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NYC requires armor of a sort: hat, headphones, backpack filled with survival gear (change of clothes, snack, book, water bottle)

Hello, fellow yoga teacher! I teach in New York City. Where do you teach?

Here in New York City, I’ve been witnessing a trend that’s been happening over the past few years. The trend has these main features:

  1. Class times have gotten shorter.
  2. Yoga is increasingly marketed as “fitness.”

Is this happening in your region too? Perhaps even these two elements walk hand-in-hand with a well-branded yoga studio that promotes the weight-loss benefits of hot power yoga. That yoga studio probably also has showers. Yay! It’s nice to shower after showering in your own sweat.

Sadly, though, these market trends have forced yoga instructors to compete with cycling, and barre, and Zumba, and whatever fun new activity that’s springing up. Because, well, if yoga is fitness, then it’s gotta stand up in the fitness market-place. And, if that’s the confine you’re working with, then your worth boils down to how good a workout can you give, and relentless physical instruction.

Let’s go back in time a bit, and take a look at your own personal history. Why did you start practicing yoga? Why did you decide to take a teacher training? Why do you continue to teach? I’m going to wager a bet that none of this has to do with a burning desire to deliver a great workout. Am I right?

So here’s the deal. Really, this is my plea to you, because I believe, that as a collective force, we yoga teachers have the potential to really do a lot of good in the world.

  • Your worth is not how well you can instruct a triangle. (Although you gotta do that well, too.)
  • Your worth is not how many calories a person can burn in hot power class. (Sweating more does not mean that you burn more calories.)
  • Your worth is not in your capacity to fit some mold of “what you think a yoga teacher should look like.” (Cute and young doesn’t last forever. At some point, everyone will realize this.)
  • Your worth does not even rest in the beauty or awe-inspiring nature of your physical practice. (Handstands are cool, yes. But 98% of the population is not that interested in yours, nor in doing one themselves.)

You are worth So. Much. More.

So, what is your worth? Your ability to influence.

That’s it. If you can figure out how to influence people to do what’s best for them, do what feels good to their heart, soul, spirit—that, my love, is a skill whose value far eclipses all those other cool things I mentioned.

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You gotta be willing to take a stand for something. Start with taking a stand for yourself, and what you believe in.

Your super power: you help people find out who they really are, and therefore live the kind of life that they really want to live.

That’s it.

Well, sort of. It’s more easily said than done. And that’s why I spend YEARS talking to my yoga business clients about this one super-important question that will guide you learning to understand your value, as it intersects with the needs and desires of other people in the world. Ready? Here’s the #1 question you have to answer.

What is the most important lesson that you want all of your students to learn from you?

If you can figure this out, you will be farther along than 99% of the yoga teachers out there in understanding what is your worth. Because when you know, without a shadow of a doubt, what you want your people to learn the people who would like to learn that from you will show up. And when those people show up, then you can really stand in your power and teach to your highest ability. No more trying to fit into that yoga fitness model. No, no. If anything, that short changes what we all have to offer the world. You have so much more to teach our people than how to get in shape (which is a good thing too). But you, my love, are destined for more…That’s why you wanted to teach yoga!

Anyway. If you want to work with me on all of the nuts and bolts of this deep question, and how to build a congruent business around that center ideal, then reach out to me. I have business programs that I would like to tell you about. And people doing amazing work in those programs, who I hope are going on to effen CHANGE THE WORLD. Bwa-ha-ha!

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Also: yoga teaches you to know yourself. So, what I’m asking is at heart of the yoga practice. I like to think I’m an earth angel. Thus: the wings. What are you?

Regardless, I wish you to find your value, and stand in it, and share it with the world, and feel relevant, empowered, and appreciated, for all the good that you bring to the world. Amen.