Yoga: Business or Pleasure?

From yesterday, another (!) government ruling stated that we were not 'allowed' to meet in groups of more than six. And yet...this doesn't apply to businesses: pubs, restaurants, shops - all will have 'gatherings' of more than six. The difference being whether its purpose is business or pleasure. This, at a time, when women are not allowed to have their partners present at important developmental scans or birth, we can still rock up to the pub and be present with an array of people outside our normal 'bubble'.


What does any of this have to do with yoga?


On the cusp of my yoga classes resuming this evening, a student queried the session resuming, given the ruling is no more than six for social purposes.


This raises an interesting perspective.


Yoga may be 'social' for those attending, but isn't a social enterprise for the teacher.


Please consider that a yoga teacher will:


  • have spent £000's in order to train 
  • spend £000's more on CPD (continuous professional development)
  • need to remain fully insured with public liability insurance
  • undertake risk assessments
  • carry out admin
  • take care of the needs of each student on an individual basis


Over the last six months I've witnessed so many dialogues through social media, yet I've remained quiet.


Granted, for some who come to teach yoga, it is the perception of glamour that has lured them in. Let me say, there is nothing glamorous about teaching yoga classes. We probably have Instagram to thank for that misconception with their prolific 'skinny white girl' posts.


I have been teaching 30+ years, and much of that has been from a therapeutic perspective, as well as within certain specialisms.


For me, yoga has been my way of creating meaning for those I've had the honour to work with. To observe how this amazing procress can have impact on those recovering from a variety of illnesses, equal to that of physiotherapy, and in some cases, better than physio. Working with babies with erbs palsy or talipes long before any NHS physio appointment is offered to parents.


How would this count as 'social'?


As for the financial side: many of us earn very little once you take out all the professional costs and venue hire. For me, it's a much-needed top up to my salary as I earn less than basic hourly rate, which has meant for the past six months, life has been very difficult (which I acknowledge has been for so many of us).


Next time you see a yoga class advertised or a meditation class for that matter, before questioning, take a moment to consider how much that individual has had to manage in order to provide something 'social' and what it really entails.

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