After this recent article on Yahoo.com came out telling people how much I make a year (thank the gods I pay my taxes properly), I became deluged with people, many from mind/body fields, asking me how they could do the same.
There are going to be those who react negatively to the notion that money and spiritual teaching can be harmoniously interconnected.
Honestly? I don’t care.
Because I’m living proof that both can happen. So, by the way, are the very first yogis who came to America. They accepted the invitation of wealthy society women and men who brought them here and paid for their travel, lodging, food, and every comfort they needed. They even bought them their own ashrams with people to serve and take care of them. This happens in India too, by the way, and has from ancient times. People buy food, then give it to monks. They have jobs, and on the weekends, they go help out at the ashrams. Parishioners tithe their income to the church. Monks make beer and sell it to keep their monasteries in the black.
In my opinion, we need to get over our yogier-than-thou, lack-oriented mindset when it comes to making our finances as healthy as our bodies in yoga practice. Otherwise, we allow more resources to go to the greedy, the power-hungry, and those who may not have the spiritual training to use money wisely and spend compassionately.
It’s time for yogis to enrich themselves, and the world, on every level.
Money has always been exchanged for spirituality, even if by secondhand means. More importantly than money is the energy it represents. If you give away your energy in any form without doing something to replace it evenly, then you will end up drained, not balanced, and certainly not abundant.
I’m here to help you even the score.
If you could make a great living, and do what you love, and help offer some of your resources to good causes, would you? Or would you rather be trying to serve while remaining overworked, stressed out, and broke? Because that’s the state I see many spiritual people settling for, when in fact, they would be able to give more, and of higher quality, if they balanced their cashflow with their life force.
I’m in the middle of a second edition of my e-book Conscious Commerce, which brings together experts like yoga blogger Nancy Alder, Business of Yoga guru Mark Laham and Ava Taylor, founder of YAMA Talent (and my manager), and me, a yoga teacher who has managed to create financial stability for myself and my family without losing my soul.
Until it’s done, I thought a great way to address the most pressing questions, ones I think apply to yoga teachers and healing professionals alike, was to do a recurring blog.
Feel free to send your questions to [email protected] or post them in the comments below.
Let’s get you receiving the same abundance you put out there into the world every day.
Conscious Commerce Question of the week:
From: Cailen Ascher
My name is Cailen Ascher, and I came across information about your online yoga empire at the beginning of this year. I’ve perused your website and thoroughly enjoy your engaging yoga videos. First off, I just want to say that I am so impressed and inspired by your journey from overworked teacher to lifestylist – crafting the life you want and desire.
I, too, am a yoga teacher and hope to build an online presence so that my teachings can reach a broad range of students. I understand that your yoga philosophy is expressed through your concept of “Core Strength Vinyasa” – and I was wondering how important you think a “niche” is when building your brand. Did developing “Core Strength Vinyasa” distinguish you from the get-go or did that develop later after your online presence was already strong?
I understand that you probably have a busy and fulfilling schedule, but I would very much appreciate any thoughts you have regarding “niching”. In the meantime, I’ll continue to look for you on twitter and Facebook!
I think, like anything, the more clear you are about what your unique message is, the better. Otherwise, people have trouble finding you or knowing what you’re about. It’s death to your chance to attract a large following whenever you try to be like everyone else. If I can’t tell the difference between the 5, 7 and 8:30 teachers at a studio, I’ll just interchange them depending on what time’s good for me. Then again, if the 7 pm instructor is knowledgeable, plays great music, has a focus, and a personality to match, then I’ll make a special effort to go to him and her every time.
This is just to say that a ‘niche’ doesn’t have to be a whole style you create, and you don’t have to know exactly what you’re going to stand for…but the more you can be yourself, and teach the class you’d love to take, the more you’re started along that path, and you will be instantly more attractive to students.
This kind of self-awareness and allowing goes whether you’re attempting to communicate ourselves to others in life, or sharing your voice through the medium of yoga postures. Some people might be organized enough to create a style of yoga or some other branding first. I, however, was just teaching without any of that, and over time, I found myself drawn to the ‘core’ aspect of yoga, and also to self-knowledge and self-expression both on and off the mat.
I noticed that when I talked about those things, the class lit up, I lit up, and I felt the most authentic and passionate. I began to study more books and trainings that centered around aspects of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual core strength, and eventually cultivated enough expertise to call my yoga a “perspective on all yoga”–not as much a style–called Core Strength Vinyasa Yoga. Then again, I’ve always had more a rebel attitude, and my own ‘Sadie style’ of speaking, dressing and approaching self-empowerment and yoga. So I’ve been a well-attended teacher from the first year I claimed myself.
Whether my brand these days is more CSV Yoga or Sadie Nardini, I really can’t say. But my niche is always generating your personal power and freedom from the core in every way. I think it’s important to know who you are, and continuously rock that on all levels to find true and authentic success in your field. In my opinion, people who try to stand for everything, end up standing for nothing but a big, murky mess.