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

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.



Mindful ~ Schmindful

Mindfulness has become an action word in marketing and business on the same level as disruptor, hack or even metta (I still hear it used with seriousness).

So how can you bring authentic mindfulness into your classes, especially corporate clients, without sounding like a old fashioned feminine product?

  1. Be honest: Sometimes you feel, great sometimes you don’t. Did you engage in some serious road rage on the way to the studio? Well, that’s ok. We’re all there sometimes, including teachers. I once watched a teacher scream obscenities out of her car window in traffic and minutes later glide into the studio on a goddess cloud with namaste hands.  Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde don’t represent mindfulness.
  2. Be present: The Dalai Lama said it really well “There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called Yesterday and the other is called Tomorrow.” If your head is in the past or future, how can you keep your students present?
  3. Be nice: Everyone has baggage. The size ranges from a coin purse to a steamer trunk. If someone starts unpacking their baggage or setting off triggers, you don’t have to like it (remember #1?) or even accept it. Just be polite. Be nice. It only becomes your issue if you choose to pick up what someone else is unpacking.


Simple actions every day can set a reasonable standard that we all can strive for in our pursuit of mindfulness.


Check out this article on Mindful Working

with more tips for students and teachers in every day life.


I’m not a doctor but I play one in the studio…

We’re yoga teachers…not doctors!

As teachers, we always ask if there are any injuries in the room that we should know about before beginning class. It’s a precaution and helps teachers become more responsive to the room. And, covers our asses if there’s ever a lawsuit.

The replies usually fall into two extremes. Students sit silent while rubbing the injured/tweaky body part or they tell everything that’s going on in an overwhelmingly long list.

As teachers, we’re very excited about the health benefits of yoga. Many of us teach because we’ve experienced a personal healing-physical, mental, spiritual. We want others to have the same joy.

But there’s a thick line between enthusiasm and irresponsibility.


Someone recently posted a snarky article begging yoga teachers, specifically, to stop telling students that inversions reverse blood flow. I’m no doctor but I know enough anatomy to know that reversing blood flow is not possible.  No matter how long you hold that hand stand. Consistent twisting in a flow class does not wring out the liver and detox the body.

Many teachers believe these things and repeat them.

Too often, at the end of class students ask teachers for advice for tweaks and even chronic conditions. Typically the question is leading. “What stretch can I do to help my tweaky shoulder?” As yoga teachers, we’re not capable of diagnosing anything and risk causing harm to the students we love and care for by giving medical advice. Being proficient in the Latin names of muscles does not give teachers license to diagnose and treat.

But, it is impressive to students. Increasingly, it’s a way to fill the studio with adoring students who look to the front of the room to heal all that hurts.

I know, I know…there are yoga teachers with medical backgrounds. Former nurses and doctors who love yoga enough to share teachings. There are yoga teachers who concurrently work as therapists. That’s not the majourity.


The more we know the more likely we are to steer students to experts. It feels great when students seek our input but we must let go of the ego.We can spread good vibes without misleading students about our expertise.

Yoga can be life-changing. Whether it’s for the better or not depends on our honest approach to the risks and benefits.

We need to stop playing doctor in the studio.