Questions, questions, questions… As a yoga teacher in New York for almost 12 years these are questions I can’t help but to ponder. Prices of classes and pay have not changed much over the years.
It’s clear that because studios strive to make yoga “affordable”, they often falter on having to pay teachers less in order to sustain and keep their doors open.
Understanding that, I begin to wonder, is it our jobs as teachers and studio owners, to teach not only about their bodies, but to help them understand the worth of their practice that equals a more sustainable monetary value?!
This conversation goes deep and I could go on, about studio policies and the “real” business of yoga. But simply put, we need to start valuing ourselves at a higher caliber! We know the value of yoga and all it’s benefits. It's on us as an industry to teach students that their practice has the same value of the other beauty/wellness treatments they pay for. So why not take your experience into consideration, not your training(s), but actual in-studio experience to base your rates on, except nothing less. We ALL do better when we ALL claim the value that yoga and other movement modalities truly offer.
I mean, have you checked the cost of a massage, getting your lashes or nails done?! Hell, you can’t even go out for drinks without spending at least $50. So why should we cheapen our services?? Food for thought is all…NO more $10-20 classes?!
And I know what you’re thinking… “I believe yoga should be accessible to all.” and you’re not wrong for that thinking. But take a moment to consider why you feel that way. You may realize you want it to be accessible because you understand its value and how it improves your life. In that case, I beg the question “Don’t you feel better when you look better?”, the answer is yes. Well with that truth, why not salons and spas offer their services at a discount or reduced rate so that we might all benefit from feeling better?!
The simple answer is because it is not sustainable and they understand the value and how it improves your overall well being. There’s an old saying that goes “you teach people how to treat you” and it is sooooo true. Because we are an industry, it’s something we must do as a whole. Some teachers are full-time and making minimum wage; for the preparation and hours of work is just not feasible.
The world has changed gravely over the past four years, it’s been interesting to see the shift in attending students, and that with all we have been through and all that yoga has gotten us through that the value has not increased. This must change.