Tired of Being a Broke-Ass Yoga Teacher.

Via on Sep 4, 2013

money bills

Yeah I said it: I’m tired of being broke and apologizing for wanting to be financially secure teaching yoga.

I know this is going to ruffle some feathers but the truth needs to be told.

Why is it distasteful to be a financially stable yoga teacher? I love yoga and I wanted to commit my life to studying, teaching and sharing yoga with as many people as possible. So much so, I gave up a lucrative job with kick-ass benefits to do what I love.

Yoga was a nice contrast to my job in the gaming industry. Yoga was a way for people to connect with life. Working in casinos, I saw people disconnect from reality. I watched people lose their livelihood, destroy their health and ruin their families by gambling their wages and life away.

Watching and feeling like a part of this depressing behavior brought me to yoga.

I wanted to be the solution.

buddhist god of wealth, vaishravana
Photo: Wonderlane

I wanted more. I wanted to live an inspired life. I wanted to help others and I wanted to make real connections and influence change in the world.

I found I could do all those things through yoga.

I quit my job and started on my path as yoga teacher and I have no regrets. I do, however, miss being financially stable.

I survive as a yoga teacher/studio owner but financially I don’t thrive as I would like. I’m not getting financially rich teaching yoga. I do feel rich in my experiences and I love what I do but the money does matter.

I have been fortunate to make my living primarily teaching yoga for the past 8 years. I am truly blessed to devote my energies so fully to my students and community.

I want to change the conversation around the financial compensation of yoga teachers.

My studio is small but has a huge heart. I have seen people come in the door nervous, sad, broken and in pain, both physically and emotionally. I have seen them leave, joyful, focused, happy, inspired and strong.

I see them step into themselves and the world with greater love, awareness and consciousness. Their happiness is definitely my reward, however I still need to pay my mortgage, put kids through school and eventually take a non-working vacation.

Are those things really so much to ask? Do I need to take a vow of poverty to be a yoga teacher?

Why is it that we are okay with allowing in companies with appalling social injustice issues to prosper?

There are companies out there that inflict social, environmental and financial injustices every day and yet we support them by shopping at their stores and using their products. We never question their prices, services or policies. We are just happy to save a buck or get a deal.

Companies like Wal-mart don’t seem to care about the environment, social injustice, financial and human equality. They are only interested in serving themselves, and we empower them but giving them our money.

Make no mistake: they hold a lot of financial influence in the modern world.

Savasana_artistic

As I move forward in my teaching career, I am learning that in order to survive as a yoga teacher, I need to find an additional income outside of yoga.

I need a part time job so I can still do both!

After 10 years, I understand that being financially stable is not going to happen through yoga alone. (Yes, it takes me a long time to learn these lessons.)

The teachers who are thriving are few and far between. They are the Yogalebrities working hard with international workshops, book deals, yoga festivals and online courses.The market is saturated with these teachers.

Teaching yoga is now becoming more of a hobby, done for the sheer joy of teaching and sharing your light. It is just really hard to make a living doing it. It’s an amazing opportunity and gift to be a yoga teacher but make sure you have a “Plan B.”

At the end of the day you need a place to sleep.

 

Like elephant ganesh on Facbook.

Ed: Cat Beekmans

Photo: via Pixoto

About Dianne Bondy

Dianne is an E-RYT 500 with Yoga Alliance, the founder of Yogasteya.com, loves to celebrate yoga and diversity and is a contribuing author for Yoga and Body Image: A New anthology. She is a columnist for the Elephant Journal, love public speaking, runs yoga retreats, trains yoga teachers, has a devoted husband, two small boys and not enough sleep. Dianne is big, black, bold and loves all things yoga. Try to keep up with Dianne on Facebook, Twitter, and DianneBondyYoga.com or download one of her FREE podcast on iTunes

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58 Responses to “Tired of Being a Broke-Ass Yoga Teacher.”

  1. Stacy W. says:

    Buzzkill but tru and hoenst. Thank you for sharing, Dianne. Keep shining!

  2. @haskins2 says:

    I think it is dishonest to think we don't need money. As yoga teachers we need to eat, pay rent, put our children through college, and enjoy our lives. Most things take money. I would never feel guilty or be apologetic for admitting that I love teaching yoga to children, but it doesn't pay the bills, and I too need a second job this year.
    All the best to you~

    • Dianne Bondy Dianne says:

      Glad to hear I am not alone..but sad to see that some people don't see the value of investing in their health and their yoga teachers. Thanks for the support. Sending you Love :)

  3. Diane says:

    Excellent point…It is very true for Massage Therapists as well…The joy we get from our work sadly is often overshadowed by our unstable finances. Keep the faith!

