What is the value of our work? Do we measure it by the payment we receive? The benefit we offer? As a yoga teacher I have had to really think about how much to charge people, how much my offering is a business. We do not live in an economy where most of us could live off alms, gifted by those who receive our offerings, but how do we balance the philosophy that underlies yoga with the need to earn a living in 21st Century western countries? I have recently seen how cut throat a business yoga is for some. And I get it. My yoga teaching is a 'side hustle', my main income comes from another source. I'm not rich, but I don't depend on my yoga teaching to pay the bills, and yet, is there something particular about yoga that means there needs to be a philosophical underpinning of the decisions we make in the name of 'business'?
In her book 'Teaching Yoga', Donna Farhi talks about the ethics of charging for teaching. She notes that 'generally yoga teachers ask too little'. When I think of the time and energy that goes into planning a class, hiring a space, promoting the class, buying props, the zoom subscription and undertaking ongoing training, she is probably right! Ultimately it will be yoga students who determine if the offering is worth the price asked, but it is worth thinking about the time, energy and cost that lays behind the hour class you attend. I hope you don't feel short changed and that your yoga teacher can feel valued (and pay the bills!)