Mastering the Business of Yoga

So much gratitude for the human connections made possible through the path of yoga! Here with catch up with Amanda Kingsmith, the founder of M.B.Om. Amanda has created a functional wonderland for business minded yogis including; a podcast, a blog, a community group, a yoga business bootcamp, and more. Learn more about her story, insights, and the good and important work she is up to!

Can you tell us a bit about your yoga background?

I started practicing yoga with my mom in my second year of university. Having come from a competitive dance background, I enjoyed the body-mind connection, but I didn’t feel overly challenged in the classes that we were going to. So, I started going to hot yoga. I practiced hot yoga for a number of years until I started working in corporate and began going to a studio that was close to my office. My once a week classes quickly turned into daily classes and it wasn’t long before I was hooked.

Fast forward about 2 years, I had traveled to South America for 6 months and relocated to a small mountain town in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. I started working for lululemon and was working as a part-time studio manager for a local yoga studio, and practicing almost everyday. It was at that point that I decided that I wanted to take my yoga teacher training.

Nearly a year later, I traveled to Canggu, Bali to do my 200-hour YTT and haven’t looked back since!

What is M.B.Om and how did this idea come about?

M.B.Om stands for Mastering the Business of Yoga, and it’s a play on “M.B.A or Masters of Business Administration”. It’s a podcast and blog that focuses on teaching yoga teachers the business side of the yoga industry, and helping them to learn more business skills and recognize that it is possible to create a sustainable living in the industry.

The idea came about soon after I returned from my yoga teacher training. I came back excited to teach, but I didn’t really know where to start. Luckily, I was well connected in the town I lived in and was able to get teaching gigs fairly easily. However, about 5 months later, my boyfriend and I relocated to the southern U.S. and I had to start over again. I found myself pulling a lot of what I knew from my business degree and my life working in marketing in the corporate world into my yoga career, but I was still struggling. I also felt that I couldn’t be alone in my struggles, so I decided to start an interview based podcast to talk with successful yoga teachers on how they created successful careers as a way to teach yoga teachers (and myself) how to be successful in the yoga world.

As an entrepreneur, how do you set healthy boundaries for yourself as well as keep motivated and creative?

Creating boundaries for myself has been one of the hardest parts of entrepreneurship and remote work. Some of the boundaries that I set for myself are:

  • At least one day off a week, usually Sundays, to spend with my boyfriend and go out and explore wherever I am based.
  • No calls in the mornings – my mornings are my time for meditation, yoga, journaling, making a big, healthy breakfast, checking emails, and getting my day started. If I need to, I will work around this, but in general I find that having my mornings for myself is really important for my productivity and organization.
  • My daytimer – I would be lost without my Passion Planner. It has all my calls, to-do lists, tasks that need to get done, etc., and I’ve found having a solid calendar system has been really key for my success as an entrepreneur.
  • Power Hour on Sundays, where I spend an hour getting my week organized and getting clear on what I need to get done, when I have calls, etc. This hour really sets me up for success.
  • Regular bedtime and wake up time (which is always a work in progress).
  • Once I “shutdown” and stop working for the night, I don’t check emails again.
  • I respond to emails within 24-48 hours.

In terms of staying motivated and creative, I turn to podcasts, books, yoga classes with other teachers, blog posts from some of my favorite health and wellness bloggers, and time in nature for inspiration. Some of my favorite podcasts right now are Being Boss, From the Heart – Conversations with Yoga Girl, Biz Chix and the occasional episode of the Tim Ferris show. I love following Lee from America and Alison Wu for health and wellness inspiration, and the Bulletproof weekly newsletter is one of my favorites for healthy recipes.

She Means Business by Carrie Green is one of my favorite business books, and The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem by Nathaniel Branden is easily one of the most impactful books I’ve ever read. If I’m ever super low on motivation and creativity, I read Harry Potter or Winnie the Pooh! 

The Digital Nomad/Location Independent scene is SO hot right now;) Do you think it is a sustainable long term way to live and healthy for local community? What are your thoughts of the future of digital nomad life?

Good question! I think that digital nomad life appears much more glamorous than it actually is. There are photos popping up on Facebook and Instagram of people working beachside with a drink in their hands or lounging by an infinity pool, and the reality is that computers are not waterproof, they will die and overheat, and you always need a good wifi connection (which the beach rarely has!).  

Don’t get me wrong, I love being able to live wherever I want, but I think that it’s important to note that digital nomad life doesn’t look so different from life at home – it just means you work from another country. I pretty much always work from my house, a coffee shop or a co working space though, never the beach! For me, this is the perfect balance of building a business and growing my career, while still being able to feed my love of travel and experiencing new countries.

I think that everyone is a bit different when it comes to lifestyle preferences. There are a lot of people who prefer to have a home and take vacations, while others prefer to roam. For me, I have always loved to travel and I don’t ever foresee myself living a life that doesn’t involve travel. However, travel will probably always look different depending what life stage I’m in. Right now, I’m loving spending winters somewhere warm and summers home in Canada, and taking some smaller trips throughout the year. At some point, I might want to have a place I call home for most of the year, but we’ll see.

I think that as humans we crave connection and we also crave community. Working remotely and having a location independent lifestyle means that you have to work a little bit more for your community because your community isn’t always right there in front of you. My boyfriend and travel partner, Ryan and I find that we feel most connected to a place when we can dive into the local community and become a part of it, and I think that as long as people are diving into and supporting their communities, local communities will continue to thrive.

I don’t think that the location independent lifestyle will ever die out, especially as it becomes easier and easier to do with technology, but I think we’ll see a lot of people trying it and finding that it’s not for them. For me personally, I’m excited to see what happens with the world as people move, travel and explore more. I think that exploring and learning about different cultures is one of the greatest ways to remember that we are all humans, regardless of language, race, gender, etc.

Your podcast is super successful! Congrats! What does it take to start and operate a functional podcast?

Thank you!

First off, starting a podcast is not as hard as most people imagine! All you need is an idea, a properly sized logo, a decent microphone and some recording / editing software.

Once you’ve got your podcast going, the most challenging part is staying on top of it. A successful podcast needs to have content released on a regular schedule and this can be one of the hardest parts when you have a busy schedule and lots of other things going on in your business. Now that podcasts are picking up more traction, there are a ton of editing companies, and I think that if you are starting a podcast as just one part of your business, it’s worth it to pay someone to produce it for you (especially if learning to produce audio doesn’t excite you and you’re already really busy).

For me, one of the biggest challenges when I first started was finding guests. I interviewed nearly every yoga teacher I knew before I started to gain some traction. It’s important to know that podcasting can be a big learning curve without very much direct return off the get go, but if you stick with it, you will gain a community of listeners (your tribe!), and have the opportunity to have conversations with people you may never otherwise have had the chance to have.

Although I love that my podcast is making me money now, it was 100% worth it just from a networking standpoint before I ever made a cent.

Yoga and Entrepreneurship can be seen as a paradox, although so many yogis are creating their own business to sustain themselves. Thoughts on this?

This has been a major focus of mine in 2018, as I completely agree that yoga and entrepreneurship don’t naturally blend themselves well. One of the biggest things that I try to instill to yoga teachers is that they are already building businesses, whether they like it or not.

Your students are your customers, your classes are your products, your teaching style is your brand, and when you teach more classes, offer workshops or retreats, you are naturally putting people through a sales funnel and selling to them. People get quickly turned off by marketing, sales funnels, and selling, but I want people to remember that we can offer a service that is authentic to us, sell it in a way that sticks to our values and feels true to ourselves and yoga, and create a brand while still staying true to the practice and lineage that is yoga.

In 2018, money is our currency exchange, and teaching yoga is simply an exchange. We exchange our service for money. If we can remember that, I think that we are all a lot better off in terms of building sustainable businesses and being able to continue offering yoga to our students.

I also like to think of teaching yoga as a form of entrepreneurship. We are our own service and brand and we work under the umbrella of studios to offer our service to customers. At the end of the day, we are not employees, we are entrepreneurs building heart-centered businesses with the goal of helping people heal and feel better in their bodies.

Who are some humans that currently inspire you?

I am lucky to have a lot of humans in my life that inspire me.

My boyfriend, Ryan Ferguson, is a constant source of inspiration for me. He reminds me to always make decisions based on my values even when those decisions are the hardest ones, pushes me to follow my dreams constantly, and challenges me to look at life differently.

I feel really fortunate to work with T.K. Coleman, the Director of Education for Praxis. He has taught me so much about working with other people, value creation, and how to be a good coach. He’s literally one of the most inspiring people I’ve ever met!

I am also really inspired by one of the studio owners I work for, Jeff Mah. He’s an incredible yoga teacher, human, and mentor and he’s been one of the biggest inspirations for my own yoga career and business.

I’ve never met Carrie Green, but I am continuously inspired by her work. “She Means Business” was a game-changer for my business and I am constantly in awe by the her ability to drop so much value in a just a few words or a really short video. Whenever I need business inspiration, I turn to Carrie Green.

