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Posts Tagged ‘yamas and niyamas’

You know how you always hear about those teachers who got into yoga as a way to “leave the corporate world behind?”  Yeah.  That was me.  Pretty much.  I’m sure, if you asked, the Corporate World would say that I was the one who got left behind.  But that’s all water under the bridge now.  If I got left, I was glad enough to let it go.  I was glad to be away from people I couldn’t trust and who, in turn, refused to trust me.  I was sick of the cutthroat, type-A business person mold.

Now here’s a cat I probably shouldn’t let out of its bag.  The worst-kept secret in the yoga biz.  All that stuff?  The backstabbing and mistrust and office politics?  Still see it.  Every day.  Every.  Single.  Day. 

I thought that being a yoga teacher was all hugs and namastes and organic smoothies and mala beads.  That’s why I never had any ambition about owning my own studio.  All I wanted was to wrap my students up in the warm embrace of yoga and let someone else keep the books.

I recently left a studio that I love, love, loved.  The most beautiful studio ever.  It was my home in so many ways.  But I left.  I gave up my wonderful students and my flexible schedule.  Because one day the owner, a type-A of the worst kind, shoved a nasty contract in my face.  A non-compete.  She wanted me to sign away my freedom.  And I almost did.  Until the course of one long conversation, when we were negotiating these new terms, and she threw the yamas and niyamas in my face.  As if I were doing something questionable or immoral.  I was completely floored and hurt and insulted and all that old angry stuff came rushing back.

She was the one who scheduled me for an 8-week session, took my time and rearranged my schedule, and then cancelled on me and lied about the reason.  She said that it was simply cancelled, not gonna happen.  And then let another teacher (who, coincidentally I’m sure, had signed her contract without question) have the class.  I let it go with grace.  And then she had the nerve to say that I needed to look into the yamas and niyamas.  Why?  Because I don’t think that I should be barred from conducting business within a 10-mile radius of the studio when I only live 1 mile away?  Because I don’t want to give the studio a cut of the private lessons that I arranged with my own advertising dollars, on my own time, completely independent of them?  That makes me suspect?

So I ended up declining the contract and leaving.  On my terms, which was nice.  But that of course meant leaving my students and my income.  So I’m having some adventures now trying to go it alone.  But it’s all good.  It’s all for learning.  And I’ve rid myself not only of an unhealthy working relationship but also of a potentially harmful expectation.  The work might be doing good but a job is a job.

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