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.


The more you know :: Scoliosis

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal cited a study that focused on patients with Scoliosis practicing Vasitsthasana regularly.  The study was small, microscopic by scientific standards, with only 25 participants.  It is a good start though.

PJ-BY040_RESREP_J_20141027121320According to 2013 statistics from Yoga Journal, about 15million people practice yoga in the  US.  It’s estimated that 6 million people in the US have scoliosis.  There’s a good chance that there is some overlap in those populations.

As teachers, we can see scoliosis that students may not even be aware of having.  It’s good to know what helps and why.

Based on the results of this small study, what other poses would benefit students with scoliosis?

Nice Niche :: Big Fish

In Teacher Training there’s typically a moment when you talk about the business of yoga and they will tell you to find your niche.

In every TT, half the class wants to:

  • teach beginners
  • teach seniors
  • teach children
  • teach “under-served” populations (aka poor, and/or non-white students)
  • teach outdoors
  • teach athletes (insert discipline here)

That’s an admirable but VERY common list.

So, what’s a niche?  The dictionary says…

  1. suitable place for somebody: a position or activity that particularly suits somebody’s talents and personality or that somebody can make his or her own
  2. specialized market: an area of the market specializing in one type of product or service

We focus on the second definition without looking at the first.  Targeting a specific, specialized market can lead to monetary success if that’s your talent.  But, how often to we move towards a career we wish for without being realistic about what we’re good at or suited for?

I saw a story about Big Fish Expeditions on grindtv.com.  Personally, I love sharks.  I think they’re amazing, beautiful, misunderstood, mistreated and awesome (kinda like me).  I hope to be a shark in my next life…but that’s another story.

There are thousands of tour leaders around the world who will show you the beauty of the oceans but Andy Murch and his group found a real niche.

Andy is a “shark fanatic”.  He is the creator behind The Elasmodiver Shark and Ray Field Guide.  He is a driving force behind the Predators in Peril Project.  He’s a professional diver and talented photographer.

Big Fish Expeditions isn’t the only group that offers the opportunity to dive with sharks but they are the most passionate.  Check out their site for Andy’s inspiring photos.

passion + skill = NICHE

flickr-Kevin Bryant
Kevin Bryant (Flickr)

As a yoga teacher, you don’t need to swim with sharks to have a niche. Or, maybe you do-metaphorically.

Be honest about what you’re good at, what experience and talent you have and how to turn that into specialized product for your students.  Wishing you could be someone you’re not doesn’t serve your students or your career.

The more you know :: Brainwork

For better or worse, Yoga is increasingly categorized as part of the Fitness Industry.  There are many fitness professionals who have included yoga in their routines.  And, many yoga teachers borrow from other areas of fitness to create something different.  Kettlebell Yoga comes to mind.

Above all, it’s exercise.  We all encourage people to move and become or stay healthy.

This interesting article from FastCompany gives good info about the positive effect of exercise on the brain.


Good news morning yogis!!  Keep it up.

False Choices

Charles Ponzi was, by most accounts, a charming and earnest man.  He had to be.  The crime that created the term Ponzi scheme occurred almost a hundred years ago in 1920.  Since then, there have been hundreds of schemes around the world that have made international news.

Charles Ponzi - Boston Public Library
Charles Ponzi – Boston Public Library

In some cases, people intended fraud from the beginning.   In other cases, They over promised and under delivered.

Yoga business coaches can be fantastic or a huge waste of money.  How do you know who’s right for you?

Do you research

~ Get honest feedback.  Talk to people who have worked with the coach or development program in the past.  What were their expectations?  Were they met?

~ Beware of exaggerated phrases and promises:  “make more money”, “double your class size”, “be happy”

~ Beware of coaches/teachers who ask for intimate and personal details about your fears.  There’s a chance that these will be used as emotional hot buttons to prevent you from backing out.

~ Match up your goals with the curriculum.  Is what you’re missing being covered?

Without good research, you’re making a false choice.  Be an informed consumer.