I’ve also never met Rachel Brathen, but I love her brand, her business and her podcast. She has a way of being authentic and telling it like it is that I love and that reminds me to be honest in the way that I portray myself, especially online.

Ayn Rand’s work has always inspired me. Not only is she an incredible author, but she is able to write fiction with deep philosophical narratives weaved through it, like no other author that I’ve ever read before. People often hate on Ayn Rand, but I think that anytime you can create a ton of controversy through something like a novel, you’re doing something right.

Similarly, Harry Potter is my favorite series of books and something that I turn to for inspiration time and time again, so it would be unfair to leave J.K. Rowling off this list. If I can create something in my lifetime even half as powerful as the Harry Potter series, I will die happy.

Where do you see M.B.Om and yourself in 10 years?

In 10 years I hope to be financially sustainable with my online business, be teaching yoga regularly, and continue to be traveling regularly. I’m not quite sure where “home” will be yet, but I know that I will continue to venture back to the Canadian Rockies often.

I hope that in 10 years, discussing the business side of yoga will not be quite so taboo. I hope that every yoga teacher feels comfortable talking about money and business and that conversations around business are more prevalent in 200-hour YTTs. At the very least, I hope to be leading my own YTTs, where I can guarantee that there will be a business component (amongst the rest of it, because business is not the only important part!).

I hope that M.B.Om is at the top of the iTunes charts for “Careers” and that I have 10x as many listeners (assuming podcasts are still a thing – who knows, right?!). Either way, I hope that what I am doing is creating a wave in the yoga industry where I can help yoga teachers create sustainable long-term businesses so that they can teach yoga through until their 90’s and help heal the world. People need yoga and yoga teachers need to make money to keep teaching yoga, which is why learning about business is so, so important.

Anything else you’d like to share?

I also co-host a podcast called The World Wanderers with my boyfriend, Ryan. We have been doing the podcast for about 4 years and on top of sharing all of our travels around the world, we’ve had the opportunity to talk to a ton of amazing people who have created businesses related to travel, who travel full-time, who travel with their kids, who have become full-time travel bloggers, and much more. If you like travel, as well as yoga, please feel free to check it out!

CONNECT:

M.B.Om: Mastering the Business of Yoga

FB: @masteringthebusinessofyoga

IG: @masteringthebusinessofyoga

 

Co Living and Working for Wellness Professionals

My journey as a traveling yoga teacher has brought me to numerous yoga and wellness ‘communities’ around the world. I appreciate well run communal environments and have learned so much about ‘living yoga’, wellness, healthy cooking, permaculture, and sustainability from many of these places. I have also made many wonderful connections this way. Although nature and yoga are at my core, one of my current interests includes growing and evolving on a ‘professional’ level and as a business artist. Another interest is to connect and create relationships with humans outside the ‘yoga bubble.’

I have been intrigued by the Co Living/Co Working Community, Outsite for sometime, and  finally booked a stay at the Santa Cruz location in November. Upon walking into the ‘Greenhouse’ (Outsite Santa Cruz has two locations), I felt a warm and friendly vibe. The house has an open layout, high ceilings, redwood beams, and magnificent lighting. The location couldn’t be better and offers fantastic walkability options. The house is set two blocks from the ocean and the much loved West Cliff bluffs. It is the perfect recreation spot for walking, biking and surfing, and the beach can be accessed directly from the house via the magical Bethany Curve trail. Also, within walking distance are heaps of dreamy spots for wellness enthusiasts including; New Leaf Community Market, Santa Cruz Yoga, and Bantam Restaurant (Don’t Panic, It’s Organic!). The property boasts a lovely kitchen, beautiful communal space, a hot tub, bikes, surfboards, chickens, a plethora of books, board games, and a piano!

In community living situations it’s really all about the people. I was fortunate to meet a couple standout souls during my short stay here who inspired me with their stories and spirit (this included meeting a former Olympic Windsurfer who is now getting his MBA at UC Berkeley!).

If you are a yoga teacher or wellness entrepreneur looking to bring fresh perspectives and professional concepts into you life, here are some reasons why you may want to book a stay at a Co Living/Co Working space such as Outsite:

Diversity and Community

I love being part of the global yoga community, but it is also refreshing to meet people outside the world of yoga. A space like this brings all sorts of people together. It is much more than sharing a work space; these types of environments are special in that we can cook with, adventure with, and be challenged by the people we meet. It is a breeding ground for innovative ideas and different ways of thinking.

Collaboration and Networking

You never know who you will meet when booking a stay, and this is all part of the fun! Guests at Outsite can be Entrepreneurs, Developers, Designers, Artists, and Academics. Most people that stay here tend to have a great balance of work and play. As a yoga teacher and/or wellness professional this can be a great place to meet others that have valuable and different skills from ourselves to learn from.

Practice Openness and Be Part of a Social Movement

It can be challenging to share physical space. We know from the practice of yoga, that it is beneficial to be open and live from our hearts. Also, we know from asana that much of a yoga practice is about how to be more receptive when put in uncomfortable positions. If the idea of sharing house space with strangers sounds ‘uncomfortable’ to you, it may be a perfect way to practice some yoga and get out of your comfort zone. With housing costs on the rise, this way of living may become more of the ‘norm’ in the near future, and it can be exciting to be a part of it.

Location Independence and Flexibility

The reality is, more and more people are working from their laptops which means a lot of people have the opportunity to live anywhere they can get online. A perfect example of this are our friends Brandon and Anne aka The Yoga Nomads, who have created a successful online business. What an extraordinary time to live! Co Living/Co Working communities such as Outsite provide ‘flexible stability’. Have certainty that you always have a place to stay and a community, but choose when and where you will stay.

(After a morning of work, a housemate and I adventured up the coast)

Balance of Productivity and Fun

Often my most productive work is done in these kinds of collaborative environments. There is something about the sparks of energy that can be cultivated when a group of creatives come together. Many ‘digital nomads’ often spend much of their work time alone zoning out into cyber space. I find that many people (including myself) that work solo can sway easily to the extremes of imbalances, either by working too much and not finding self care or becoming lazy with a lack of motivation. Working in a community we can hold each other accountable. We can have time for focused work and then have fun and get out and play by surfing, hiking, biking, exploring, practicing yoga, making group dinners, or having dance parties!

Sustainability and Opportunities to Share Your Trade

With rental and home prices being quite high (especially in California), this a great way of living in amazing spaces while keeping our costs down. The concept of co living is nothing new, just they way we are doing it is. Many of us are realizing that living in isolated boxes (such as track homes in suburban neighborhoods) is not a sustainable way to live. As a society we are shifting toward wanting to live closer to the land and our food and water sources, or when in urban environments leaving smaller footprints. While staying at a co living community, we also have the opportunity to ‘share our trade’ with housemates. Most members of Yoga Trade are yoga teachers or have some kind of wellness trade. Offer to teach a yoga class, cook a healthy breakfast, or give someone a massage. Be of service, have meaningful experiences, and share the practice.

We will conclude with some inspiring words from Britt, the Operations Manager at Outsite. He is also the Community House Manager in Santa Cruz, and I was privileged to meet him and ask him a few questions:

Yoga Trade:  How would you describe the Outsite experience in a few sentences?

Britt:  Outsite is your new home if you’re traveling. It’s a community of traveling professionals looking for connection and a consistent experience. You’ll find comfort, new friends, and new hobbies as you explore our variety of locations around the world. Our locations are smaller than a hotel and more familiar. Our team, members, and guests are eclectic and friendly.

Yoga Trade:  What new Outsite location are you looking forward to most and why?

Britt:  I’m most excited about our upcoming location in Bali, Indonesia. I’ve never been there, and it seems like an adventurous paradise. We’ll be opening in Canggu, so it’s a prime spot. We’ll have authentic Bali architecture and furniture, yet modern fixtures and a pool!

Yoga Trade:  Where do you see yourself and Outsite five years from now?

Britt:  I hope we have more locations and more members, and it continues to thrive as a wonderful network. I see us having more locations in Europe, Asia, and Latin America. I see us as a more recognized option for accommodation and community. I see myself still based in California, developing more partnerships and creating more events to bring together the Outsite Community.

Outsite currently provides several desirable locations (especially alluring for surfing yogis): Santa Cruz, Lake Tahoe, Venice Beach, San Diego, New York City, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and Costa Rica. New locations on the way include; Bali, Lisbon, and Baja!

Check out their affordable memberships and rates and connect here:

https://outsite.co/flex-membership/

FB: outsiteco

IG: outsiteco

Hope to practice the balancing act of work and play and share creative house space with you soon!

 

Erica Hartnick grew up in the Sierra Nevada foothills of California, and enjoys all things wild and free. She teaches nature inspired yoga and leads mindful adventures in California and Costa Rica. She gets excited about; LEARNING, intense weather, glassy ocean peaks, pillows of fresh powder snow, crystal clear water, positive people, cultural travel, thriving vegetable gardens, fresh mint chip ice cream, nature’s glory, LIVING YOGA, and connecting with others. She is passionate about the collaboration with friends that led to the creation of Yoga Trade, and is devoted to connecting the yoga community with infinite opportunities!

