Sorry, this article is in translation process….

Are Yoga and money compatible?

I have listed few anecdotes that happened the last 10 years. Please note that all phrases, words, sentence have been asked and/or written by “real” people. I am not creating any stories, this is all true.

I don’t think I am the only one who had this kind of experience, and that is the reason why I am sharing it.

Vow of Poverty

For some reasons, there are people who do believe that a yoga teacher, does not need money. Why paying for a class, a course or even for a teacher training?

It is well-known that all yoga teachers are made of light and feed themselves with prana.

Therefore why asking money?

Case 1 – I will pay you later

Situation 1

As an independent contractor, you have a rent yoga shala.

Before starting the class, students pay you, however it happens sometimes that some of them does not have money…. at all…. empty pockets. By taking advantage of your “social” statut aka Yoga Teacher, Master of the Light, they told you “I will pay you later”…..

Then the “later” never happened…. or happened but really late, which in between has cause partial amnesia to that particular student who will tell you that he paid you, and very unfortunately just had sufficient money for “one” class, not for two…. that is a very common situation, and brings a nice atmosphere right before teaching your class….

One of the best thing to do is to tell that there is an ATM nearby. Then the answer “but I might miss the beginning of the class”…. I do agree, but at that point, it is not your problem anymore.

The second thing is to refuse the access to the class. Be sure to get a bad review mentioning how much you are all about money and not about relaxation, zen, unfriendly etc.

Situation 2 – the smart one

The smart one will arrive late, when the class has started, and will be first to leave.

He will explain you that he was in traffic jam while at the same time an earthquake happened, and will be rushing to exit the class because there is a T-Rex at the back of his car…

What you should do: close your shala when the class has started. Or be quick enough to speak to him/her right after the class.

Case 2 – not enough money or too much money

It happens also that some of them bring 12€ for a class costing 15€…..

Or they give you a big bill, such as 50€ and are waiting for the money back.

Be sure, always to have change with you. Because the person paying 50€ will wait for the money back here and now, as the others who just brought 12€ will, maybe, give the rest one day…

Case 3 – how to “deal” your teacher training course

Believe me, people are wonderful!

  • I am a late registration, can I get a discount?
  • I am not interested in the accommodation, can I bring my tent and camp on your land?
  • Can I get 100€ discount if I do not take any meals (knowing that nearby the center, there is absolutely no shops, no restaurants…)?
  • I am a “well-known” influencer, if I am documenting the TTC while there, can I get a discount?
  • Can I do karma yoga during the course such as meals, cleaning in order to participate to the course for free? (at least you know this one does not want to pay at all).
  • My best friend wants to come with me, can we get a discount because we are two?
  • As I am living in India (understand expat), can I get the same discount as for Indian students?
  • I will be travelling by car daily for the course, can I get a discount knowing that my parking will cost me a lot?…
  • I am travelling from outside and will take an Airbnb, can I get a promotion in regards of my accommodation fees?
  • But, wait, you are not a “yoga star”, why are you charging that much for a course (well I don’t know’, maybe one day I will become famous)…..
  • My teacher is renting the same yoga shala, I know the cost of it… can we talk about any discount (at one point I thought I had to justify my expenses using an excel sheet… but then I decided not to do it),
  • If am paying in cash, what kind of discount we are talking about? (I know, some yoga teachers are doing it. Unfortunately I prefer to proceed through wire transfer with a proper invoice),
  • Why are you so unfriendly??? (hum…. I don’t know, maybe at one point I got pissed off and tired talking about money, from people who did not dare to fill a registration form)..

I have a personal message to those people : DO NOT COME!

Of course, at the beginning of my career I did bow down. And what I noticed:

  1. Most of the time, people to whom you have granted a discount are the more painful to be with during the course. No respect at all.
  2. One student got a discount (or even the course for free), because she did not have any money….. and after the course she spent 3 months in Bali, having fun with friends. Thing is she was posting all pictures on her IG and Facebook. Social Networks are wonderful;
  3. One student receive a discount. Then she recommends our course to others…. and was expecting us to give discount as well… I did not…. she was really mad at me;
  4. One student did two TTCs in a row, with a discount. She then reviewed the school in an awful way, and now charging highly her courses;
  5. As of today there are at least 5 students who got a course for free….. (you know I’ll pay you later)
  6. As for droping classes, at least I taught 20 for free (the famous I’ll pay you later)….

For all of these students, I do wish, hope, in my wild dreams, one day they meet someone like them.

“That is NOT yoga”

This sentence is THE sentence that you can hear, each time a “yoga tacher”, Master of the Zenitude in legging” is showing irritation, anger. Because we are yoga teacher, we do not have any feelings. Only love, sharing and caring. We do not have any emotion, everyone knows it.

Slightly further, each time we have to pay our rent, we are dealing with our landlord. Very easy, we perform Natarajasana in his office, singing Om, money, padma, om. Our landlord is pretty cool, he knows we are yoga teacher.

Also there are so many yoga courses everywhere, at all prices, we should be grateful to students coming to us. In fact we are owing them something. So the result of it, we do not feel legitimate in our profession because there is absolutely no respect from the other side.

Should I get pay for teaching Yoga ?

Please check the appropriate answer:

Case 1 : I am living with someone who is providing food, accommodation for free and paying all my bills,

Case 2 : I won the lottery ticket,

Case 3 : None of the above.

To conclude

All work deserves to be rewarded!

If you are giving a discount to someone, do not have any expectation.

From my personal experience, the gap between “teacher” and “buddy” is really thin. Therefore avoid any discussion about money.

And remember, you can not move forward by pleasing everyone!

Namaste,