August 16, 2014

Thrive, Survive or Profit: Yoga & Money, Why the Big Disconnect?

Photo: Lewis Minor/Flickr

Recently I teamed up with a colleague who is on a mission to help yoga teachers thrive and even profit  from teaching yoga.

We did a podcast together. We talked about ways you could turn your yoga teaching into a career that sustains a happy  and  financially secure life.

I shared her work through social networks, with my friends, social media followers and colleagues.

I was surprised to receive an angry email from a person who said she couldn’t associate with me anymore because I clearly missed  the message of what  yoga is about.

I think the words that made this person angry were “thrive and profit as a yoga teacher.”

Thrive and Profit. What does mean in the context of teaching yoga?

To me, to thrive in teaching yoga means that my students feel educated, well taken care of, understood, connected and happy. To thrive means I can feed my children, pay my mortgage and take a vacation once in a while.

To profit teaching yoga means that I can pay to build a school in Africa or donate beds to my local homeless shelter, provide a scholarship at a local college or teach yoga free of charge to souls in a community who wouldn’t otherwise have access to yoga. It means I can sponsor a family at Christmas; I can feed a hungry human being.

Profiting from teaching yoga allows me to serve the community in a much broader scale. Without the energy source called money, my service is limited.

Why are we so against people making money teaching yoga or doing what they love?

University and college professors do it all the time. They make great livings teaching concepts that have been around for centuries. Why is there still this crazy idea that we must hate our jobs and suffer at work to earn a living?

The people who have most of the money in the world are not always the most socially and environmentally conscious.

Yoga is a billion dollar industry and yoga teachers (primarily women) , yoga therapists and yoga educators make less than 10% of that money. Unless you are a top Yogalebrity,  you are usually not making an adequate living as a yoga teacher. You might have a number of jobs and are just trying to survive.

A brilliant colleague is going back to her day job because she needed to buy a car and teaching yoga wouldn’t allow that.

When we are in survival mode, it makes it difficult to take up social causes and meaningful personal endeavors because we don’t have the means to do it.

Capitalism is failing the west. The rich and the greedy get richer and  greedier  and those who are working to serve humankind get poorer. The wealth gap in the United States is getting bigger. We cannot trust corporations to do the right things with their profits. Their first priority is to make money at any cost.

Wouldn’t it be nice if socially conscious people ruled the world? What would that look like?

If you could make a living doing what you love and spend your time serving people and spreading love, how would the world be different?

If you could actually make more than enough for yourself how you would change the world?

How would you serve the greater good?

What would you do if you have a billion dollars to share?




Love elephant and want to go steady?

Sign up for our (curated) daily and weekly newsletters!

Editor: Emily Bartran

Photo: Lewis Minor/Flickr

Read 6 Comments and Reply

Read 6 comments and reply

Top Contributors Latest

Dianne Bondy  |  Contribution: 3,620