  4. Charlotte says:

    I agree that it shouldn't be a sin for yoga teachers to make money. Historically, yogins were supported by patrons or were able to sustain the necessities through begging. That would never fly in this culture. We do have to reckon with the economic realities of Western culture. I would love to offer the teachings for free if I knew my basic needs were covered, but that is not reality.

    It was actually much easier to make a living teaching before the yoga boom. I made a decent–but not extravagant–living just teaching yoga for 11 years before the boom happened. This was after I'd already been teaching for 10 years and supplementing with a part-time job. Five years ago I had to take on a part-time job just to make ends meet. Now I have two part-time jobs in addition to teaching. I'm grateful for those jobs because I no longer have to wonder if I'll have enough money to pay the bills at the end of the month, but I'm always exhausted by the end of the week.

    One of the problems is that studios are churning out hundreds of 200-hour teachers each year and the public doesn't understand the difference between someone fresh out of a teacher training and someone who's committed half her life to practice. The market is also saturated with people who have gone through trainings that may or may not be qualified to teach. Applying some realistic standards to yoga teaching would go a long way to raising the quality of teaching and creating an environment where teachers can actually survive on their income.

    • Dianne Bondy Dianne says:

      Amen Charlotte! Thanks for the read and the share. It is hard out here for a yoga teacher

      • Charlotte says:

        Why would a studio want to pay an experienced teacher what he/she is worth when they can pay a 200-hour teacher fresh out of training $20 per class? For every new teacher that ends up teaching at a studio, there are 50 more wanting the same gig. It seems to me that other types of business place a higher value on experience than yoga culture does. It's rather ironic.

    • jenmullholand says:

      Amen sister. If you are interested, I actually wrote a blog post about that VERY subject of pay for experienced teachers. Check it out!
      http://jenmullholand.com/2013/08/plight-somewhat-

      • Charlotte says:

        I read your blog when it came out a few weeks ago! It's so true. There's a blog response inside me somewhere, not quite ready to be written, mainly because I've been busy putting together a collective of my city's most experienced teachers and have been swamped by lots of businessy things. Thanks for writing the blog. It's important.

    • @happyhunt says:

      As a newly qualified teacher I too have committed a large part of my life to my practise and am passionate to share and teach yoga from my heart. I will always be a student of yoga and part of that journey for me is teaching. I have to start somewhere.
      Yes, the yoga 'industry', like many, has suffered. But true yoga is not an industry is it? Is it possible the western approach to yoga suffers from the same cynical management that drives the big businesses we judge and vilify? I don't know. It's no ones fault specifically.
      You determine your value. If someone wont pay it they are not the right fit for you. Many studios in London are struggling, Some well known ones have closed recently. They are finding it hard to make ends meet too. Some yogis will have worked hard to create those studios, and are providing space for gathering and practise, as well as jobs and experience for instructors. There is no right or wrong. There is only sharing with compassion, and without judgement.

    • Sam says:

      People need to stay away from the rip-off commercialized training that really isn't even Yoga, because they make up their own Fitness classes. They cost a fortune, you have to travel all over the place to complete each required "level" and not only do they make it impossible to complete, they require so many of their self- authored books and DVD's, that it is the complete opposite of what Yoga REALLY is. It is just a sales facility to make the owner richer. I don't understand how the Alliance even facilitates this so called training center.

      With that said, it is impossible to make money to support yourself teaching Yoga, unless you have teacher training available, or work for a popular training facility, and "sell" a lot of related merchandise.

      Fortunately for me, I embraced Yoga as a hobby instead of a career. I won't open my own studio, and I don't lie to people and tell them they have to buy items to help their practice.

      During the recession, Yoga Studio attendance dropped tremendously, so the studios pushed Yoga Teacher Trainings, RYT200 & RYT500 in order to stay in business. All of these Yoga Teachers are now out there competing for the same jobs. Very sad.

  5. oz_ says:

    Yoga is subversive. The 'system' doesn't like it. Therefore, it puts barriers in the way. This is our world.

