess – but also, will they come to your sessions. i’ve been to yoga studios in office blocks before, which makes a lot of sense, because the studio has that entire office block already on their doorstep!

    I really hope this has helped give you some food for thought for what to consider when renting a space to teach yoga in, it’s much easier to evaluate spaces now, given the checklist we just mentioned, than the alternative, which is setting up a class in a new space, doing all your admin; updating the address on newsletter and your facebook page or website, trying to let everyone know, taking nice photos etc etc and *then* finding out, it doesn’t have a toilet, or heating, or just before your class there’s a salsa class in the space, and the floor is covered in talcum powder (and yes, this has happened before!)

    Don’t forget to take our handy checklist with you, and above all, good luck!

    With love,



    Rent a space for yoga

    Take this handy checklist with you each time you view a space – from a meeting room for a workplace session, right through to renting a space full time.

      We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at any time.