Watching snow fall into hot water at a retreat center in the Colorado Rockies, I suddenly found myself wondering: how did I get this luxury? When I first started teaching, I was constantly underpaid. Lack of money for groceries, the hope of not spending more than twenty dollars left in my wallet to fill up the car, the inability to afford proper medical care – all this was an inconvenience to which I was accustomed.
I was extremely passionate about teaching yoga, but my bank account did not share this passion. As much as I’d like to blame corporations and capitalism and gnash my teeth at global injustice, the truth is, I was the problem.
Why did I become a “poor yoga teacher”? I thought about it for a long time and saw the reason in the old attitudes that were implanted in my brain as a child: “Money doesn’t grow on trees, you need to work hard” or even “good people don’t need money.” These attitudes took root in my subconscious and grew with me. Over time, they became a part of me, and as my career in yoga developed, so did my belief that money is something scary and difficult.
I said yes to free classes, constantly rushing around the city from one job to another. And I watched as my own practice faded into the background, because teaching took all my time and energy.
I have finally reached the bottom. I was fed up with the job and knew something had to change. I realized that if I want prosperity, I need to make a choice. The choice was to change my attitude towards money and learn to enjoy the material wealth in my life.
I have identified 3 important lessons that have changed my position, and I know that they can help any yoga teacher:
1. Spirituality = wealth
Being spiritual does not mean having a lack of money. When you accept that financial abundance and spirituality can coexist, it will reflect on your spirit and your bank account! Visionary Maya Angela says, “My mission in life is not just to survive, but to thrive.”
2. Be clear about your desires and opportunities
For some, being busy at 15 lessons a week is already a difficult test. As in any other business, it may take time for you to realize your abilities and get comfortable in teaching yoga. Develop a learning strategy that will fill and support you in your work. Do you see yourself as a full-time teacher? Or do you need two or three sessions a day? Understand what is right for you.
3. Look for mentors
One of the most important steps you can take to achieve material wealth is to seek advice from other successful yogis. Learning from others, experienced and wise, has allowed me to know the paths available to me. Look for mentors and like-minded people, study local communities, meet, form new connections.
Just like the path in yoga, the path to material wealth begins from within. With a clear vision, the right tools and support, you will succeed.