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April 27, 2015
You're not alone in your concern. Yoga is a spiritual practice, and it seems that associating money with it taints its essence. I believe money is an expression of energy - some have more of it and some less. It is not good or bad by nature. All wise spiritual leaders throughout history have embraced this. Would it surprise you to know that any time Ghandi undertook a new cause or movement, one of his very first steps was to raise money to find it? He gathered millions of dollars at a time to enable him to conduct his spiritual movements. Mother Theresa did the same. And, so it is with owners of yoga studios. Few are in yoga to make a lot of money. However, those who teach and provide a space for the community of yoga deserve to earn a living. Unfortunately, many yoga studios go out of business each year. Not for lack of spirit or devotion, but simply for lack of cash. How many people do these studio owners get to share yoga with after they close their doors? How many people are feeling the benefits of their teachings because the owner needed to take another job?
We are involved in yoga to help people - to bring something sacred into their lives. And, we are entitled to certainly earn enough money to pay our bills and perhaps even have a comfortable lifestyle. I recently helped a studio owner who was thinking of closing down to turn her studio into a place where she can serve more people and now make a reasonable living. This is what I do: I help yoga studio owners to operate more successful studios such that they can better serve their students and clients while at the same time earning a comfortable living.
If this dsn't feel right for you, that's fine too. It's sad for me to see studios struggle until their owners are burnt out and in debt, then go out of business. I have chosen to be a catalyst in the process of allowing studios to share their light by enabling them to make enough money to not only stay open, but also to pay their owners a reasonable amount. Yoga is not about money. But just as Ghandi knew all too well, without energy in the form of money, few will ever benefit from your wisdom.
I hope this helps. If not, my apologies. All my best wishes to you on your journey. However you choose to share your practice, may you continue to serve our world.
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