This post is from my August newsletter.
About 6 months ago I started a Facebook Group called Business of Yoga. I am excited each time I approve a new member because I am inspired by all the creativity and heart I see in the profession of yoga. We now have almost 600 in our group, and each of us a unique offering of ourselves! If you join the group, please share what you are doing. I love to hear it!
In my own growth as a yoga teacher, or should I say, a yoga entrepreneur, I had long felt that that yoga teachers needed a place to connect and share and inspire each other without feeling they were competing against each other. We also needed a place to share ideas and ask questions that goes beyond just marketing our latest class, workshop or training.
The founding principle of Business of Yoga:
To raise the bar of professionalism in Yoga.
We are not in competition with one another; if one of us succeeds, so do we all.
A second founding principle of the group:
Let's become the change in the industry we want to see.
I hear many yoga teachers crying out about working for studios, doing the hustle, and not quite making ends meet while exhausting themselves in the process. I hear you, I know your frustration intimately, and I will level with you, a studio cannot make your living. The studio model is simply not set up for it. So, if you truly want to be a full-time yoga teacher, a professional, what else will you do?
Be the change. Create your opportunity. I am doing it, and so can you. Join the Facebook group and start connecting!
I have been practicing Yoga for 20 years, and teaching for 10. Teaching yoga holds me accountable to my own process of awakening. I have grown spiritually, personally and professionally. I have gained invaluable skills such as public speaking, customer service, and most impactful, how to connect with others in an authentic way. I have also gained a confidence in being me in each moment that will carry me through my lifetime.
Because of this, I recognize that yoga teachers have a significant impact on others' lives, and because of that, we have a responsibility to raise the bar of professionalism.
This is a unique challenge in the west. Because we operate on a paradigm where money is the exchange for service, because we separate body from spiritual well-being, because we are not as a culture set up where every town has it's temple (or ashram) and guru guiding people through the process of awakening, it is an interesting intersection that we have yoga teachers in studios doing just that, and whether it is conscious or unconscious, it is happening.
So there is a paradigm shift here. And I argue that yoga teachers DO have a right to earn a living, CAN make an impact, and that the more aware we are of this, the closer we come to being able to do our work on a larger scale.
This lead me to recognizing that in order to do this, I need to be an entrepreneur... a Yoga Entrepreneur.
[ W O A H . . . ]
But I'm not a business person. Or at least, I don't identify one. But in order to make the impact I wish to make, I have to become. How do I do this? It's big, overwhelming, and often the next steps I need to take are not the ones I want to take.
But I also recognize that my message is much bigger than I am. That if I don't "do this thing" then my message is lost. So, here I am, doing it! And YOU CAN TOO!
Won't you join me? Because if you are reading this, I know that you have a knowing inside of you of all the things that YOU have to offer to the world. Won't you connect with me and share?
Here are some of mine, current and in the works:
Business of Yoga on Facebook, which has a monthly live Podcast highlighting a yoga teacher's expertise in their area to help you.
Teacher Trainings - from 200hr to my very own Coming into Being Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training, and very soon, a 300hr YTT!
Mentorship and Coaching - we work together to develop a program aligned with you, your goals as a teacher, and the population you wish to serve.
Yoga Therapy - I practice Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy, where we work at the intersection of the physical to the psycho-emotional-spiritual, so that you can find that wisdom within your self and make your own life connections, your own healing and personal growth.
Thai Yoga - a physically therapeutic practice I enjoy offering in conjunction with Yoga Therapy or as a separate part of your healing journey.
and... my vision in progress... The Temple Institute, which will offer certifications for yoga teachers that enable you to specialize, as well as professional development so that you can earn more in your profession!
Kristen is the creator of Indieflow Yoga and Yoga For A Cause. She lives and teaches in Denver, Colorado