Class Notes, Week 50: The business of yoga

The Moksha yoga teacher training program requires me to journal once each week about my experience with the poses and assignments + my practice and progress. This is part of that weekly assignment.

I started crafting my yoga resume tonight.  The bits that are highlighted are items that I have yet to complete:

It was bizarre to bury all of the “credentials” that I’m used to touting — my journalism experience, my university education — at the bottom, with no embellishment to what I accomplished during each of these tenures.

In the world of yoga, however, none of that really matters.  It’s all about your teaching experience, who you’ve studied under, your sparkling personality, your loyal student following.  And like so many other industries, it’s a lot about who you know.

I’m starting from scratch.  Building something new.  Nurturing something that’s been flowering since my first hatha yoga class in 1999.  It’s scary and frustrating to be at the bottom rung of this lader when I’ve climbed so high elsewhere.  It rattles the ego.

I was motivated to start architecting this yoga resume after attending a “From Training to Teaching” workshop last night.  The class was really organized and informative, touching on everything from money to marketing to taxes.

Yoga is not a place to make money, that’s for sure.  The median salary for a full-time yoga teacher, according to one chart featured during the workshop, is $35,000 per year.  Ouch.  That was my starting salary right out of graduate school — and even that was a ridiculously low place to start.

Teaching yoga also requires a lot of hustle and ingenuity about how/where to find work, as a lot of people are attempting to forge a similar road.  One of my former yoga instructors at XSport Fitness once said, “Yoga teachers in Chicago are a dime a dozen.”

I don’t want to be a dime a dozen.  But how to stand out?  How to start out?

The way yogis do, I suppose: One step at a time, one breath at a time, with laser-sharp intention and a belief that things will fall into place as they should.

The “From Teaching to Training” workshop gave me some new ideas, absolutely.  But I figure that getting the framework of this resume in place might be a nice place to start as I further brainstorm ways to get myself out there, get myself teaching.

By next year, I’d love to eventually have one consistent class each week, somewhere — whether it’s a gym or a studio or someplace corporate.  One or two private clients would be nice, too.

I have developed a marketing and business expertise with my career.  Hopefully that works in my favor as I navigate the business side of yoga, wherever this exploration may lead me.

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