Yoga has impacted just about every possible part of my life and heart. Money has never been a central motivator to me and I've recently realized that I have a negative view and therefore relationship with money. As a yoga instructor, it has always been a source of discomfort to charge for my classes, especially since my spirituality is completely intertwined with yoga. I want everyone to be able to experience the wonders I have experienced. At the same time, I've spent thousands of dollars and hours to become certified, and to learn as much as possible so that I am the best teacher I can be and I realize I deserve and need to be compensated. An issue I'm still wrestling with, but for now, I charge a modest, yet respectable fee for my classes and I offer free classes for cancer fighters and I'm willing to barter for classes. That's where I'm at currently. In other areas of my life, I prefer to shop at thrift stores and whenever possible spend my meager dollars with the most socially and environmentally conscious venders available. Love to hear from others.
Thank you, I've really enjoyed reading your comments on money and how yoga changes our relationship with it.
I left a great job yesterday after 7 years in order to allow more time in my week for teaching. The artists I worked with (about 80 wonderful people) all knew that I wanted to continue my yoga studies and had found I course I wanted to take and rather than buying something for me they all gathered together and gave me a cheque for £500 in an envelope marked 'Yoga Course ONLY!! I was (and still am!) so thrilled that I will have the chance to learn more and told them all how by doing this wonderful thing they had not only made my life even better, but hopefully through me sharing what I learn this will spread! Many of these people are my students already so can see it'll filter down to them. I am more than happy to pay for the course. I see the money spent as an investment in myself. I respect the time and effort that my teachers put into preparing and sharing their knowledge with me and hope that the money I pay them can make sure that they are able to get what they NEED. As Mahatma Gandhi said, "There is enough in this world for everyone's need, but not enough for everyone's greed."
I am a stay at home mom of an 18 month old little girl. Being at home allows me precious time with my daughter, but a loss of income that I was very used to having in my life. I realize that whatever I was spending all that money on was never important and I truly enjoying raising my daughter instead. She and I both take yoga classes and that is where we spend the extra dollars we have. You can't beat watching a group of toddlers doing yoga together!
I was worried about money or just didn't think about it at all. I always had enough but worried when I spent it. Now I am thinking about how my spending and investing impacts the world and what I can do to simplify my life to feel more prosperous with what I have.
Growing up poor, I longed for "things" that were unaffordable. Now that I have a professional career that pays well, I no longer need "things," but I still occasionally feel afraid of running out of money and being poor again, which is not likely to happen. My yoga practice helps me face my fears and be more charitable with others AND myself. While money has allowed me to travel abroad to see and do things that I would not have been able to see or do without leaving my "safe zones," practicing yoga has made me more sensitive, more appreciative, and more willing to take healthy risks with money that I might not otherwise make. To some people, money may be the root of all evil, but it can also provide opportunity for people to do good in the world.
The reality is, that money does drive our world and people's experiences, beliefs and attitudes which permeates our society. As an employment counselor for people with disabilties, I see that lack of money on a daily basis (people on disability benefit live close to or below the poverty line) and how it plays a big part of their beliefs about themselves. Not only do they define themselves by their disability (which provides a barrier in many cases from long-term sustainable employment), but also by the fact that they have no money as a result of no employment. It really is a double-edged sword. In our line of work we introduce them to workshops on Self Esteem and Confidence bulilding as well as Communication workshops to help them assert themselves and find their voices. As a practitioner of yoga, I understand the correlation between helping people through this situation and paying attention to breath. As I take clients through breathing exercises, they learn to be in the moment. In being in the moment, they see the beauty in and around them, celebrate their inner growth and new perspectives and look at money in a different way. By introducing our clients to this, they begin to look at what they DO have in the way of family and friend support, good health on certain days, ways they can help in the community etc., and as their esteem builds, we then move on to look at the employment options we can generate which will support their disability. Once they lose focus of what they don't have and move on to what they do have and what is important to them on a deeper level, money isn't the key issue anymore. Yes, they need to have money to survive, but when it isn't the elusive focus, we start to look at other areas where there is abundance in life. At this point, they can begin to move forward in a positive direction and make healthy choices which will lead them to a more financially secure future.
I am a simple housewife and a yoga teacher. I am the richest person in the world. I have two beautiful healthy sons and a happy marriage with a caring man. I do not drive the latest car or live in a mansion. My home is my mansion and my car is a means to get from a to b safely. (with the help of the angels).
Yoga has completely changed my life and attitude toward money. I live in Israel and my husband in NY. I have let go of my drive to earn the most money- but my husband is still very entrenched in the money rat race and needs financial security - yoga has taught me that happiness comes from within, from a peace and tranquiity that you can only create from deep inside your soul - not from money - all the money in the world cannot buy that sense of contentment. Yoga has taught me that. However, I am a business woman at heart and I don't believe in giving free service. I also think when someone pays for classes it means they value it and are making a commitment to attending class. In 2 years my yoga business has grown from 25 students to 72. I run it as a business but each session I have my students write the checks to fund different charities that I sponser. When I need to buy new supplies/ props - I take the money directly to cover my cost.
I do maintain another job- and I am not dependent on my yoga for my income. However, I charge for classes, and in fact have raised my prices over the year - and take earning the money for charities quite seriously. I don't think anyone should be providing a free service. If people value the yoga - they should pay for it. Believe me, if they need to go to a shrink or a medical doctor- they would find the money to pay for it. And in yoga, you are giving them the tools to heal themselves.
Astrid van Dam
I have been doing business for large companies quiet a long time before I became founder of a yoga business 5 years ago. This business changed gradualy my view of life but most of all it changed my habit of wanting material goods. It changed into want to charing things with others. In return it gave something what I see now is what I really wanted my whole life, a life (and company) with good relationships with others. And I can tell that this gives me a prosperity and fullfilment of live what I could never have wished for.
For many years I felt I should share my yoga as an offering, and I did ... joyfully. When we moved to a 55+ community I decided to offer yoga for seniors at a minimal fee. I have been doing this for 6 years and do not plan to raise the fee. This income allows me to attend yoga classes, retreats, and conferences for my continued growth. Everything I learn and every experience I have comes right back to my students. In this way we are all in the same circle of giving and receiving, learning, sharing, and growing together.