Staying true when you’re mixing philosophy with business
Maybe you’re wondering how in the world you can stay true to your yoga philosophy without muddying it up with business tactics. We have an excellent example of how staying true to yoga can keep our students coming back for more.
Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
In The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Sri Swami Satchidananda tells a story about when a yoga teacher visited the yoga center Swami ran and wondered how he got away with not teaching something new every time. This outside teacher said his students received new teachings in every class in order to charge more.
The teacher was told, “We don’t sell Yoga; we just teach for our joy,” said Swami. “The people contribute as they want. There’s no business here, but rather the heart is working. Probably in your case you expect money, and so you are interested in teaching something new every time to get more people and more money.”
Business of yoga, vibration of yoga
Swami said that the classes are essentially all the same and yet people continually come and contribute. “They could practice the same thing at home, but still they come to the classes because they don’t feel the vibration of business there, but the vibration of Yoga,” said Swami. “That is what they don’t want to miss.”
Swami said that the secret in yoga is the joy in being together. “We just spend a little happy time together, that’s all. We just talk about something or do something in the name of yoga.” No expectation. Just company with each other. Pooling each other’s resources and energy.
I believe that part of what it means to embody yoga as teachers is creating a community and supporting each other. We engage with our clients before and after class, remember their names, and what’s going in their lives.
We withhold our judgement on our clients and offer them a safe place to find their own path to the truth.