Don’t push the dominoes

No one should have been surprised by the news. Every traditional fitness organization is treading water or, sadly, sinking. Gold’s Gym’s announcement that it will enter Chapter 11 bankruptcy is one of many.

Gold's Gym
Click to read article from Business Insider

The competition was fierce before the pandemic. With fewer brick and mortar options, teachers and trainers will have to get creative. We can’t just watch the dominoes fall.

As we learn how to teach online and discover that our personal internet options need to be upgraded, what about the studio? Without support from teachers and students, the community held in the studio space will not exist.

We’re all in this together vs I make more on my own

Studios and clubs will have to rethink their business strategy. We should see more hybrid memberships with real planning put into virtual offerings and community building. Both have been little more of an afterthought until now.

Wishing you worked at Peloton? That’s not the answer. Diverging to an all virtual platform will kill the industry. People will need real connection when we reopen.

What does putting the Spirit of Yoga back in the Business of Yoga look like?

1. Teach online for the studio that employed you before this happened. One class per week exclusive to that space and that community can make a difference.

2. Co-lead a class with another teacher from the same studio online and invite regular students to join. Show that the community is alive.

3. Reach out to the studio owner/management and offer your talents. Teaching is just one thing you can do. We all have many talents.

Yes, you can probably make more $$$ doing your own thing. But, what’s your true motivation for teaching? Money? Adoration? Friends? Care? Health? Community? Call it unprecedented, unique, trying etc…these times were in habe exposed everyone’s Fruedian slip. Take a look within, be true and make the choice you can move forward with.

Atha Yoganusasanam

We Are Livin’ in a Virtual World…

It’s the 21st century.
We go this!

The day after Earth Day, 2020, we had a great online discussion: The Future of the Yoga Retreat Industry: pivoting post coronavirus.  If you missed it, send a note for a link to the recording.

Many teachers who never considered teaching online have found a comfort zone in classes on zoom, youtube, vimeo and FB live.  But what about workshops?  What about retreats?  How can the experience of an immersion be felt through a screen?

The topic of virtual retreats came up.  Lately, they are buzzing into our newsfeeds like dragonflies on a summer day.  Many of the larger, well-heeled yoga companies have held free or low cost virtual conferences and retreats.  This isn’t new.  Online yoga conferences and teacher trainings have been around for years.

It’s the 21st century.  We got this!

As the world re-opens, some may not be able to get away on a retreat. Some may feel self conscious about that extra layer of comfort gained during the shelter in place. You’re already seeing people show up for class with the camera off.

What about the VR experience?  Last year Virtual Reality was mostly for gamers. But today, necessity is the mother of invention. Or, as I like to say “the virus made me do it”.

What else can you offer to those who can’t or won’t travel in 2020?  Special VR Retreat bundles including all of the yoga and meditation props needed. Sunglasses  and a picture of a beach scene are optional.

Create a mixed format with students attending online while you broadcast live with a smaller group in a retreat center.

Click the picture below to check out an article about VR parties.


Shelter in Grace

Things got REAL over the last few months.

For some more than others. Despite all of the messages declaring that ‘we’re in this together’, it can feel very lonely for fitness professionals. Even lonelier than usual. It’s no secret that yoga teachers are often like ships passing in the night. To see another teacher in the wild, is like finding a unicorn unless you make an effort to physically connect.

Is there an opportunity to connect in more than a superficial way while sheltering in place. Of course.

5 things to do to survive sheltering in place:

1. Create a routine.

Beyond the online teaching schedule you’ve created, establish a routine. Include a day off. Time to cook. Time to clean. Time to study. Include time for your own practice which leads to the second recommendation.

2. Take an online class from another teacher

We’ve all mastered our home practice…right? Attending another teacher’s class shows support for the community and for yourself. Pay the regular rate or a small donation. Be an example of a good student.

3. Do something new

For some of us, taking a class from another teacher may be new and different. Really get ‘out there’. Landscape painting? Gardening? Knitting?

4. Get offline

The screen is a key connection to the outside world. But, staring into the void too much can cause stress and anxiety. Schedule time away from devices to be alone or with your co-shelterers. Read a book. Play charades. Dance with your pet. Sing to the birds outside your window.

5. Put your heart in your hands

Hand write a note or a letter. One to yourself, Mail it or set it aside to open after this ends. Write a note to a neighbour offering any help you can, including running errands, walking their dog, watering their outside plants. Hand write a note to someone you want to strengthen your relationship with. Mail it or take a photo and email/text it.

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

Maya Angelou

Set time aside to care for yourself and others. We will all remember those who helped create calm, peace and community. We will never forget those who caused anxiety, stress and alienation.

Workin’ 9 to 9!

When the movie 9to5 came out, I was a pretty excited kid. I love Dolly Parton. Lily Tomlin is hilarious.


The lyrics seemed to describe adult life in a nutshell. Every adult I knew worked hard and played harder. Being an entrepreneur or having a “side hustle” was a way of life, not a trend. It means working long hours.

Being a yoga teacher means being an entrepreneur. Even if it is only your side hustle.

Here are some things to remember:

Keep your resume updated. Looking at yourself through eyes of a hiring manager can inform you about what’s missing in your credentials.

Network like a pro. Connect with people you enjoy and appreciate. You never know when an opportunity to work together will come up.

Act your worth. Want to be a top earner? Stay professional. Start on time. End on time. Treat yourself and all of your co-workers with respect.

Make time to rest. A burnt out yoga teacher is useless and potentially dangerous.

Check out this article on listing 5 things every entrepreneur, every yoga teacher, should know.



I found my passion. Now what?

Ashanga yoga has an interesting reputation. Those outside of the practice, or those who aren’t suited for it, often demean it.

“It’s only for 12 year old boys”

“It’s just hard for the sake of hard”

“Ashtanga is only about the gross body, what I teach is more subtle, more powerful”

“That’s yoga Type-A people”

I’ve heard so much rage, so much judgement from people, from yogis, over the years. The one thing I understand is that Ashtanga is one of the few branches that demands discipline. You’re expected to be on your mat 6 days a week with a few exceptions. You are on time.

While assisting a Mysore practice with Clayton years ago, we had to arrive at 4:30am to practice before the doors opened to students at 6am. If you showed up at 4:31am, you found the door locked and you didn’t assist that day.


“Follow your passion” is the worst advice for any person starting a new career.

I know. “But, I love yoga and I want to share my passion with everyone!”

I know. I understand.

That spark that ignites the passion is critical. Passion gets you to your first step. There has to be more. Much more. Discipline is key to reaching your goals and dreams without burnout. Passion gets you to the door, discipline opens it!

How do you find discipline in your teaching career? Here are a few ideas.

  • Take notes…create a practice diary. We teach what we practice. Do you still practice? What does that look like? Do you make excuses to avoid the mat?
  • R&D…research new themes for your class and develop sequences that support the theme. Real research isn’t just searching the net for what someone else is doing. Make it unique, from your heart.
  • Take another one…teacher trainings are time consuming and increasingly expensive but a training or a teacher intensive can be the catalyst to get your passion back on the right track and create good work habits.
  • Clean up after yourself…What? Seriously. When you exit the studio, leave it better than you found it. Be an example of selfless effort. When a teacher leaves their props behind for ‘someone else to use’, so do the students. It makes a mess that the next group has to clean up.

Check out this passionate article about the value of disciple from Christian motivational speaker, Scott Cochrane: