Friday, February 24, 2006

Facts about Successful Yoga Teachers, Part 2

By Paul Jerard

How do you define success for a Yoga teacher? Each Yoga instructor will have a different answer. What is important to one Yoga teacher may be of little importance to another. However, each Yoga teacher has the passion for Yoga within him or her.

This is the common denominator within all instructors of Yoga.

Is success measured by your contribution to the common good? If you are helping people through teaching Yoga, then it must be so. Yoga has many aspects, but all of them are for healing and helping people.

If you have a student who is financially unable to pay, would you turn him or her away? Most Yoga teachers would find a way to help a student in need, regardless of the finances involved.

However, there is a big difference between a student who cannot afford to pay you and one who does not want to pay you. The difference is the perceived value of Yoga and his or her present financial circumstances. The poor see a value in Yoga, if they need it, but cannot afford it.

Here is an extremely special case: There was a potential Yoga student who told me he was “financially strapped” and could not afford to pay for Yoga lessons, but he desperately needed them for his back problems. He explained his case and had me convinced that I should help him at an extreme discount.

Unfortunately for him, one of my students, (his neighbor), recognized him on the way out. My student was almost in tears holding back his laughter. He told me to look down the street for the poor man’s car. You could not see it from my office, but I made it to a different window in time to see his “brand new” Mercedes S Class drive off.

Upon further investigation, this potential student owned many luxury cars, a home with a garage the size of a house, a vacation home, and a thriving business. So, why did he do it?

Why did he waste my time with a fabricated story? It is quite simple: Although his character may be in question, he saw Yoga as worthless, of no value, and it was just something that might be fun to “steal.” In fact, he “toyed” with my compassion, my passion for Yoga, and my need to be needed.

This is an extreme case, and I am not trying to create cynicism. However, always be aware of the difference between those people who truly need you and those who see your time, contributing to the common good, as worthless.

© Copyright 2006 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications

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FREE CONTENT: If you are a Yoga teacher, Yoga studio, blogger, e-zine, or website publisher, and are in need of quality content, feel free to use my blog entries (articles) – Please be sure to reprint each article, as is, including the resource box above. Thank you and Namaste, Paul

Facts about Successful Yoga Teachers, Part 1

By Paul Jerard

Should a Yoga teacher take money for classes? How do you define success for a Yoga teacher? Is it your contribution to the common good? Is it by producing successful teachers? Is it by technical prowess? Is it by how many students you have? Or, is it a combination of these factors?

First things first: Are you “selling Yoga?” If you accept a fee for teaching Yoga, no matter how small or large, you are selling Yoga. If you do not like my frank approach to this issue, then teach Yoga for free. This is not a problem, and that is good Karma Yoga.

However, do not open next to a commercially aggressive Yoga studio or ashram. If you decide to do this, you will see your finances “crash and burn” - while your students flock to the wealthy Guru down the street. Yoga students often think that free Yoga is “junk.”

Once upon a time, I taught free Yoga too. It is not easy to explain a passion to your family, which drains your finances and challenges the quality of your life on a daily basis. If you keep teaching Yoga for free, you will lose a lot of sleep, before you live on the street, with the homeless, or finally, start charging for Yoga lessons.

It is amusing when very wealthy Yoga Gurus claim Yoga is not for making money. My answer: “Excuse me, how did you acquire all that wealth?” Why would a rich Yoga Guru lead anyone to think that taking a payment for teaching Yoga is wrong?

This is why we should appreciate Bikram Choudry’s candid remarks. He says what he thinks and makes no secret about living a life of luxury, due to teaching Yoga. At least, he is honest about his ideas, and he is not a hypocrite.

Therefore, if you accept payments from your students, be honest with yourself. You can always use the money to help others, but you need to pay your overhead costs, eat, and sleep with a roof over your head, first.

If you still feel bad about taking money for teaching Yoga, please open a studio down the street from my North Providence location. We will regularly donate toward your meals at the local soup kitchens. I hope you clearly see my point. So, please do not listen to anyone who tells you that taking money for teaching Yoga is wrong.

Whether a Yoga teacher is rich or poor, a successful Yoga teacher does not worry about money – the universe will supply it.

© Copyright 2006 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications

FREE Yoga Report. FREE Yoga Newsletter.

FREE CONTENT: If you are a Yoga Teacher, Yoga studio, blogger, e-zine, or website publisher, and are in need of quality content, please feel free to use my blog entries (articles) – Please be sure to reprint each article, as is, including the resource box above. Namaste, Paul

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Find the Right Yoga Teacher and Yoga Class for You

By Stephen Kreutzer

Though there are most likely at least half a dozen yoga studios and gyms that offer yoga classes in your neighborhood, finding the one class and the right teacher to suit your needs is not always easy. Start at the beginning with these steps and when you have completed all of them you are sure to have located the best yoga class and teacher combination for your schedule, location, interest, and temperament.

* What are your choices? The telephone book, the internet, community newspapers, ad boards at your local health food store or organic grocery store – all of these are great ways to find out what is available to you. Spread the word that you’re looking for a good class. Your dental hygienist may turn you onto a class you’ve never heard of or your librarian may moonlight as an instructor on the weekends. You never know until you start looking.

* When would you like to take your yoga class? Some people prefer to start their day very early with an energizing yoga class. Others like to wind down after work with a long, relaxing class and still others prefer to pop in a 20 minute yoga class every day during lunch or once a week on Saturday mornings. Determining when a class will best fit into your schedule will help you narrow down your choices.

* Which yoga classes are most convenient to you? After you have chosen the best time for you to take your class, consider where you will be just before then. Are you coming from home or work? Do you need something to fill the time while your youngest takes his gymnastics class and therefore need a class near there? Finding one that is close to where you are at the time that you want to take the class will help you maintain an effective, consistent practice.

* What type of yoga is taught at the schools that are close to where you want to be when you want to take your class? If you’re a beginner, you may not want to jump into a dynamic Ashtanga yoga class. If you’re more advanced, then a mild Kripalu yoga course may not be what you’re looking for to push your limits. Call the schools and centers that are left on your list and ask them to send you a list of classes they have available. From these, you will be able to see what is available during the time slots you have open.

* Try them out! Most yoga schools and centers allow you to take one class without signing up for 10 weeks worth of practice. Experiment and try out all the classes that interest you. If you find more than one that appeals to you, maybe you can switch back and forth. If none are what you’re looking for, then go back to your original list and expand your parameters or see if there are any yoga schools that you’ve overlooked. Soon you’ll find the perfect class and the perfect teacher for your yoga practice.

About the author: Stephen Kreutzer is a freelance publisher based in Cupertino, California. He publishes articles and reports in various ezines and provides yoga resources on