Thursday, 29 November 2012

 Yesterday, I had a couple of milestone moments.  First, my debut article was published on MindBodyGreen.  Very exciting.  Also very humbling – I got some great feedback from people who had read the article, including my fellow YTT students, which was really special for me.  It also meant that I know for sure that it’s not just my parents reading this blog anymore…  I had almost 800 views yesterday!  I’m getting comments from people who have found their way to the blog through MBG, which is great, but now I’m really going to have to concentrate on cleaning this place up!  No more spelling mistakes, prettier photographs… I’ve got to get on the ball now! 

Second, last night was the last Wednesday YTT session.  Yes, this is the final week of YTT.  Technically, it’s only really two days of teacher training for the week, as the last weekend will be taken up by two days with Max Strom.  With time running out, it was finally time to talk about the gritty stuff – insurance, waivers, how to actually get a teaching job.  And there’s the rub…  We live in Vancouver, a city OVER RUN with yoga teachers.   Every other person you meet is a certified yoga instructor.  Doing YTT is just one of those THINGS YOU DO here, probably because it’s so accessible and affordable. 

I had been looking at the idea of hiring a space and giving classes close to home just to start getting my experience up, but then you have to throw in insurance, registration with Yoga Alliance, space hire, advertising, blah blah blah blah blah.  I’m not even sure how I’m going to pay rent next month, let alone find the money to pay for all of these things.  So, maybe just teaching some girlfriends in my living room will have to do for now… 

One of the biggest questions is, assuming you’re teaching off your own back as you get started (ie hiring a space, or teaching at home, or at a client’s home), how much do you charge?  The suggestion was that we should just start off teaching for free as we build our skills, but if I’m paying money to teach (hiring space, paying insurance, getting to and from a class), and I’ve spent a lot of time and money on a perfectly good certification course, why should I be teaching for free?  Friends and family, yes of course I’m not going to charge them while I’m still fresh off the boat and finding my rhythm, but as soon as possible I would like to be getting paid for my time and energy – even if it’s just enough to cover my expenses.  A few people in my class were surprised to hear that some teachers charged as much as $85 for a private yoga class.  Why?  I’ve met personal trainers that charge as much as $100 an hour to whip their clients into shape, why should a yoga teacher not be able to charge a decent amount for their time and expertise? Obviously I’m not in a position to charge anyone $85 per session, but when the best yoga studios in town are paying about $50 an hour for a teacher to take a group class, it gives you an idea of the potential to have at least a reasonable part time job as a yoga practitioner. 

I recently read an article on Elephant Journal about why yoga is so expensive.  The piece suggested that yoga is a lifestyle choice which is worth paying money for, but ultimately, yoga is a high expense, low margin business.  Studios have to pay a fortune on rent, equipment, insurance, teachers’ wages, advertising, etc.  Self-employed teachers can only teach so much in one day and have their own costs of insurance, travel, self-promotion, equipment and all the rest. 

Dear God, just thinking about it is exhausting….

One last milestone… and MOST IMPORTANTLY… last night was also the last ever Power-Vinyasa-From-Hell that I will ever be forcibly subjected to.  I made it through the wilderness!  Oh yeah I made it through…  I’m not going to lie, there may have been a high-five between myself and mat neighbour Yogi C at the conclusion of class.  I’m free and I’m never, ever going back.  The End.  

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