    I'm being completely serious – a political and economic system that thrives on the basis of atomizing people (i.e. making them each feel alienated from others) so they can be conditioned to think shopping and consuming is the path to happiness (remember: every time a person is diagnosed with cancer, the GDP goes up, every time a forest is cut down, the GDP goes up) is one that will frown on activities that bring wholeness and build community. And so, pursuing those activities becomes difficult – especially if one then attempts simultaneous to adopt the system's preferred (i.e. incompatible) values (e.g. home ownership, college for the kids, etc) – this is what the Buddha called swimming 'against the stream''. It's why Thoreau recommended 'voluntary poverty' (which got co-opted by the system into 'voluntary simplicity'). It's why yoga in the ancient world was associated with ascetic spiritual practices.

    As Bruce Willis put it so memorably in Die Hard: welcome to the party, pal.

  6. Alicia says:

    Even it the land of the Vedas teachers can't get rich teaching yoga (some rogue teachers do). The Scriptures forbid charging for spiritual knowledge; however, dakshina or donation is neccesary so the guru can pay his expenses. In the West, asana practice ought to be pulled together as a spa or workout facility. Yoga is a way of life not a set of stretches.

  7. junojas says:

    Great article Dianne. Thank you for speaking about the part of teaching yoga that many do not want to talk about. We made that a big part of our teacher training because no one told me how hard it was going to be. But at the end of the day I wouldn't want to do anything else & somehow mother earth keeps taking care of me. Blessings to you & keep those great posts coming ;) LOVE jj

  8. Chris says:

    We need to stop feeding the yogalebrity monster. They aren't more skilled than the local teachers; they just know how to market themselves to an audience that is happy to put them on a pedestal. #overit

  9. YogaT says:

    Much needed honesty Dianne :) This article is a good reminder for me and helps takes the pressure off of having yoga teaching as my main source of income! Thanks for sharing.

  10. mimimona says:

    No solutions, just complaints. Legitimate complaints but the same people who are teaching and practicing yoga are not shopping at Walmart. I'm a little tired of the "why-is-society-the-way-it-is" line of questioning. This a capitalism and humanity, after all, tends not to reward good behavior. I knew going into teaching that it was always at best going to be a supplement, not a living. However, I understand that when the health care act goes into effect there will be more opportunity for yoga teachers to make money with the HMOs and local govt. What we are attempting when we practice, when we teach is to slowly shift the consciousness that reinforces the illusion of separateness. It will take another thousand years and alot of destruction, to arrive at a new way of life.

  11. julie says:

    Nice article, and yes, its something a lot of local teachers are thinking and talking about.

    My suggestion is for studios to concern themselves with value. Value the investment of the practice itself as a life practice, and not a 'series of stretches' one commenter offered. If it's seen by the studio as something of wholesome value, then the teachers who teach there, also aligning with the practice as completely holisitc and valuable will be compensated. it does come down as well to charging the right amount for classes, and paying teachers well. Not minimum wage. A living sustaining wage. Teachers are trained to know about the body, but also about mindfulness based practices (meditation and pranayama), as well as heart services. Some teachers, myself included, serve as life healers. This has value to the way our communities thrive. We in turn, show students to value themselves in all aspects better, too.
    Nice post.

  12. portcityyogini says:

    I enjoyed this article but there are some points made that I disagree with. I am a fulltime yoga teacher and massage therapist and surviving. I do wish I were more finically stable, “thriving.” Although it has required time and hard work, I absolutely LOVE what I do and I know I am on the right track towards financial security. I do agree that our cultural perspectives of success and value need to shift, placing more respect and value on those who serve. You say you want to change the conversation around yoga teachers’ compensation… but as a studio owner yourself you don’t specify how or what you would do. You say the market is saturated with “yogilebrities” and that teaching yoga is now becoming a hobby. Mmm…

    I have been teaching yoga in various locations- studios, corporations, gyms, resorts, etc. for nearly 8 years. I have seen the various ways people compensate. I have found there to be an unfair advantage to those providing the space but not the service. The compensation of yoga needs to be shifted away from the studio owner and back towards the teacher. If I owned a studio, I would implement a flat rate for teachers based on years of experience with an additional profit per person in class. That way both parties are committed and feel supported- when teachers thrive, studios thrive. When teachers thrive, they continue to enrich their professional development, increasing the quality of instruction offered at a studio supporting the studio and the students to thrive as well.

    I think the yogilebrity image narrows the perspective of how to thrive as a yoga teacher. What we see is them prancing around in nice clothes, nice cars and everything is just easy breezy. Wake up, that’s not reality! Not all, but most, of those titled yogilebrities worked damn hard for over a decade(s) to achieve that level of notoriety.