 

Pat Bailey: Live The Life You Love

Living the life you love is a delicate balance of following your heart and dedicated work. The most inspiring humans I connect with are living this balance. Pat Bailey is one of these humans. Pat is a student and teacher of yoga, a traveler, a poet, a photographer, and an amazing business woman. She has created a life she loves thru manifestation, devotion, and consistent effort. Here we catch up with Pat to learn from her experiences and creative offerings. HELL YES PAT! Thank YOU for shining bright and sharing your wisdom!

What led to the creation of The Hell Yes Life? Was there a defining moment?

I created The Hell Yes Agency, an Influencer Marketing Agency, a few years ago after figuring out how to monetize my brand as an Influencer and creating a team doing the same. The Hell Yes Life was born, as an extension of this brand, at the end of last year to encompass all of the “Hell Yes” things I am doing, and to share my wisdom and expertise in various ways. I wish I could say there was a “defining moment” that led to the creation of my current projects, but it was and is more like synchronicity and a culmination of 46 years of living, learning and teaching that has come together as a practice that evolves and changes daily.

Can you give us some insight into how you combine yogic principles and entrepreneurship?

For a long time, as a corporate person and maybe like many people, I juggled my personal feelings and approach to life with the 9 to 5 corporate paradigm. My heart projects and longing to live a deeper, more meaningful life were always on the back burner while I was going through the motions of working for a secure paycheck. It never felt authentic to me and eventually, after several attempts, I decided to jump and trust and I left the corporate world to create and live a more authentic, heart-forward life. As I was getting closer and closer to jumping I completed my 200HR Bhakti Vinyasa Flow Yoga Teacher Training with Rusty Wells, and it was here that I began to hear my heart clearly.

It was natural to begin creating this life I wanted to live with my heart first in a yogic way, because I am a yogi first. And, more than that, I knew that I was on the right path, and continue to feel this way, because there was no compromise or putting anything on the back burner this time – I could be all of the parts of me at once combining yoga, business and creative endeavors that my heart loves. Because choreographing this dance, balance, beautiful blend of two complimentary things comes easily to me I knew this was something I was supposed to share with others. I feel deeply that this is part of my dharma.

The two are interdependent, not separate. When we separate yogic principles from anything entrepreneurial is when things are harder, not authentic and maybe (I would argue) not as successful or fulfilling for us.

Kindness, Truthfulness, Righteousness, Wisdom, Simplicity, Gratitude, Humility and Self-discipline are core “yogic principles,” and the traits of most successful entrepreneurs.  The work that I do with students in my Hell Yes Academy is based on these principles and applying them to branding, and creating a more heart-forward and authentic life. I begin, just like every yoga class begins: with an invitation for students to set clear intentions for what they want to experience/create. And every bit of the three months together is a blending of yogic principles and successful business, branding and entrepreneurial skills.

Why do you think a lot of yogis struggle with their relationships with ‘business’ and money? Any tips on how to work through this?

I’ve thought a lot about this, both personally as a yogi and as a entrepreneur and coach. It is unfortunate that so many yoga teachers struggle with this because it is keeping them from living their dharma more deeply and sharing their talents, skills and practice with more people.

In my experience, yogis struggle with the promotion of their “business” and accepting and/or asking for proper compensation because they feel like it is not “yogic.” When I hear this I instantly think and feel like they are not acting from their heart space but rather their ego space.  If in your heart as a yoga teacher you feel deeply that you are living your dharma by sharing your practice with as many people as you can, then it is your absolute, divine responsibility to promote what you do to everyone you meet in order to fulfill this dharma. The fact that this intention is seen as, or turns into, a “business” somehow clouds the intention for some. If this is the clear intent, then you aren’t promoting your “business” or collecting compensation for yourself, you are doing this for a higher purpose.

There is incredible grace and beauty in humility and sometimes many of us navigating yoga and business find it hard to balance the two. A successful yoga teacher, living her dharma with confidence and heart, promotes her yoga as a business from her heart space and graciously and humbly accepts the hard-earned compensation knowing she is deserving because she is utilizing her wisdom, life and vessel to do so. Do you see how a shift in thought, approach, and clear intention can change how you think, feel and maybe act on this subject?

I invite yoga teachers who struggle with promoting their business, or themselves and asking for/accepting money to do it, to think about their dharma, their intentions for sharing their practice, and to do the asking and earning from their heart place – not their ego. There are plenty of causes and organizations to donate excess compensation to for yoga teachers collecting more than they need. Imagine a yoga teacher collective consciousness that stepped into this shift in thinking, that shared their practice/dharma with more people, and that gave their excess to deserving causes.

How important is manifestation to you? Do you practice it daily?

Manifesting is everything to me. Realizing that I am creating my reality every moment with a single thought is powerful. When I feel out of flow, off balance, sad or anything that is not authentic, I remind myself that I have the power to shift this with a single thought. This has been a lifelong practice for me ever since I was a little girl.

Because the power of manifestation, the practice of doing so, and the positive results are so important to me, and the outcome of the life I have created and model living, I incorporate this teaching into my work with students, on and off the mat.

Can you share some of the positives and negatives of living life as a digital nomad?

A few of the most positive aspects of living life as a digital nomad are the adventure and the incredible freedom, independence and empowerment that it gives you. When you let go of a home, a place, a set/small community, the idea of an office, etc. and you open up to the possibility of having all of these things and more in a bigger place and different way: anywhere in the world, this is an incredible feeling. Big magic and shifts happen when you surrender into this intention; the world literally opens up to you. I feel this happening every single day and this, and the feeling of lightness and open possibility, are my very favorite things about being a digital nomad.

A common misconception about being a digital nomad is that it’s easy, and many people don’t realize that in order to do it successfully you have to plan ahead and create revenue streams for yourself which you can earn while being anywhere in the world. If you can combine passive income, and on-going income with opportunities while you travel this is ideal. And, because this sometimes takes more work and hustle than the traditional 9 to 5 corporate job, it is not easy.

Digital nomads are true entrepreneurs, and in my opinion the ultimate independents. One of the compromises of this way of life is sometimes community. If building a solid community in one place to share your practice is an important intention for you this will be difficult if you choose to be a digital nomad. Instead you might set an intention to build smaller communities around the world, and a larger “global” community.

How do you maintain a healthy relationship with technology?

With A LOT of discipline! Because being online, and plugged into the grid is a big part of what I do dharma-wise and for my livelihood, I spend a lot of time utilizing technology – technology is also an essential part of being a digital nomad. How I balance a healthy, spiritual, creative and happy life while utilizing technology daily has everything to do with the routines, habits, rituals, and schedule/intentions I set and practice every day. I share this technique and some inspiration for doing this with my students in the academy. It comes down to discipline, some days I’m better at this than other days – it’s a practice!

What does a typical morning look like for you? Do you have morning rituals?

Yes, I believe in the power of a morning ritual for setting the tone and clear intention for the day.  Doing this every morning has saved me some days when I feel isolated, anxious, unsure, etc. I meditate every single morning, this is part of my morning ritual. The first hour of each day is a no tech hour, it’s my yummy time to go inside of myself and find love there for me. I started this devoted practice three years ago when I was healing from a broken heart and now it is part of my daily habit/ritual. This grounds me when I feel out of flow. Sometimes I add a listen to an inspirational podcast or video to the end of this meditation and it becomes moving meditation. I might do this while practicing yoga, making breakfast or taking a shower. I try to have a modest, healthy breakfast each morning. After this, I plug in much like someone might read the morning paper. The morning paper for me consists of blog articles from a running list I have saved, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram (in that order). The end of my morning ritual always includes setting a clear intention for the day and reminding myself that my job as a manifestor and spirit living a heart-forward life is to be happy as much as possible each day, and I make a very short list of 1 or 2 things I will accomplish for the day. Then I start my day.

If you could tell all aspiring entrepreneurs just one sentence of wisdom, what would it be?

How about two (long) sentences? I think Patanjali’s wisdom is most powerful for all of us but especially for aspiring entrepreneurs, particularly in the yoga/heart space:

“When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds: Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.”

What trends or changes do you foresee within the next 5-10 years for the yoga and wellness community/industry?

I’m very excited that the conversation about “mindful work,” and “mindfulness in the workplace” is now prevalent and nearly mainstream. The conversation began in a whisper about three years ago, and now many CEOs, start-ups and even bigger companies and brands are recognizing the benefits and outcomes and the conversation is now broad, bold and really creative and exciting. It is because of this that my teachings and approach to yogic branding are appreciated and respected.

The collective shift happening right now to move away from old paradigms and into more heart-forward, heart-based living with the lovers of these lives designing their own lives will continue. Every single day an old wall dissolves and innovative alternatives are erected. This is because more of us want something deeper, something more meaningful; this is because we are all listening now more than ever before – collectively and globally, but especially in the yoga and wellness community/industry.

