By Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

For Yoga teachers, who work as independent contractors, a tough economy is a test of creativity. Although there may be class cutbacks, at your local health club, a local chiropractic clinic may be searching for a Yoga instructor to work “in house.”

Alexander Graham Bell stated, “When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.” We wait for things to happen, and when they do not fall into place, we dwell on the negative outcome.

We practice preventative health methods and teach others to be pro-active toward health, but we neglect being creative about networking. Some of us are entirely content to teach Yoga in isolation. There are many reasons for this, but most of us, who teach Yoga, tend to be very independent in our thinking.

In the words of John Donne: “No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main; if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as any manner of thy friends or of thine own were; any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind. And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”

This does not imply that you should give up your own free will, but feel free to “test the waters” of networking. Opportunities are good only when you recognize their potential. Everyone needs to consider opportunities in this economy.

Please consider your viewpoint in all matters. Are you optimistic, middle of the road, or slightly cynical? At this point, I have never met a pessimistic teacher of Yoga, so that option has been by-passed.

If you are optimistic or cynical, you need to hear the opposite opinion from a trusted friend. Even if you do not agree, a logical and honest opposing opinion can help you make a sensible evaluation.

Now, let’s get back to the heart of networking your Yoga teaching services. An independent contractor can afford to take his or her time making a decision. There is usually very little overhead to worry about, no employees to pay, and creative independent contractors are in a strong position in any economy.

However, if you are a Yoga studio owner, you must move forward now. You must network to find services that your students are seeking. Therapeutic massage, Ayurveda, Tai Chi, Chi Kung, Reiki, and Pilates are examples of services that your students may desire.

If you have the space or time frames available, you might find the networking opportunity of a lifetime. Many of these networking opportunities come and go, but some of them are perfect long-term matches.

© Copyright 2008 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications

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