    I do agree with your last point- teaching yoga IS becoming a hobby… for those with full time jobs. Like you, people have been moved by the practice of yoga and they want to share it. Unlike you, where I live, most are not willing to leave their cushy fulltime job with benefits. Resulting in a whole lot of people going to teacher trainings and coming out willing to teach for almost nothing because their livelihood does not depend on it. So when there is a saturated market like this, your value is reduced to be “fair” – rather than based on knowledge and experience.

    Lastly, your article doesn’t really have a point. Maybe it should be this- If you are an inspired yoga student so moved by the practice you think you want to teach- think twice. You may be serving others best by being a fresh voice of change in your industry, profession or business. Your actions WILL ripple outwards effecting those around you, driving your industry to be BETTER. In all likelihood, 8/10 people who take a teacher training will not teach full time. If those 8 people took the awareness gained from the practice of yoga, the knowledge gained from training and applied that to their professional and personal lives- the world would be a lighter more inspired place. It is then that we are sitting more fully in the seat of the teacher.

    Bottom line: keep practicing, inspire others, be the change

    • Dianne Bondy Dianne says:

      Thanks for read and the critique. I just wanted to point that you may have misread or misunderstood my point about Yogalebrities. I do make mention of their hard work. I know they hustle and worked really that is how they got where they are. I mention there are a lot of them so people are more apt to pay to sit at there feet because of their status as opposed to giving a great local teacher their attention.As for the point there is one.Make sure you have a plan B- another source of income because is it tough to make it on yoga alone.

  13. @dokether says:

    @Mimimona: I honestly don't think it'll take a thousand years. Look how dramatically society has shifted in the last 20 since the internet has come about.

    The reality of it is that there needs to be a large scale awareness created of the importance of a deep, authentic connection and understanding of the tremendous wisdom of the body. This is ultimately the core process and awakening of a yoga practice: developing a 1-to-1 communication between the body and mind. The seeds are already planted, the science to back it up is growing every day, we just need a catalyst that sets the information in front of people in an easily digestible way.

    Detachment from the body is part of being detached from reality.

  14. Dianne Bondy Dianne says:

    Thanks for the read Mimimona..good points

  15. Jane says:

    It is unfortunate that teaching yoga is among the many vocations such as artists, artisans, musicians, designers, and many, many more, that don't earn much money. Our independent pursuits don't seem to be valued as much as big box, franchised businesses. Our society feeds its greed with 'wants' for cheap, disposable junk. And have forgotten about the need to feed its souls.
    Those who don't appreciate yoga need a class with you Dianne to understand what they're missing.
    I also think it's awful that you're offering your podcast for free. I understand why you need to. It's still unfortunate.

    • Charlotte says:

      This is so true. As a musician I can vouch for the fact that while yes, sometimes I'll get paid well for a gig, the time we're being paid for is not just for the hour-and-a-half duration of the gig. There are two or three three-hour rehearsals before the gig, sound check several hours before the gig, and personal practice time, not to mention the fact that I started playing my instrument when I was nine years old! So when promoters offer to let us play at an event for free for the "exposure" it rings rather hollow!

    • Dianne Bondy Dianne says:

      Thanks Jane..what can I say…you are so right :)

  16. Nastassja says:

    I agree that yoga teaching in the US is not even a part-time income. I hardly know anyone who would dare to rely on it as their only source of financial stability. Being a massage therapist, I am always surprised at the fact that people have no problem paying me a dollar a minute for a massage; but for teaching a yoga class, I am asked to commit myself fully for x number of students for 90 minutes and accept…twenty dollars. I did make great money teaching yoga full time abroad, in the Caribbean. So if you are looking to make a good income, get a ton of experience, and you aren't too attached to life in the US, there are plenty of options, usually with housing included. :)

    • Dianne Bondy Dianne says:

      God I totally wish, that would be a dream come true. I would love to live in the Caribbean and work full time at Yoga. Unfortunately my family and my business won't let me. I am working on it :)
      Thanks so much for the read Nastassja. I appreciate the feedback.

    • linda says:

      where's that, Natassja?