Because the grid is being redesigned, the sky is the limit! The most aware and innovative and ready professionals in the yoga and wellness community/industry will be creating and hosting transformative “experiences” instead of the traditional “retreat” and they are doing this already, right now. Offices are now in cafes and on the beach, yoga is happening virtually and it is becoming medicine prescribed by doctors to patients. The value of yoga is increasing, and this will continue. The practice and teaching of yoga is increasing, and this will continue.

Who and/or what inspires you most right now?

I am inspired greatly by free-thinkers, innovators, and disruptors. I look to them to stretch my way of thinking, to challenge what I think and know to be possible. I am in-awe of Jason Silva and mesmerized every time I witness one of his videos knowing that I am watching someone in pure flow sharing it with the world in a courageous and impeccably authentic way. He inspires me greatly. I am inspired by Tim Ferris and his invitations to think about how we think about work. My current muses also include writers like Rupi Kaur, Arthur Rimbauld and Ayn Rand.  They are bold, courageous, independent and incredibly talented.

Tell us about your upcoming New Year’s Retreat with Mary Tilson…

Xinalani is a very special place, I discovered it on retreat myself with Rusty Wells, my teacher, a few years ago. The energy of this paradise in Mexico will set the tone for this retreat that Mary Tilson (Yoga Trade Travel Rep) and I are creating to share with students. For me, one of the most exciting things about this experience is that I am co-creating it with Mary, a yoga teacher and forever student, that I respect greatly. Together we are blending teachings for a practice on and off the mat that will invite students to take ownership of their lives and begin thinking about ways that they can create, and as the retreat is called:   “Live the Life You Love.”

The retreat takes place at the end of the year, December 30 – January 6, a very important and auspicious time for cutting cords and setting clear intentions, for celebrating and letting go.   Mary and I will be taking every opportunity during this time together to share our wisdom and create sacred, inspirational space for the group to feel empowered and supported to follow their hearts and it is our hope that each person leaves with a plan for ways that they can begin living a life that they love.

 

Connect with Pat:

Live the Life You Love

IG:

@patbailey

@thehellyeslife

She Will Rise

Kelsey is the Creator of She Will Rise: a community of women who are rising from the ashes of their past into the brilliance of their future. The community offers Trauma Therapy, Group Coaching, Retreats, and a Podcast. I met Kelsey in 2010, at a very dear place to my heart, Yandara in Baja, Mexico. I was there for one month taking a training and she was there teaching and working. Her strength and vibrance inspired me. We did not really stay in touch but years later, life brought us back together. We had both continued on the paths of living yoga and were simultaneously working on creative projects within the wellness world. Love had led me to the location that she was living. The connections that are made through yoga and wellness are amazing, and it is exciting and magical to grow and evolve together. Here we catch up with Kelsey, to learn from her story and wisdom. Thank you Kelsey for sharing your bright light!

Tell us about the inspirations that led to the creation of the She Will Rise Podcast…

 

On my own path of recovery I didn’t like or fit into the conventional systems or route, they just didn’t work for me. I had to make it up as I went a long and find my own way. I now call this intuitive recovery.  I had to learn how to listen to my heart AND ALSO my body AND ALSO my soul. It was hard for me as I didn’t meet a lot of people doing what I was doing and I felt like I was crazy at times. I knew that what I was doing was working for me but I lacked support and I felt very alone. As I developed the She Will Rise Intuitive Recovery Programs and Retreats I found other women offering amazing things too. I have always been comfortable sharing my story and I saw other women were starting to share theirs too. I thought, “what if there was a free resource for women where they could listen to other unique stories of recovery and have access to many tools and techniques so they could find their own unique and intuitive way through their trauma?” That is when the She Will Rise Podcast was born.

 

How has yoga helped shape your path?

 

I have heard a lot of people say that yoga saved their  life, I truly believe it saved mine. I was 23 and suffering from some pretty serious injuries from snowboarding. I couldn’t sit down for longer than an hour and I would wake up in pain every day. My friend dragged me to an Ashtanga yoga class after much convincing. I had dabbled with yoga by myself for many years before but never really went to classes. So I went and I cried the whole class because it hurt but felt good at the same time. I woke up in no pain so I went back. My body got stronger and had less pain. Then I tried a yin class…it was emotionally excruciating for me and I cried through every class for months. I was going to 6-8 classes a week because I was feeling so much emotional and physical relief. I was sold and in a year decided I wanted to be a yoga teacher. I have had some of my greatest physical healings, emotional breakthroughs and spiritual awakenings in practicing yoga and I can see myself having it in my day to day practice for the rest of my life.

Why do you feel called to create a space specifically for women?

 

I am a woman who has experienced a lot of abuse from men and I know a lot of other women have experienced the same thing and do not feel safe when men are around them. When women gather and are in a safe and sacred space to open up, magical things happen. The way women or female identified people feel, create, heal, dance and play is unique and it is different. The essence of who you are whether feminine or masculine needs to be initiated, honored and held with love. There is something remarkably strong about a compassionate sisterhood based in holding the highest vision for each other and I want to be a part of that.

How has the process of holding these conversations with women helped in your own growth and healing?

 

I believe our stories are medicine. When we hear a woman’s story of what she has been through it helps us feel like we are not alone and we might find the tools or words of inspiration that we are looking for. This is also true for me. I learn SO much from every woman I interview, their strength, courage and vulnerability deeply touches the parts in me that need just that to keep going. The friendships that are being made from the interviews and also the programs are so supportive, it is truly amazing.

Do you have any words of wisdom for women in wellness that are thinking about starting their own creative entrepreneurial projects?

 

You don’t have to do it all yourself. Don’t be afraid to hire someone who can do a task in an hour which would take you days. Stay connected to your values and practice integrity. Base your business around this. Look to others who are inspiring to you and surround yourself with supportive people. Stay away from comparison and jealousy of other women in the same field, there is absolutely enough clientele for you and the people you are meant to work with are out there waiting for you. Promote and support your colleagues; cross promotion is a powerful tool. Find a deep WHY.  Why are you are doing what you are doing?  Align the ‘why’ with your values and write it down everywhere!

 

WHAT and/or WHO sparks you up most right now?

 

All the amazing women I am interviewing for the podcast.  They are all so different, some of them students, mothers, big and little business owners, entrepreneurs, and they all have an amazing story to tell. They inspire me so much! I am also deeply immersed in earth based magic and ceremony and learning more to live with the circadian rhythms, following the moon cycles and living with the seasons. Then there are the animals in my life, my dogs, and the horses I work with and ride. I am now offering Animal Communication as a part of the programs I offer and it is profound the healing and therapy animals have to offer us.

 

 

Learn more and connect with Kelsey and this beautiful community:

Kelsey is a recovered addict and sexual abuse survivor who is dedicating her life to breaking the silence around these issues by sharing her story and supporting women to work through their trauma. She is the Creator of She Will Rise. Hear from courageous women who share their stories of a painful experiences and traumas, and how they work through it. The She Will Rise Podcast offers tools, resources and gifts to listeners. Stories are medicine. Together we are stronger.

www.shewillrise.community

IG:  @shewillrise.community

Yoga Business: How to Create Location Independence and Sustainable Success Catching Up With The Yoga Nomads

We feel extremely fortunate to know Anne and Brandon, aka The Yoga Nomads. We have been friends thru the Yoga Trade community for several years now. This inspiring couple left their successful jobs in Corporate America to follow their passions for yoga and travel. Following their hearts has allowed them to live their truth and create an incredible yoga business resource that helps yoga teachers build fulfilling careers. It has been amazing to learn, grow, and explore while on parallel tracks. The number one question many of us on this ‘yoga traveler’ path receive is, “How do you do it?” It often takes a lot more than just showing up to teach a yoga class to make this kind of lifestyle work. We recently caught up with Anne and Brandon to share some of their wisdom, real life experiences, and insights on how to create sustainable success as a roaming yoga teacher or wellness professional. 

 

Tell us a bit about how you are able to sustain your flow of yoga and travel…

 

Very carefully…!

 

Mentally & Physically:

Healthy daily routines: This is the foundation of everything we do. Without these practices, it can throw our lives off balance, especially while traveling. These include:

Daily meditation, eating nourishing food, staying hydrated, practicing yoga, being physically active, reading, podcasting and in general: learning! (Travel helps us learn so much about the world and ourselves, which influences everything we do!).

 

Financially:

Teaching yoga & The Yoga Nomads biz

In 2013 we made a decision to leave the corporate world for a more fulfilling work/life balance, seeking out meaningful work while getting to explore the world. We worked hard for a combined 10 years in corporate america so had a cushion to work with as we started The Yoga Nomads. Originally a blog showing yoga teachers how to travel + teach, we started making a name for ourselves in the market as this idea was just starting to become popular (traveling and teaching). Since then, our focus has shifted a bit to help yoga teachers create websites and build sustainable businesses. We earn the majority of our income on The Yoga Nomads through 1:1 yoga business coaching and we have an online course about how to build a website.

