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June 21, 2012


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Practice yoga with joy and laughter. Recently, a number of yoga teachers have been incorporating "laughter yoga," i.e., the practice of deep belly laughing,into their classes to add levity and variety to the class. Life is too precious to get bent out of shape when you can't quite "bend into shape" when you first learn certain yoga poses. Laugh it off and try again the following day!

Laura Rodriguez

Thank you, Nadine, for confirming what I thought! What kind of yoga do you teach and where? I like your attitude!

Nadine Fawell

Teaching yoga IS a viable career, without up selling. In fact, I totally agree, Laura. Teaching people to be independent of you, by encouraging home practice and truly adding value to their lives, is an excellent way to make a decent living as a yoga teacher.

I've been teaching yoga as my career for ten years now, and in the last few, I've gotten some education on marketing and finances. That's made a massive difference to my income. I could always live on it, but now it's really a good solid wage.

Laura Rodriguez

Thanks, Tina, for keeping the discussion lively and controversial!

From what I understand and have observed, most yoga instructors (like most hypnotherapists, massage therapists, and the like) probably don't make enough money to pursue their vocation full-time because they lack marketing savvy. That's the unfortunate truth. There are people who make fortunes doing anything and everything.. That said, there are those who over pitch and oversell to a fault. I don't appreciate being sold to every moment - that's for sure.

I do believe, however, that people who know who to identify, find, and add value to their target market can pursue their vocation and earn a full-time income, regardless of what it is.

I have no problem at all with people up selling me a product or service as long as they are adding full value to it and providing exceptional service. All power to them. Just as Barbie can arguably be a role model as tennis teacher or swim instructor, she can also be a yoga instructor. I am not certain either whether any labels of full-time or part-time were being implied with the release of the new Barbie.

I just interpret the release of the Barbie yoga instructor as just another example of how yoga is receiving more widespread coverage than ever before. However, I do believe that not enough people are reaping the amazing benefits of yoga because they think they have participate in a an intensive, rigorous yoga class when they can gain tremendous results at home at their own pace, for no-cost, or lost-cost.

Thanks for sharing your perspective! (I replied yesterday but somehow my comment didn't get posted and I had to re-write this!)


"I just hope she encourages her students to also do yoga at home!"

They actually don't, on the whole. Please see my first comment as to why - they buy the fiction that it is a viable full-time career and upsell their students every chance they can.

I am a vinyasa student who has had to go to a mild hatha place (nearly throwback-mild) to find a couple classes with teachers who are primarily-home-practitioner-friendly.

I am heavily influenced in my home practice by the first place I'd gone to - they had been sequencing geniuses. I might be on my way back there (for other classes - NOT yoga* - which they screwed up, as far as I'm concerned), but it's been two full years away from them because of their mercenary attitude ...

*What could you do to mat pilates? You'd have to be real incompetent jerks to screw mat pilates up ...


I don't exactly get it. Yoga has really been so overhyped, it has even you--the role model for home yoga practice--believing that "Yoga Teacher" is a viable full-time career. I'm surprised at you.

I know that you are not a late-blooming full time yoga teacher, even though you wrote a book and can instruct.

And Barbie (as a questionable role model, that you do admit to seeing it as)?

I say this as someone whose mother could not afford to buy me a Barbie doll when I was a kid; I used to make clothing out of pieces of extra fabric for plump little girl toddler dolls with limbs that had no moveable knees or elbows.

I did buy myself a Barbie doll once (not a collector-potential edition) as an adult. But I tossed it when I'd moved twice, recently; due to long-term unemployment. There is a real world out there that does not involve slacking, or backpacking in India when the mood strikes.

Either yoga should stop being elitist, and stop being considered as a viable career; or the talented yoga teacher should play "the hope lottery" to become a world-traveling mass-media-yoga-rock star with possible six-figure salary

But for those who don't rise so quickly to the top: there's something called a "day job" ...

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