Yoga and money: an emotive subject

It’s been so wonderful to spend almost two weeks at The Sanctuary but all good things must come to an end. As I jumped into a boat to take me back to Had Rin, my new found friends waved me off from the shallows on the beach. What a farewell. I’m now writing this waiting for a 50-minute ferry to Koh Samui where I’ll start a five-week 500 hour yoga training course with Absolute Yoga.

When I mentioned this course to people at The Sanctuary, it was very devisive. Some were intrigued and had heard good things about their training, others hadn’t heard of them, and some were very opinionated indeed.

Just by looking at the Absolute website, it’s clear to see that they’re very commercial. They have studios all over Thailand. The fact that I’ll be doing a module on ‘The Business of Yoga’ makes it as clear as day. I mentioned this to one of the yoga teachers at The Sanctuary and she went off on one about how she learnt to teach from an Indian Swami who refused to take any money from her. She thinks it’s terrible that a company in Germany now calls itself a ‘yoga company’ because it offers staff a class at lunchtime (I saw where she was coming from). It is certainly an emotive subject in yoga circles.

Now I wouldn’t say that I’m very commercially-minded and I have written about this before. I know the basics having working in marketing but I completed my first teacher training at an ashram in the Himalayas. I know a bit about where it all comes from and the intention behind it – I love it all and I try to be a bit yogic in my approach to life.

I don’t know if I’ll teach full time on my return to the UK but what I do know is that I’d rather not be out of pocket having taught a class to eager, stressed Londoners. If I pick up a few tips from that particular module then that’s great.

I’m also really looking forward to Carlos Pomeda’s module on yoga philosophy, having taken a workshop with him in London a few years ago. He is a totally inspiring and engaging speaker.

Right, well the ferry’s leaving in an hour and I fancy a pad thai. I’ll keep you posted about the course.

What do you guys think about making money from yoga? Is it a possible job or would you rather not rely on it to pay your bills?

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