i’ll admit, i’ve been called a lot of things in my day–mostly behind my back–but the one thing that kills me every time is when people (let’s call them yoga instructors) accuse me of being (brace yourself) a businesswoman. usually in the form of “you think this is a business! it’s not! it’s yoga!” oh, and the reason it kills me is not as in “i die a little death each time i hear it”, but rather “i almost die laughing when it’s said.”
okay, i’ll put my cards on the table. yoga is my practice. yoga is my love. yoga is my life.
and yoga is my business.
it never ceases to amaze me the lack of business sense i encounter throughout this industry that you can’t dare to call a business.
here’s the thing that my accusers don’t understand:
business (yoga or otherwise) is rooted in the concept of integrity, responsibility and respect for oneself and for others. that means among other things: showing up on time, returning all phone calls, emails, and texts, and upholding contracts and obligations.
a yogi/ni is a businessperson because s/he respects other people’s time. if someone sets an appointment or wants a response at a certain time, the yogi/ni is there. s/he is not telling others to “just chill” and “everything is fine…i’ll get to it when i get to it.”
a yogi/ni is a businessperson because s/he respects other people’s needs. if someone tries to call, email or text, it’s because that person would like the courtesy of a response. it is disrespectful not to respond to other people’s inquiries…in a timely fashion and without having to be asked twice. cereal is meant to be flaky. yogi/nis aren’t.
a yogi/ni is a businessperson because s/he upholds all contracts and obligations…period. if it’s in writing, in a handshake, or in a namaste, an agreement is not only legally binding, it’s morally binding, as well. “oh…i didn’t actually read it” is not an acceptable excuse.
so, you can accuse me of my business-y ways as much as you want. bottom line is, i respect all people at all times, i immediately respond to 100% of the messages i receive, i uphold all schedules, contracts, and obligations, i am 100% honest and transparent in the way i conduct my yoga business, and ultimately, the thing i’m called the most is still “yogini”.