  17. Dawn Wesselby says:

    Interestingly had the same debate with some trainee teachers recently when one of them declared 'it shouldn't be about the money'. He is right on one hand that it shouldn't but equally, if we don't value what we do, how much we pay for our training, the hours of practice or study that we do, we can't expect other people to either. I would love to teach full time, but living where I do, I know that there is not sufficient demand to make this viable, so I spend my time trying to do both because I know that I could not survive purely on teaching yoga classes. I think things have also become more difficult because of yoga in gyms – people are not going to pay a gym membership and then pay extra to go to a yoga class when one is provided in their membership – even if the other class is better.

    • Dianne Bondy Dianne says:

      This is so very true Dawn. I have a friend with 2 best selling yoga books, blogs and columns she gets paid to write, does workshops and has an active teaching schedule and she doesn't make much. It was that conversation that put this all in perspective for me and inspired this blog. I finally figured out I was kidding myself. No amount online professional teacher trainings on how to be a rock star yoga teacher and make a living teaching was changing the bottom line for me. My hubby salary doesn't pay our bills. In this world you need two incomes to survive. We just should be honest about it. Really honest. You do it because you love it.

  18. Andrew says:

    Thank you for writing this. I quit trying to be a full time yoga teacher in 1983. I couldn't see, then , that I would ever have any financial security through yoga. I still practice but I rarely teach for money.

  19. Valinda says:

    I hear you, I've been teaching 13 years after having a stable job with benefits & I barely break even. At this point my husband says it's a hobby. I'm still trying! BLESS

  20. Erica Leibrandt Erica says:

    I feel you on all points, and am in the same boat. Thanks for the honesty.

  21. Jana says:

    You are right to seek another steady income source to support your life and your continued efforts to teach yoga. The non yoga celebrities I know have full or part-time jobs or they are supported by a partner who is financially stable and can carry the lion's share of the household expenses. It's a tough business. Yoga teachers should not feel guilty about making money. We invest plenty in our training and continuing education. It would be nice to realize a return on the investment. Peace&Blessings

  22. jenmullholand says:

    Dianne – I love that you have the guts to come out and say this. I also think this is a huge issue. And it needs to be faced, head on, in teacher trainings. People who step into a 200-hr TT should be required to have at least one business course on the Economics of teaching yoga (full or part time) so people realize what they are in for. I also feel that we are undervalued on many levels. I have spent, on average, $5,000 a year for the past 10 years taking workshops, classes, teacher training and webinars in an effort to offer my very best to my students. And yet, this, along with the 1000s of hours of teaching experience, and I am only getting paid $30 for 90 minutes of my time, plus all the time spent preparing for classes? On some level, it's embarrassing and insulting. That being said, I don't know what can be done because the market is over-saturated and I can't even begin to figure out how to discern myself from the next yoga Jane.

  23. Katrina Kunstmann Katrina Kunstmann says:

    This is unfortunately the same sort of attitude we see towards any passion, spirit fueled career, be it yoga teacher, artist, writer, painter, animator, etc. It's as though there is this lofty and illusory assumption that if one requires money, REAL money, for such life sustaining services as these, that they're not really doing it because they love the work, they just want to get rich. A laughable notion. Many hours have I spent dwelling in deep worry for my own creatively driven future and if and how I will make these passions of mine fill my piggy bank. There is an image I came across on tumblr, depicting what "real" jobs would look like if they were paid creative professional wages, Dr.s doing surgeries to build their portfolio, lawyers doing pro bono work and hoping for donations. I wish I could reproduce it, paint it on every skyscraper in every business district of the world.

    • Dianne Bondy Dianne Bondy says:

      Beautifully put . I too want to know why it’s such a bad thing to do what you love for $$$. A lot of people hate their jobs and suffer and be miserable just to pay the bills

  24. vikers says:

    -The Mayonnaise Jar-

    When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day is not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and two cups of coffee.

    A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him.

    When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and fills it with golf balls.

    He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

    The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured it into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls.

    He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

    The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else.

    He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous “YES”.

    The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

    “Now,” said the professor, as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things – God, family,
    children, health, friends, and favorite passions. Things, that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the things that matter like your job, house, and car. The sand is everything else — the small stuff.” he said.

    “If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “There is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are
    important to you…” he told them.

    “So… pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Worship with your family. Play with your children. Take your partner out to dinner. Spend time with good friends. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the dripping tap. Take care of the golf balls first — the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”

    One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented.

    The professor smiled and said, “I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.”

    === if you cant make it on full time teaching, get a job.

