Yoga business

To my surprise, Master Paalu talks about Yoga not only as a philosophy but also as a business, without any taboo regarding fees and money, market, business strategy and market trend. As many people, I thought about Yoga as a philosophy detached from all these materialistic concerns, that it should be free or on donation, generous and not profit-oriented. But it starts to make sense in my mind.

 

The warning came from a small incident at the beginning of the TTC course when a payment was not made on due time by the studio owner where the TTC was taking place. It was a real case illustrating what Master Paalu would try to tell us in the next few days: in the Yoga business, teachers should not be the poor ones while studio owners may exploit them in an unethical way. Yoga is not about being weak. It is not about living in poor and difficult conditions. Because one cannot live and practice without money, money should be earned in an ethical way and by the codes of Yama and Niyama. Once this question is handled in a proper way, we can fully dedicate ourselves to Yoga, without any frustration, hypocrisy or taboo. Or thinking about the money we should be making or this student or studio manager who owes money.

 

That was also illustrated by the way the incident was solved: it was discussed in front of all students and not in their backs, with transparency, calm and honesty. It made it crystal clear that money should be handled properly so that we can dedicate ourselves 100% to Yoga. Yoga has been alive for at least 2500 years already and it will not die in today’s world because yogis are living in dire conditions. On the contrary, it will strive and flourish even more, also because it is financially sound among other reasons. Yoga have come out of India , arriving in the West and other countries only recently. The business model applied in India (donation, ashram, university) may not apply here because the culture is different. Recently, I was told about a Vipassana meditation teacher who was charging 20 usd/ hour. It shocked me at first as I know it is on donation in India. But I realised that after all, yoga teachers may have faced the same cliché at the beginning 50 years ago when they started teaching in the West. It does not shock me to pay for yoga class, so why am I shocked if someone charges for meditation class? In 5 or 50 years, meditation could become as popular as yoga and people will have accepted it? The business model has to be invented and accepted by the general public. I guess there is no taboo about it as long as it is handled within the ethics of honesty – Satya -and non greed – Asteya.

Huy