What is the number one piece of advice you like to pass along to aspiring traveling yoga teachers?

 

Build a website! This will help you stand out in a saturated market, get better teaching gigs abroad, and help you network while you build a business that sustains you as you travel.

 

How do you build community as a nomad?

 

We are both extroverted people so building community wherever we go comes naturally. One way we do this in the yoga space is by seeking out all the studios in the area we are traveling to and getting to know the owners, teachers and staff. We attend their classes, share with them our mission at The Yoga Nomads and ensure we leave connected online by exchanging emails, websites, social media, etc.

 

But because we live in a digital world, building community online is also important. We build community online by staying active on social media (actually genuinely engaging in FB groups, etc.), sending out a weekly newsletter to our email subscribers, and initiating and participating in challenges on social media.

 

Why are the qualities of; open to learn new skills, diversification, and commitment to mindful business responsibilities important for yoga teachers?

 

Because these are all qualities of successful entrepreneurs! And if you want to make it as a financially independent yoga teacher, it’s imperative you start thinking like an entrepreneur. Yoga teachers are entrepreneurs too!

 

 

Becoming ‘location independent’ is so hot right now. Can you share some knowledge on how someone interested in this kind of lifestyle can get started working toward this?

 

 

It is absolutely #trending right now! This makes things easier for those looking to make a change as there are plentiful resources on how to do it.

 

Before considering plunging into a location independent lifestyle, we recommend considering what your strengths are and what you are really good at doing/producing. Then begin to consider if these things are something you can take with you on the road or online.

 

Also, be sure to test the idea out at home first. Make sure you’re able to acquire clients and earn and income before you leave. Although traveling and working sounds amazing, it is actually quite difficult to balance travel and working full-time online. This is also why we highly recommend traveling SLOW. Slow travel fosters quicker growth for your business, as you’re not constantly moving around and changing work environments.

 

What trends and changes do you foresee within the yoga and wellness industry within the next 5-10 years?

 

As more people are getting curious and serious about their health, the industry for yoga teachers and wellness entrepreneurs is going to grow exponentially.

 

To continue to remain successful in your niche, yoga teachers and wellness entrepreneurs will need to take control over their own brand. This means building a website and creating a strong online presence. Having a website as your backbone will allow you to take full ownership over your current or future products and services and will act as your 24/7 marketing machine.

 

Furthermore, the crossover appeal is going to rise as well. With creating a healthy lifestyle becoming more popular (yay), yoga teachers with additional trades (nutritionist, chiropractor, bodyworker, etc.), will be servicing the same people with multiple offerings. The question is how can you be a part of that change as the world gets healthier?

 

What locations are on your current yoga travel bucket list?

 

Colombia, Switzerland, Australia…and more islands…!

 

Anything else you would like to share…..

 

If you don’t already have a yoga website and are curious about what it takes to create one, we put together a beginner’s guide for you, for free!

 

 

 

 

Anne and Brandon are a nomadic yogi couple from Minnesota. After a successful stint in Corporate America, they teach yoga instructors how to create their own website & build a fulfilling yoga career. Co-Founders of The Yoga Nomads and CreateBeautifulYogaWebsites.com

Download our FREE Beginners Guide: How to Create a Yoga Website you LOVE (7 steps).

Why All Traveling Yoga Teachers Need A Website

Becoming a traveling yoga teacher is more accessible than ever before due to resources like the internet and you know, Yoga Trade.

However, there are also way more “traveling yoga teachers” competing for the same opportunities. The “better” the gig, the more competition there is.

How can you stand out?

The most effective way to stand out from the crowd and land your perfect gig abroad – is to create your own website!

Having your own website is the foundation of becoming a successful traveling yoga teacher.

It will not only help you secure great teaching jobs, it will help you build your brand, increase your income, and attract more students wherever you are in the world.

In today’s technology driven world, anyone has the resources to build a website – even you!

So, before you even go there with “not being tech savvy enough” or “not having enough money…”

Websites don’t have to cost you an arm and a leg to get up and running. For real! With platforms like WordPress.org, you can create a beautiful yoga website for as little as $15/month!

And take it from me, the non-tech savvy girl… WordPress makes it super simple to build your own website. However, it does require some patience, an open weekend, and a few cups of tea.

Before I share why traveling yoga teachers need a website, I encourage you to download our FREE Beginners Guide to Creating a Yoga Website you Love (7 Steps). In this beginners guide we’ll walk you through the 7 steps required to create your own yoga website. It’s 100% free. No tech skills required.

Alright here we go, time to share the top 3 reasons why every traveling yoga teacher needs a website.

1) Secure more higher quality teaching gigs

When you become a traveling yoga teacher, getting that first job abroad is as nerve-racking as it is exhilarating! Hitting submit on the application process always leaves me a bit anxious.

Unfortunately, you’re not the only applicant waiting to hear back. With the popularity of traveling and teaching yoga, securing a job is becoming more competitive. Yoga teachers need a way to stand out from the crowd.

Creating your own yoga website will set you apart and play a massive role in securing more and even better yoga jobs abroad.

“These days, it goes a long way to have a solid online presence. Making a website or a resume landing page with great photos and savvy writing can help a lot.”
Erica, Co-founder of YogaTrade.com

When teaching abroad, it’s common not to meet your future employer until you arrive on your first day.

Having a website gives them a chance to see more of who you are and what you’re about.

Your website shows that you’re a committed professional who has the ability to attract more students to whatever studio you’re teaching at. (The studio hiring you cares about this tremendously).

Your website is also your resume – it showcases your teaching experience and credentials, but it also goes a step deeper by showcasing your personal style/brand.

With your own yoga website, your readers are able to get a sense of who you are through the images and content you personally curated to display. This distinguishes you from the rest of yogis applying for the same job.

Bonus: Your website gives you an outlet to share your travels and stories with everyone along the way!

 

2) Connect with yogis worldwide

Connection makes the world go ‘round!

The yogiverse is expanding all over our beautiful planet creating new opportunities to share your gifts with the people who will appreciate them most.

In our digital age, having your own website helps you make connections around the world that would otherwise be impossible. This means more customers, more business partners, and more friends.

How your website can help secure more clients (3 steps):

  1. Get clear on who you’re meant to serve – what is your unique niche/style/brand?
  2. Showcase the “real you” on your website
  3. Your ideal clients can find YOU online by searching your niche (ex: “yoga for surfers”)

Once your ideal clients start finding you, you can build a solid relationship through social media and your email newsletter.

Oh and not to mention, your website is an incredible networking tool!

Your website builds your credibility and shows that you take your yoga business seriously. You can more easily reach out to peers who have similar passions.

By serving a similar community, you have a great excuse to connect with your peers. You can share tips, discuss your challenges, and maybe even work together!

Now that you have a website, you’re “in the game” and there are many ways to collaborate with other website owners.

Also, having your own website allows you start connecting with people that are “out of your league.” Instead of reaching out “blind” – you have a reason to connect AND you can provide them something of value, such as featuring them on your website.  

3) Make some extra cash!

It can be challenging to earn a solid income on the road. Wouldn’t it be great to start earning a little income from your website while traveling?

After creating your website, you can start exploring different ways to “monetize your site.”

Just so we’re clear, just because you have a website doesn’t mean you’ll immediately start earning the big bucks. Creating a sustainable income online requires a consistent effort over time.

In 2014, my partner (Brandon) and I spent the year traveling and teaching yoga throughout Asia. Towards the end of that first year, we started earning enough from TheYogaNomads.com in order to pay for our travels. Whoa. I didn’t think that was possible!

Here are a few ways your website can start earning an income right away:

  1. a) Affiliate Marketing. Affiliate marketing is when you help market another person’s product, for example: your favorite traveling yoga mat. If one of your readers ends up buying the product/service you recommend, then you get a commission (at no extra cost to the person buying it). To get started, I recommend signing up for Amazon’s affiliate program and writing about your favorite yoga gear such as “your favorite traveling yoga mat.”
  2. b) Freelancing. You can get paid to write article for other online publications. Your website acts as an online resume for your previous work which will help you secure more (and higher paid) freelancing gigs. If you have other skills such as social media marketing or web design, you can also leverage your website to secure new clients.
  3. c) Market your own offering. Your website is your 24/7 marketing machine for any product or service you offer. You can share your offerings on your site and even accept payments (social media can’t do that). Products and services to consider: online yoga classes, online courses, yoga products, workshops, retreats, etc.


Let’s wrap up…

If you’re looking to make a successful career being a traveling yoga teacher, having a website is the foundation to your success!

 

Your website helps you secure teaching gigs abroad, network with students/peers, and monetize your website so you’re earning an income while traveling!

 

Before you go, be sure to grab our Beginner’s Guide to Creating a Yoga Website. 100% free.

