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Great article Dan. I've been teaching now for almost 20 years and still struggle with a devotion to teaching. I teach to people who are suffering (which is more everyone!), always have and always will, but I also require an exchange in the form of money as this is my "job". Just enough to get by, no more. The identification with being a "yoga teacher" is so powerful as you mention. I've become disillusioned lately as I've joined a yoga studio for the first time. I feel now like I am succumbing to what the owner wants and yet I want to be open and spacious to what is. After all this time, I am still finding my way through it all and sometimes I just want to quit. Then I ask...then what...what has been more fulfilling in my life than this. I haven't come up with an answer yet.


This is an excellent article. As a relativity new teacher, I am still finding my voice and discovering my true self as a teacher. I was teaching regularly at a gym where I was starting to feel miserable because my teaching there negatively reflected how I want to really teach. The students wanted more of a physical workout and I wanted to incorporated yoga on a deeper level. I realize that the clientile at this gym was a little uppity who only cared about getting a sweat. To make a long story short, i decided to go back to subbing at the gym while I take some time to really reconnect with my true self and teach the way I wanted to teach without the pressure of turning it into another power aerobics class. P.S. Can anyone fully explain to me what folks to take yoga in a gym looking for? I honestly feel they really do not understand Yoga?


I can relate to Deb's comment. I teach in a local recreation center. I am a relatively new teacher, and have finally landed on a method of teaching that matches my experience and interest. Finding students to match that has been a challenge. Last session there were not enough sign-ups to warrant the travel and prep time. So I canceled classes rather than trying to force the issue and hope for late sign-ups. I actually felt relieved. My body has become more relaxed and I sense an openness to what will come.
Clearly my audience is elsewhere. Don't know where, just seeing what the universe brings. Finding the space to let go has been a journey all its own.
I find I identified with being a Yoga instructor so much that I was losing my own Self. Patanjali anyone?


i am amazed that no one mentionned injuries. how long to work with them? when to say "enough!" i believe that injuries happen for a reason, but how legitimate is it to drag ones students through the process? and for how long?


I didn't realize so many yoga teachers were experiencing the same situation as I. I live in a small town and we have about 4 certified yoga instructors so when I started to teach I had to find a new group of participants...let me tell you it took about 2 years of advertisements and teaching in interesting and new locations. The class size went up and down, but I always gave my best. I ended up taking a break from that setting and was teaching in my home, but that became a conflict with a higher paying job so I let it go. Which eventually I think brought this group of ladies to me. I've been asked to lead a class to a group of ladies that would not normally be part of a yoga setting. This is what I had in the back of my mind but could not find time to set it up. Maybe some of these teachers that are thinking about moving on actually have an unrealized journey that they should try some other form of teaching. This article made me feel good about letting go and moving on. Thank You!

Judy Wilhelm

I teach in a small town and I get a lot of new people in and out. Some stay for quite a while and others not so much. I feel that I am needed here because there are no Yoga studios and many of my students don't know what many of us consider as common knowledge about the body and the workings of the mind. I don't make a lot and I haveat times been frustrated by the venue and nights when there were only two students...It is good to ask the question. It brings you back to why you are doing it in the first place. Sometimes the money and students follow and sometimes...maybe you are changing someone's whole life! You don't know! It is so important to ask for that inner guidance, if you are not connected to that, why are you teaching Yoga? I no longer plan my classes too much. I teach the most powerful classes when I allow the spirit to inspire me. And yes go slow...Slow down!


I became certified to teach Sivananda in 2001. Since then I have been so blessed to have taken from so many incredible yogis, especially Paul Grilley. I have a private studio in a small town in NC. There have been years of teaching one or two folks. Misunderstandings about the practice and the teaching of yoga have been complex, sometimes just by virtue of being located in the Bible Belt. Options including the local YMCA, private gyms, and teachers that teach in an aggressive, exercise environment have left many who have sought the yogic path bewildered. As more and more information about yoga educates more and more people, those seeking a spiritual, supportive, quiet space with a certified and qualified instructor increases. Stick with your teaching. Stick with your practice. That one person that shows up is meant to be there. They will teach you as much as you impart to them. It is a spiritual path. Don't give up.


Thank you for sharing these thoughts. I made a few "quit" changes in my yoga life and they proved to be wonderful learning experienes regardless of the reasons. I find the changes stimulating and challenging. And it brings forth a new inquisitiveness about the art and sciene of yoga. Namaste.

be more

Thank you for sharing these thoughts. I have made a few "quit" hanges in my yoga life and they all proved to be wonderful learning experienes. My own


Very interesting, something many of us think about, but rarely communicate. To me, teaching yoga is a service. Once we try to make a career out of it, I find the real purpose in teaching loses its essence.

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