An early addition this month, to make up for July's lack. The question of yoga and money has been on my mind a lot recently. As someone who has at times made a lot of money from my career, and also been at the other end of the spectrum, I have had ample opportunity over the years to examine my attitude towards money. Ultimately, as in all things, I have always come back to an idea of balance being king here. Live within your means, save a bit for a rainy day and be as generous according to them as you can be as, but not overly so. Respect money, but keep it in its place. It's the means to many things, but not the end. The yogic principles can guide us in this as much as any other aspect of daily living (see June's blog).
One thing I have noticed recently because of things that have happened is that other people's attitudes towards yoga teachers and money are often quite interesting. There are those who see a free class as a given and fail to acknowledge the gift it is. There are profitable businesses who want to hire yoga teachers for nothing, just for the "opportunity" they are giving them and make money themselves off the back of that. Or there are the students who ignore the rules laid out for the validity of their class passes, that they have themselves agreed to, and still expect to get discounted class prices, and then malign their teachers for being avaricious when the agreed terms are enforced. These are exceptions to the rule I hasten to add, but noticeable exceptions.
Let me be clear in what I think. Yoga teachers like any other kind of trained specialists should be fairly compensated for their time, respected fo their expertise and rewarded for their effort. It is totally disrespectful and against yogic principles to demand for free simply because yoga is a spiritual practice. Very few are the teachers who become millionaires from their sincere and passionate efforts to do good through their teachings. And the principle of Karma Yoga, free service to others, such as offering free taster classes to new students in modern practice, extends only so far. Even Patanjali had to eat. I am very grateful for the vast majority of my students who see the reciprocity of the exchange for what it is.
It's time to take a break for a week or so and I am off to Cornwall to explore. I'm tired and I can't wait. Travel within the UK is definitely something I have not done enough of and we are so lucky to have such amazing places within such short travelling distances. I am looking forward to some downtime. Happy practicing and namaste to you all. Claire xx