 

Download this beginners guide to see what it takes to create your own website. It’s easier and (cheaper) than you might think. Join over 3,000+ yoga teachers committed to building a fulfilling business (and life).

 

Cheers to your success!

 

 

Anne is a Co-founder of TheYogaNomads.com and CreateBeautifulYogaWebsites.com – online communities dedicated to helping yoga teachers build profitable and sustainable careers. She’s originally from Minneapolis, but spends half the year teaching yoga abroad in places like Costa Rica and Bali. Download our FREE Beginners Guide: How to Create a Yoga Website you LOVE (7 steps).  

 

 

Love Teaching Yoga

I met Michelle Linane at the Yoga Expo in Santa Clara last summer. Her passion for yoga, business, and life is contagious. We connected right away as we both are devoted to creating more resources for the growing yoga teacher community. Michelle is the Founder of Love Teaching Yoga, a website with an intention to empower yoga teachers – to help them spread the light of yoga in an insightful and informed manner. Here we catch up with Michelle as she shares her story, thoughts, and inspirations. Thanks for shining bright Michelle!!!

Tell us briefly about your yoga background…

 

My journey with yoga began in 2004, when I took my first yoga class, and I’ll admit, I didn’t care for it much at first. However, over the years yoga continued to call my name and I practiced intermittently until I feel in love with it almost 8 years later. Yoga became my saving grace during a time of chaos in my life and it’s forever changed me. One day in early 2013, I woke up to voice that said I had to open a donation-based yoga studio, and I had no choice but to follow it. A few short months later, I opened the doors to Be The Change Yoga & Wellness in San Jose, California.

 

Being that I was not a yoga teacher at the time, my path of being a studio owner was very different than most. I didn’t have a following or a community of teacher friends, so I had to build the studio completely from scratch. I also funded the studio on my own dime, so there wasn’t money for fancy marketing, and I had to boot-strap it with guerilla marketing strategies. I immediately began to flyer at a nearby university, which then lead to private classes for sororities, free classes on the student union lawn, and weekly classes for the baseball team. I regularly had a booth at our local farmers’ market where I raffled off free yoga and collected email signups. I developed a corporate yoga program and hustled my booty off to acquire contracts with local businesses. I even partnered with the city of San Jose to bring community classes to a nearby park in the summers, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. My point, however, is that through this process I learned a great deal about marketing, building community partnerships, and what it takes to thrive in the yoga business. I also learned that you don’t need a studio to bring yoga to your community. In fact, getting outside the studio often has a greater impact as we are more adept to meet people where they are in life (i.e. at home, work, parks, schools, public events, groups and clubs, health fairs, hospitals, online, etc.) and make yoga more accessible.

 

 

What sparked the idea to create the Love Teaching Yoga website?

 

Well, I didn’t mention this in my background story, but I eventually took a 200 hour yoga teacher training with Mark Stephens at Santa Cruz Yoga. Upon completion of the training, my life pulled me in another direction in both my yoga career and personal life. I moved out of the San Francisco Bay Area and transferred ownership of the studio to one of our amazing instructors. Again, I heard a voice of inspiration that I couldn’t deny. Over the years, I had witnessed too many teachers struggle to: pay the bills doing what they love, discover their authentic voice, figure out how to teach more than asana classes, and find accessible/affordable continuing education. I also really missed the schooling and comradery of yoga teacher training, as many teachers do after they finish.

 

Because I had already found myself in positions of mentorship based on my business experience, I began to realize I had something unique to offer teachers that was very much needed. The voice in my heart guided me to create something that would essentially pick up where teacher trainings leave off, providing continued support and education in all aspects of teaching yoga (the art, science AND business of teaching yoga).

 

Reflecting on what I had learned about teaching yoga outside the studio, I knew Love Teaching Yoga didn’t need a brick and mortar space, and it would take the shape of digital guides, books, a podcast, online courses, workshops, coaching and more. It had to be accessible and affordable, which enables me to meet teachers where they are in life and their careers. So, I set to work and have been pouring my heart and soul into this for almost two years now.

michelle4

 

Why do you think so many people are becoming yoga teachers?

 

There’s a variety of factors contributing to the influx of teachers. The first being that simply more people are practicing yoga, which leads to more people who fall in love with it and want share the practice with others by teaching. The growing popularity of yoga also brings and increased need for teachers. Yoga teacher trainings are also great sources of revenue for both studios and teachers, so naturally, there’s a push there to get more yogis enrolled. Additionally, many people have been looking for supplemental income over the years, and have turned to yoga as means of helping others while helping their monthly bills. I should also add, I think there’s an element of trendiness too, sometimes the media paints it as a very glamorous and blissful profession, so many teachers are blindsided by reality of the challenges that exist within it.

 

What are some of the challenges you feel new yoga teachers face today?

 

My answer to this question relates directly to that of the previous question. Many people enter a teacher training without knowing the realities of the profession- blissfully unaware of the low pay, inconsistent and demanding hours (mornings, nights and weekends), growing competition for prime-time classes in studios, and the challenge of finding the time and energy for one’s personal practice. Not to mention the physical and emotional tolls, such as popping in and out of poses to demo and compassion fatigue. And, it’s not only facing this reality that new teachers struggle with, but once they realize it, then it’s even more of a challenge to figure out how to carry on teaching, despite these challenges.

 

Of course there are other challenges too, like understanding their employment status (independent contractor vs. employee), paying their income taxes as a self-employed yoga teacher, finding an insurance policy, and how to gain experience when studios won’t hire you without experience. Without support and advice from experienced teachers and other professionals, these challenges can easily defeat any teacher- which is why I’m here to help through my work with Love Teaching Yoga. I believe in the power of yoga to help heal this world, and I don’t want anyone to veer from the path of teacher because they needed help navigating the terrain.

 

How do you feel about the concept of mixing business and yoga?

 

I think business and yoga are like yin and yang- seemingly opposing forces that are interconnected and complimentary. Like I said, I deeply believe in the power of yoga to help heal this world, which means the wisdom has to be brought to the masses, and that takes some business know-how. An unfortunate side-effect of bringing anything to the masses is that some will take advantage of it for their own greedy, capital gain. Sadly, this is happening in yoga and part of the reason mixing business and yoga gets a bad rap. However, doing business doesn’t have to be aggressive and greedy, and we can operate our yoga businesses according to the yogic principals of honesty and ahimsa.

 

The thing is, we’re experiencing a shift in modern yoga. Where the ancient practice was once a school of thought or tradition handed down through scriptures and spiritual teachings, the form of yoga today takes a much different shape today. While it remains true, that at the heart of we are teaching is transformation from within, we live in societies that reflect a different way of life than the ancient teachers of the past. We have to earn an income through our work, whether that’s teaching yoga or working an office job.

 

Think of it like putting on your oxygen mask before assisting others. If you don’t put your mask on first (i.e. earn a viable living to support yourself), you won’t be as apt to help all those people who need you, because you’ll have to spend 40 hours a week at another job that pays your bills. Being business-savvy is what helps keep modern yoga teachers in the game, you can’t survive these days off simply being a great teacher. We have TONS of great teachers. Developing some business skills will help any teacher maximize their time and talent to make a bigger impact on the world.

“Business skills are the missing ingredients to on-going success for many teachers. Passion without a plan, without action, and without hard work won’t produce your dream career. Lucky for you, passion isn’t something you can learn, but business is.”

– The Thriving Yoga Teacher: How To Create A Sustainable Career Doing What You Love

Do you know many full time yoga teachers who are sustaining themselves just by teaching, or do most teachers have other jobs or businesses that supplement?

 

I actually know quite a few teachers who earn a full-time income from teaching yoga. However, they currently are not the majority, as the average teacher has at least one other job. BUT, I’m happy to say the scales are shifting as more teachers develop the skills it takes to thrive.

michelle2

 

Was “The Thriving Yoga Teacher: How To Create A Sustainable Career Doing What You Love” your first book? Can you tell us a little bit about the process of writing it?

 

I’d say yes, it’s my first book in the traditional meaning, but I also wrote a guidebook to incomes taxes for yoga teachers in 2015 (more info here). The guidebook is only available in digital form and is much shorter, so it took a lot less time and energy. To my surprise, writing The Thriving Yoga Teacher turned out to be an arduous process.

 

It began like most creative endeavors, full of ideas and motivation. Like writing out a sequence, I first started with my intention. Why was I writing this book and what did I want teachers to gain from it? This came naturally and was very inspiring. I knew I wanted to incorporate real life stories from a variety of teachers, so the second phase was about conducting interviews, which was also super fun. The challenges started to arise once I had to unravel my spaghetti bowl full of ideas and research, and map out an outline that would make sense to a teacher at any stage of their career. Once I got that mess sorted out, the process got easier again and I eagerly began writing the actual content. Naturally, I spent the most time in this phase, regularly clocking 12 hours a day on my laptop. By the end, my body was a wreck and I was so happy to wrap up the writing. I guess what I’m getting at is, like most things in life, the energy ebbed and flowed. There were times I loved it, and times I hated it. There were moments I second guessed myself mixed with moments of certainty. Nevertheless, I ventured on and today I can say it’s helping hundreds of teachers around the globe.

