I write this article only because, quite honestly, I promised you that I would. I wrote Part 1 of this blog in response to seeing the yoga teaching community’s response to an article that discussed the economics of being a yoga teacher – read the original article here.
In complete transparency, the part 1 of this blog stemmed from my own emotional response to the yoga community’s response to this article. (Whoa, that’s a lot of responses going on.) What I mostly heard was this: “I will not water down the traditions of yoga just to make a living – I would rather work retail.” “I refuse to support corporate yoga studios.” “Being a yoga celebrity is selling out and un-yogic, and I admonish anyone who participates in this behavior.” “Yoga and business don’t mix.”
All of these responses I understand, and there’s a part of me that feels that way, as well.
Yet there’s also a part of me that feels otherwise.
Let’s keep this short, because there’s more pressing things in the world, like starvation and hunger and female mutilation.
I don’t give a shit if you teach yoga at a local studio or at a corporate studio.
I don’t give a shit if you follow the “traditions” of yoga or create your own.
(What is a “yoga tradition” anyway? There’s so many different lineages and beliefs – I feel about yoga traditions the way I feel about religious traditions. Take them on if they make sense for you personally. Leave them behind if they don’t. To me there’s no sense in keeping things the same just because that’s the way they’ve always been – shit, we’d still have slavery if that were the case. Yoga, like religion and spirituality, is a personal experience. Stop doing things just because people tell you to do it and start figuring out what works for you.)
I don’t give a shit if your dream is to become a yoga celebrity – or if you already are a yoga celebrity.
I don’t give a shit if you only practice yoga because you want a better looking ass.
Or if you only practice yoga to improve your golf game.
Or if you practice to connect to a spiritual power.
Or if you practice to help heal your grief.
Or if you practice because it’s the only hour a week you get to be away from your children and have some quiet.
Or if you practice because you’re depressed and your therapist recommended yoga but you don’t really get it.
Or if you practice because that hot girl you work with does yoga and you want to impress her with your Warrior poses.
Who says these are wrong reasons to practice yoga? And who became the almighty judgement bearer when it comes to how you practice – or why you practice – or where you practice – yoga? Yoga is just yoga. Do it or don’t do it. Teach it or don’t teach it. There have been many spiritually enlightened people who never did yoga once. And there’s been really terrible people who have done – and taught – yoga, too.
It’s the same with religion, and with anything else. Make a decision that aligns for you personally, whether that’s for your business, your practice, your teaching, or your life. Leave behind judgement for those who do things differently.