Hustle and Flow

In my first few years as a yoga student, I remember the day when my favourite teacher walked in about 3 minutes before class. He scanned the room, scowled and walked out. We could all hear him berating the front desk staff because there weren’t enough people in the room. It wasn’t worth his time.

We weren’t worth his time.

‘At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.’ ~Maya Angelou

Today, I see teachers behaving in a similar way towards one another.  When I became a yoga teacher, I understood it a little better.  I gained empathy for his situation.  But, I’ll never forget how I felt in that moment then and, too often, today.

As teachers, we’re all hustlers.  We need to get to the next gig. We need to boost our numbers.  We are each an army of one.

The popularity of yoga brings great opportunity for students and teachers. But, in yoga saturated areas, it can be very difficult to pay the bills as a full-time teacher who isn’t sitting on a trust fund or big savings from a past life.

We’re all in this together. 


Tips for for using your hunger to keep you energized without becoming hangry:

  1. Remember that all of your fellow yoga teachers are your co-workers.  You don’t have to agree on everything, just work well together. Some of the best career opportunities come from your community.  The bigger, the better
  2. If you can’t say anything nice, stay neutral.  No one has to know what you’re thinking.  But, if pushed, remember that it’s your experience in that situation or with that person and not everyone else’s. Very likely, someone else can tell a story about you too.
  3. Respect the variety.  Full-time teachers are often dismissive towards part-time teachers. Traditionalists vs Non-Traditionalists.  Experienced vs New.  There are many ways we can divide the industry.  The variety has helped it grow into a multi-billion dollar industry. Without those others, this couldn’t be a career option. The more, the merrier.
  4. Do the math.  I taught at an Ashtanga studio for 3 months before realizing that I was actually paying $5-10 to teach each class. Commute costs and lost time wasn’t covered by what I was paid.
  5. Be real with yourself. Someone else’s success or failure is not yours. It does’t change your life unless you allow it in negative ways. Can you celebrate or support other teachers without being envious?

There’s so much more to say on this topic.  Stay tuned.

Check out this 2015 article from the Wanderlust Blog by Andrea Rice.  More real talk on the hustle and flow.



Be your Best

Email can be confusing. If there are multiple people copied and replying, tangent threads can turn streamlined communication into a maze.

No matter what device you use or how you check or messages, don’t forget that there are people behind the typing. Don’t forget your humanity.

Ahimsa teaches us to do no harm-period. Not just to one self but to others as well. We apply it easily in the classroom to prevent injury but sometimes forget how harmful words can be. We often write things that we’d never say face to face.

How can you communicate with Ahimsa when frustrated by or even upset with a fellow teacher, staff or studio manager? To quote Guruji, “Practice and all will come”.

Top 10 lists are popular right now. Here’s my Bottom 5 for communication.


Bottom 5 ways to begin a sentence:

  1. As I said earlier….

~sometimes people scan a message and ask for information that’s already included.   It’s frustrating but not a big deal. Pointing out the error isn’t taking the high road.


  1. I told you already…

~when you think something is complete but you get a message showing that it’s still in the air, it’s difficult to remain graceful. Would you say this to the person face to face? How would you feel if someone said this to you? Communication is a two-way street. Both parties have a hand in any confusion.


  1. Well, [insert boss’s name here] said….

~at times, the business of yoga is no different than other businesses. When employees feel powerless, they often use the boss as a tool to gain an upper hand. Telling “mom” or “dad” doesn’t encourage dialogue or problem solving. Including everyone does.


  1. Actually….

~sarcasm is never good in professional communication.


  1. No…

~the opportunity to say yes is a gift. It’s one that we can’t always give. Start with your heart. Do you wish that you could? Are you sorry that you can’t? Or, are you holding something negative? A positive beginning makes a big difference.


Free Workshop (sorta)

WhattheOM now has a referral program for upcoming workshops

No trust fund, no worries!
1950s Woman With Exaggerated Expression Hand On Face Looking Inside Her Purse

Already paid in full? No problem, you get the discount too!

How to get a free (or discounted) workshop?

  1. Refer a friend who takes one workshop :: receive $5 off for each friend who attends, up to the full price of the workshop
  2. Refer a friend who takes two workshops :: receive $10 off for each friend who attends, up to the full price of the workshop

It’s a no brainer, right?  Tell your friends!

Both workshops will be held at the Bay Club in San Francisco, 150 Greenwich St.

What The Om – Workshops :: Mar 29 & 30, 2014 on Square Market