  25. Myrna McCoy says:

    Yes, so true! I have been teaching yoga for 35 years, since back in the 70's when yoga was a "hippie thing". At that time I tried to work various full time jobs and taught yoga a couple of evenings a week. All that time, almost every day while working these various full time jobs which I hated, I couldn't wait to get off work so I could go take yoga class or teach yoga class. Finally, after about 20 years of trying to "fit a square peg into a round hole" I decided to be a full-time yoga teacher. By this time, it was the early nineties and yoga was beginning to become popular. I started to get more classes and make more money. I did much better, but still couldn't have completely supported myself without my husband. Now we moved to the Bible Belt and I am still teaching 10 classes a week, but experienced a big cut in my income because I am not living in a high income area (but a big church area). Anyway, appreciate your article, and know exactly what you are saying. I absolutely love yoga and it is my life. I couldn't do anything else. But sure would like to be compensated for my 40 years of experience!!

  26. Kate Rivard says:

    Thank you for pointing out the over-saturation of yogalebrities… it's getting overwhelming.
    On a different note… I was sincerely inspired after a teacher training with David Swenson. He told us he has had every occupation in the books. This whole follow-your-bliss full time yoga celebrity gig is really a pretty new thing. I have a deeper respect for those teachers that have a full time job or other means of income that isn't funded by a sugar daddy or a trust fund. David helped me feel better about not being instafamous for being pretty or super backbendy, about not being that yoga girl who just takes off for Paris or wherever on someone else's dime. I, and many teachers, work very very hard, just to keep up our yoga (and yoga teaching!) habit. And there is nothing wrong with that. Props for you for working so hard!

    • Dianne Bondy Dianne Bondy says:

      Thanks Kate I appreciate the read and the support. It is good to know that famous teachers had jobs too along with teaching. Love David Swenson amazing humble teacher pranams

  27. Kimberly says:

    Get out of the studio and gym setting. Nursing homes hospitals churches and schools will pay more but it is up to you to build your following. It is easy in a studio or gym. The students are there but by serving others in unique settings as well as specializing in an area of yoga. It seems everyone is a yoga teacher. Be a prenatal yoga teacher or a chair yoga or adaptive yoga teacher. I have turned my focus on back health and flexion addiction. It takes time to find your niche and prove yourself to be more then an asana teacher.

  28. amphibi1yogini says:

    Not quite on topic, but from one student's point of view: I am tired of being a broke-ass yoga student who can't afford "real" yoga classes. So, after a long hiatus from regular yoga practice aside from within these four walls, I'm venturing back into taking full-price (non-Groupon, non-Living Social – I like to keep my support for local teachers local) with discounted (but generous-expiration) class packs (few and far between in my locality, because such offerings, I've been told by studio owners, get abused by snowbirds … and they're not always elderly (but they are – to a young studio owner's eyes) … I digress.

    Okay, I don't have extra money, so as ever I am parceling out the class packs very carefully. However, like you, Dianne, I am no longer of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy. Yes, my class at the studio HAD started out being very mild and friendly-like. Good for going once per month or less (Finally!) [I am the type that does not flit from studio to studio, by the way.] But because of the neighborhood, and the fact that the GYM has the corner on mild, forgiving, home-practitioner-friendly … and this studio is priced far higher than any gym — a 60 minute walk-in being $18 (being that it is a studio in the New York City metropolitan area).

    Per use, per month, per year – they find maybe they better not be competing with New York Sports Clubs. Or even Equinox Gyms. Maybe they'd better be a cut above–and we're not just talking diminutive class size.

    So, I'm not unpleasantly surprised. But it's really a case of back to the future, and I have to up my at-home game. And take a class there (despite financial constraints) about twice per month, once I get into a groove – which is very soon!! [Very busy getting my dance on seriously right now!]

    Bottom line: "Dorothy, you're not in Kansas anymore," I tell myself.

  29. Thank you for your honesty and for sharing Dianne. Indeed, you have expressed the truth, YOUR truth and that of many who experience the same. I have been teaching for almost 7 years and have had to supplement my income with a part time job just to make sure I can pay my accounts each month. It is not easy BUT it does allow me to continue to do what I love the most….to teach the gift of Yoga and for that I am ever so grateful because I could not imagine giving up teaching. It has been my anchor through all things good and bad and remains by constant no matter what the financial consequences. And YES, it is absolutely acceptable to admit and to have to do part time work whilst also teaching because we are so blessed to still be able to do what we love knowing we are sharing it and helping others along their path – no matter what that personal journey is. Each to their own. Stay well. With gratitude, Juanita.

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