 

What are your definitions of ‘THRIVING’ and ‘SUSTAINABLE’?

 

The common definition of thrive is to grow vigorously, but when referencing a teacher’s career, I use the word thrive to mean flourish. It would be a disservice to teachers, if I simply focused on rapid growth. My intention is for teachers to flourish and experience luscious growth- growth that is continuous, steady and rich with intention, purpose and dharma. A thriving yoga teacher doesn’t merely scrape by, but experiences wealth of abundance in all aspects of their career. In a similar sense, I use the word sustainable to represent that continuous and steady growth that is manageable, yet prosperous for a lifetime.

michelle2

If you could inspire all new yoga teachers with one sentence, what would it be?

 

In the wise words of a courageous little fish Dori, “just keep swimming”.

 

Anything else you would like to share?

 

Ask for help, and know that you don’t have to do this alone. Build a support system of teachers around you in-person and online. Start a teacher meetup and join teacher Facebook groups. Explore the wide range of resources at your fingertips to support your growth and development, such as Love Teaching Yoga. Find a mentor or coach who can help keep you on track and share insight beyond your knowledge.

And have courage- which doesn’t mean be fearless. Being courageous means choosing to act even in the presence of fear. While the advice of myself and others is a tremendous resource, it still comes down to you. No one has a magic formula that will create your ultimate dream career teaching yoga. You have to find the courage within to put yourself out there and do the work. This world needs healing, and this world needs you.

 

 

 

michelle3

 

 

Michelle Linane is a yoga lover, student and teacher. Over the years, her love for yoga has transformed into a deep passion for helping fellow teachers. She’s the author of The Thriving Yoga Teacher: How To Create A Sustainable Career Doing What You Love, the host of the Love Teaching Yoga Podcast and the creator of the Love Teaching Yoga website, a growing library of online resources to help yoga teachers refine their skills and build their careers. She’s also the founder of Be The Change Yoga & Wellness, a donation-based studio in California. With a strong community focus, Michelle took yoga outside the studio walls and brought yoga programs to local parks, schools and businesses. Michelle wholeheartedly believes in these words from Robert John Meehan, “The most valuable resource that all teachers have is each other. Without collaboration, our growth would be limited to our own perspective.”

It’s All About Balance: Yoga Business

Many full time yoga and wellness professionals support themselves by combining their teaching and healing trades with good business. This can be tricky as the philosophies of yoga and business can sometimes seem to contradict each other. I know a lot of new yoga teachers who teach part time and have other jobs they want to leave but are not ready to commit to jumping into making teaching yoga their only source of income. Also, I have a lot of creative and entrepreneurial minded friends who want to branch out and start their own business and could really benefit from accessible educational groups. It is all about perspective:  Starting a yoga business can be a great life teacher and adventure. Like most things, it’s about balance and how we approach it. The number of yoga and wellness professionals continues to rise and we are beginning to see more creative resources pop up for those in the industry. At times, it can seem overwhelming having a yoga business, but we must remember we don’t need to take on all the responsibility ourselves. Seeking community support, partnering up with people with complimentary skills, and having a passion to continue to learn new thing is key. I recently met Melissa Leger at a yoga training at Yandara in Baja, Mexico. We spent a lot of intimate time together as most people do at yoga intensives and was able to get to know her on a meaningful level as well as learn about exciting projects going on in her life. We share many commonalities in the journey of  finding the balance with yoga and business. Melissa recently launched The Smart Yoga Teacher, a business resource for yoga professionals. Here we learn her story and dive into the benefits of this community resource.
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What is your yoga story?

I started yoga in college in about 16 years ago to cross train.  However, it was very much a work out mentality. I did it off and on but it wasn’t until I had a bout of depression where I really understood it was more than just asana. During the depression, I was very aware of it, I tried everything: self help books, astrology, staying busy, meeting new people, hobbies, exercise….but every day I would have the uncontrollable urge to cry and felt incredibly lonely. On another self help kick, I felt like I needed more exercise and bought a Groupon and practiced consistently at a studio for 30 days. I liked the exercise so I kept going and about 3 months in, I noticed a lot of those negative feelings went away. They were and are still there on occasion but without realizing it I learned the tools to witness emotion instead of overcoming them. I then pursued my 200 hour training which had a heavy focus on mindfulness and yoga therapy and in changed both myself and my practice. I completed my 300 hour yoga teacher recently which is a good reminder who we are is always evolving in our practice as we move through life.

Tell us about your passion for business…

Ah, my passion for business. I am a creative person but not in terms of being an artist. I like to think creatively and I love a challenge which works great in business. I love creating something out of nothing and enriching people’s lives. To be honest, I like making money too. Not in a greedy sort of way but I find a lot of ease in not having to think about bills and struggling. For me, it’s a lot more fun and useful to work hard in a way I want to share good things with the world than to have the stress of not knowing if I can pay my bills.
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What is the vision at The Smart Yoga Teacher?

Some people are natural mothers, artists, athletes…I’m naturally inclined for business with a background in it and I also enjoy it. However, that’s not the case for a lot of people, in particular, natural healers that tend to come into teaching yoga. I’d like to create an educational resource that has a lot of free ways to learn from people who have “made it” in the yoga industry using the language and values that make sense to us. This doesn’t mean they are millionaires, though that would be nice, but they can support themselves and their families with their yoga career whether it be the main source of income or added to other desirable streams of income. Right now we have the blog which features a lot of tips, templates, and some how to videos from my experience. On the podcast, I interview other yoga pros doing different things in the industry and are supporting themselves. We also have a Facebook group where people can learn from each other. Long term, I’d like to see some offline and online courses but ideally we’re all earning from each other in our language while living yoga.

As a yoga teacher yourself, what resources for yoga teachers do you feel are lacking?

Business for sure. Yoga Alliance only requires 2 hours with a maximum of 5 in yoga teacher teacher trainings. That’s not enough. I have an M.B.A., was in the military, and worked in finance for 8 years and it’s still tough for me. People expect to be able to teach and start a career after yoga teacher training yet they’re very ill prepared for business side. Unless they are an employee, there’s very few full time yoga positions out there. Not only do we have to know about business but entrepreneurship specifically. There’s a technical and a very scary and challenging emotional side that isn’t talked about enough. Adding on to that, I think there’s a lack of community when it comes to business and yoga. Sometime it’s by nature from the individual teacher but also from a fear of competition. There’s competition out there but competition doesn’t have to create fear or a sense of lack. I’d like to see more resources to create community for yoga professionals where everyone’s connecting, sharing, and helping out communities together not separately.

How do you think ‘living yoga’ can improve businesses, organizations, and communities?

This is huge. As yogis, the 8 limbs can really help us with running our businesses ethically yet abundantly. The yamas and niyamas in particular are amazing when it comes to business. They can be our compass when we go through the peaks and valleys of running a business: being happy with wherever we’re at, how to communicate with people, what’s appropriate behavior in the workplace, setting boundaries with ourselves, clients, and employees, creating positive work environments, maintaining balance…I can go on forever.
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Any tips on how we can maintain balance between utilizing the internet as a resource and finding presence offline?

Turn off all notifications! Seriously. There’s nothing so important that happens on your phone that can’t wait until you make time for it to be present. I think the internet is a great place to connect but it can also be a place to escape from our communities and relationships around us. Set time aside specifically for business and do the work then enjoy your life. I’ve started turning off my phone or leaving it behind when I’m not working because it’s such a distraction from life.

What do you believe is in store for the yoga industry over the next 10 years?

Business wise, there’s going to be more opportunity and also more competition. Some people fear competition but the people who are successful understand it’s a natural part of business. We’ll see yoga in a lot more places outside of the yoga studio and more teachers. The ones that will do well are the ones that don’t undervalue themselves because they can sustain themselves and continue to become a better teacher. There will be a lot more online learning, just like other industries, but physical classes will be just as in demand for the energy, personal attention, and community.

What is your definition of success?

In business, I would say being able to support ourselves financially and love what we do. In life, understanding ourselves and really owning it.

Anything else you would like to share?

Most people who succeed in business are the ones that failed more often than others. The reason people become successful is because they believe so much in their path that they don’t quit. Take action, keep trying, fail more often, and keep going!
 
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Melissa Leger is the founder of The Smart Yoga Teacher, Ignite Your Bliss, and a yoga instructor. After a career in the Army and finance, she began to feel the pressures of mindlessly achieving more but having a constant feeling of emptiness. Through her yoga practice and eventually her teacher training, she began to feel alive, empowered, and aware. She completed her Yoga Teacher Training in 2012 at Mindful Yoga Academy in Spain, Level I of Blooma’s Prenatal Yoga Teacher Training, and Level I of Yoga Gangsters training working with At Risk Youth, and is completing her 500 hour training at Yandara Institute in Mexico. She also owns Green Locus Yoga in Tampa, Florida which aims to make yoga accessible to the community regardless of age, body type, or ability. She loves cooking meals, traveling, and spending time with her dogs and husband.

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6 Steps to Land a Yoga Job Overseas

It can be nerve-wracking applying for an exotic yoga teaching job. It can also be kind of boring, monotonous and confusing. For me, the first Yoga Trade application process was filled with thoughts like these: “Well… I’ve only been teaching for a year, am I qualified?” “I’m sure there are so many people who want to apply. Is it even worth it?” “On the other hand, maybe nobody wants to teach in Costa Rica this year. I should probably just be super casual about it… Right?” Maybe you feel the same.

Well, whether you’re full of optimism or feel like you don’t stand a chance, here are 6 simple steps that can help you land a yoga job overseas.

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams…”

1. Choose wisely

You can’t have your dream job if you aren’t a little bit selective. Finding an intention for your time abroad will help you narrow things down. What is your aim? Is it to serve? Maybe, you want to work at an eco lodge associated with an animal rescue. Do you want to focus on living a more sustainable life? A permaculture resort and farm could be a great place for you to learn more. Do you just want a break, solace, refuge and spiritual reboot? Perhaps, you should look into a quiet retreat center with vegetarian food and daily meditations. This intention will carry you through all of the decisions you make. So, find your cushion, sit down, close your eyes, breathe deep and get clear.

 

2. Express yourself with a vision board

It all starts by giving the person on the other end of the computer screen a clear and personal view of the amazing you. Think back on the intention you set above. Pick 3-8 images that visually express your vibe along with the intention for your time abroad. These can be anything. Use patterns, places, faces, art, etc. Then, find some words to describe yourself(i.e. fun, artsy, silly, spiritual, calm). Lastly, pick 3 colors repeated in the imagery above. You can print images out and pin them to your wall or create a digital collage. While this may seem arbitrary at first, it’s so important for the look and feel of your brand. If you don’t decide what your aesthetic is, Microsoft Word will decide it for you and no one wants that.

Below is an example of a vision board that I created for my most recent trip to Costa Rica. The words I used were service, peace and adventure.

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3. Turn those images into an awesome resume

A clear, concise and beautiful resume is key for showcasing all you have to offer. To turn your brand into a resume, I recommend using a site called Canva for simple and eye-catching designs. Check out their Resume Guide, to start designing your resume. The key is customizing all of the info and styles to fit your look. Maybe the words you used above were fun, silly, and simple. To visually translate these words, you might want to pick two fonts, a standard like Helvetica for the body and a more whimsical font for your headlines. You could change each headline to be one of your brand colors or use colorful shapes to outline your headings. Keep playing until you’re happy with the result.

It’s worth noting that a web presence in the form of a simple three page website with your info, photos and experience can be a way to showcase all of the above in a professional and interactive format.

Not sure what to include on your resume? Here’s a link to check out, http://www.iseek.org/jobs/resumecontents.html. Make sure to include any additional information that could qualify you, for example languages you speak and courses/workshops that you’ve taken.

 

4. Update your Yoga Trade profile

Input your basic info, experience and qualifications on your profile. Linking a Facebook profile isn’t a bad idea either. The more info you give, the better. This saves miscommunication open both ends and creates a better fit. Make sure to have a high quality photo for your profile picture, a yoga shot with some personality and a view of your beautiful face.

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5. Be intentional and purposeful in your interactions with future employers

When intentions aren’t aligned, you won’t get the most out of your experience, and when you’re job fishing, your intention won’t come across clearly. After visiting the opportunities website, tailor your application message to specifically address whomever is receiving along with what has brought you to them. It could look something like this, “Dear Ocean Sol Resort – I am very interested in traveling to Costa Rica. I have a love for all things sustainable. I see from your website that you have a farm, composting toilets, and rainwater harvesting. I would love to see how it all works and learn from you during my time abroad.” Keep it short and super sweet.

 

6. Polish out the details

Reread the posting for details about requirements and timing. If the posting wants an individual who is fluent in Spanish and available for mid-May, your availability in June and your desire to learn Spanish isn’t exactly what that posting is looking for. Not saying it won’t work out, but you will probably need to make a strong case to be considered. Be professional and personable in all your emails and proofread, please.

When you’re finished, do a quick overview of everything to check for balance. Make sure you connect your high-up dreams and aspirations with a down low groundedness and clarity of your skills. How do you hope to show up emotionally and practically everyday?

Yep, you may have a lot to work on and that’s okay! Good things take time, energy and attention. Let me know if you have any questions by commenting below and share this article with a friend who could use a little motivation to get going.

“… Live the life you have imagined.” – Henry David Thoreau

 

 

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Meg Jamison is a yoga teacher, brand designer, and Spirit follower. Meg loves helping others uncover their incredible story and using their skills to be of service. Connect with her at megjamison.co and on follow her journey on Instagram @megjam_.

iamVibes

There is definitely a positive shift happening on this planet. We are seeing more and more people and businesses beginning to live and act with a deep awareness for our Mother Earth. Here in this talking story, we are fortunate enough to catch up with Tom Hardless, the Founder of the uplifting brand, iamVibes. iamVibes creates amazing and empowering yoga wear, promotes a healthy and conscious lifestyle & community, and inspires people to become the best versions of themselves. Thanks for inspiring Tom! 

 

Tell us about the vision at iamVibes…

 

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The vision at iamVibes is to project a creative frequency that inspires the Protection & Alignment of one’s Mind, Heart, Body and Spirit, in the hope that our followers and customers can be uplifted to create and inspire others. Further more, my sacred intention behind all I create is to uplift and bring light and healing to the female pain body.

How does your clothing embody “living yoga”?

To me, embodying yoga is about taking the blocks, struggles and strengths from your practice and seeing how they are mirrored in your every day life.  iamVibes serves as a symbolic reminder to remain present in your Yoga, day to day. Our Hamsa symbol we manifested holds such a powerful energy and aesthetic, we hope when it is worn or gazed upon it is like a remembering or affirmation to bring you back into a sacred state of being in all you do.

What do you do to help the planet/how can we all live a little bit more sustainable?

 

As a small brand it is always hard to be sustainable when starting out due to costs and margins but luckily within the realm of iamVibes we use Organic Cotton, Tencel &vibes4 Bamboo based fabrics on all the basics which are produced in Fair wear trade factories. To play my part in the healing of the female energy on the planet I also give £3 of every online purchase to EQUALITY NOW who are actively enhancing the rights for females internationally .

Personally, I am more sustainable within myself by adopting a fully plant based diet. You will be blown away by how much pollution, water waste and deforestation is coursed by the agriculture of animals. As a note, livestock and their byproducts account for at least 32,000 million tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, or 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emissions. Once I looked into this information it really made me realize driving an eco friendly car or wearing sustainable products was only a small part of the puzzle. To really make change we must adapt what we consume in a more conscious and sacred way.

 

How do you motivate positive change?

 

I motivate positive change through all my creative outlets and being vulnerable with my vibes2thoughts, feelings, emotions and perspective on life in all I do.
Within iamVibes, I make sure it is a hub of inspiration with the OUR SOCIETY PAGE as well as being as transparent as possible with my intentions. With the physical clothing, each piece I create acts as a “robe” of positivity you put on to shine brightly in the world.
To support this motivation further I also create music through IAMVIBES MUSIC, these are my physical vibrations I am putting out into the world which hope to open up hearts or simply help ones mind transcend to another place for just a moment.
Recently I have been diving into the world of Art and bringing canvas to life with my energy. Soon I hope I will be able to share this art and send it out to those who find inspiration, comfort and love within the pieces.
As a creative who creates only with light I believe it is my duty to share all I do from a humble place to inspire positive change.  IAMVIBES 🙂 & SO ARE YOU

Who or what inspires you?

Everyone always says LIFE is inspiring and I believe that to be a given but My inspiration is found inside life. Not the physical life we experience day to day but the FORCE behind life, the energy that drives it and manifests LIFE into being. The ripples of light and darkness that have be traveling before this life I am experiencing today. The visions, the thoughts and feelings I experience when diving into my self, and being open to seeing others really inspires me to be a sword of light amongst the choppy waters of life.

 

vibes1Tom Hardless is the Founder of iamVibes. The purpose of iamVibes is to be a beneficial presence on the planet. The greatest contribution is the message iamVibes delivers, which uplifts the hearts and minds of those touched by the brand. By promoting a healthy conscious lifestyle, as a fashionable pop-culture trend, iamVibes inspires society to strive towards becoming the best version of themselves. The symbol came first in a meditation and healing session. The business came later when Tom chose to use clothing as the medium to communicate his purpose. Every thread of IAM VIBES is infused with the intention to PROTECT, ALIGN, CREATE.iamvibes

http://www.iamvibes.co.uk/

iamVibes is offering the Yoga Trade community a 15% Discount code – WEAREVIBES