How is it that I came to teach Yoga success? Why am I qualified? Did I figure out something that other teachers don’t know?
How is it that I came to teach Yoga success?
I have been involved in Yoga since my first Yoga class in 1982! Since then I have traveled far and wide to find great teachers, deepen my studies and practices and to grow as a teacher. I have traveled to India more than a dozen times over these last 25 years, I opened a Yoga school in LA in 1996, I have steadily taught amazing private clients for decades and have traveled the world teaching workshops and in Teacher Trainings. I was in Yoga at the pre-boom and benefitted with many opportunities to teach and share and earn a nice living. I stretched my skills beyond teaching into opening a school, incorporating a business as a teacher, and moving into wellness, blogging, professional writing, and starting a YouTube channel (9 years ago when YT was still in its infancy).
Why am I qualified?
12 years ago (that sounds like a long time ago) I went through some unplanned-for life events; this includes a divorce, death of a step-parent, death of my father, leaving my home in Hawaii and relocating to my beloved New York City. This all happened in the years 2008 to 2009 – during the time of a major economic collapse. I could see the pending collapse of Yoga bundled up in that collapse. Although all around it certainly looked like Yoga was booming; think Lululemon, gym Yoga, Yoga schools popping up everywhere, and an abundance of newbie teachers enrolling in and spilling out of 200-hr Teacher Trainings worldwide. Of course, the Yoga world was changing, and yes, it was becoming mainstream. But isn’t that what we had always hoped? We started out there on the edge, on the nitty-gritty periphery and we were super passionate about Yoga and toiling away at learning something most people were just NOT interested in. It is said that Yoga is a radical path. And it felt radical. Our era of teachers was part of the swell that moved Yoga to the mainstream. So now Yoga is mainstream. Yeah, us! And here in today’s mainstream, the whole economy of learning and earning has changed. Ask any Yoga teacher and they will tell you this. Over and over again.
Yoga-teacher-hopefuls are taking trainings, and new-to-Yoga-teachers are opening Yoga studios. Meanwhile, the pioneering mega-yoga schools of the past 25 years are closing locations, scaling back, or shutting down altogether. Folks who are in Trainings right now or just opening studios are inspired by a myth of a Yoga heyday, a Golden Age, which is, sadly no more. They are moving along ephemeral paths of “what once was” or “what is supposed to be” without the refresh that it is a whole new economy and requires skills beyond what they likely have trained in to be where they dream to be.
Did I figure out something that other teachers don’t know?
Yes, I did. I figured out a lot. Much of it was born from my experience as a Yoga school founder, a high-level private teacher in Hollywood, a globe traveling teacher, as well as teaching Yoga in non-Yoga classroom settings and to atypical Yoga students like individuals with MS, and communities with Spinal Cord Injury.
I said earlier that I could see the pending Yoga economy collapse – well not only could I see it – I felt it. And it hit me hard. A super swank Yoga studio I taught at went out of business as it looked to be booming. A year or so later, I had a lucrative and respected Yoga gig at an international Yoga outpost in New York City, and I probably had the most Yoga pedigree there (years of teaching, study in India, studies in Sanskrit, school founder etc) but it was painfully clear that meant very little. And after pouring my energy and heart into the students and the program – I was fired. I got the axe. Finito.
And it hurt. I mean it really hurt. But I will tell you what I did NOT do. I did NOT say, don’t worry something else will come along, or, just have faith in your dharma, it will all work out. No. I. Did. NOT. Say, That.
I said, hey Kiki, you knew the Yoga world was tumbling down. So pick yourself up, and figure out how the “f” you are going to earn a real-life grown-up, adult living. So I went to a career coach. Yes. You read that right. I did. And the career coach said to me, I don’t usually tell people EXACTLY what to do BUT you are so clearly a coach, I am going to tell you exactly what to do. Go to NYU, enroll in their professional Executive Coaching program and get started now.
Could I afford it?
How often do I drop an $800 course in a shopping cart? And then to do that 8 more times over the next 2 years? If I had said, I don’t have “the money”. Well, I can tell you no doubt, that today, I would not have “the money”.
So did I do what the coach said to do?
Yes. That is exactly what I did. (I used a credit card which was a great use of credit BTW). The program kicked my butt. I learned so much. I honestly was surprised I had gotten as far as I had in the world with such major knowledge gaps! I mean I trained as a performing artist, a dancer, a writer, an actor, and I trained in Yoga and I figured out a lot of stuff. But at NYU I learned new skillsets and amazing facilitation techniques as well as how to create personalized offerings and agreements with clients. All this changed my professional life and how I worked with others to transform their lives in a massive way. But I was able to grow, even more, to open up new paths because I began to work with a coach. And since then…many coaches. Every new pinnacle I reach is with a coach at my side guiding and encouraging me to skills, opportunities, and ways of seeing that I lack. And then my world of possibilities opens up even wider. As does the impact, income, and joy I experience.
So, yes, I figured out something that other teachers don’t know
Due to my extensive Yoga experience that spans decades and rounds out beyond what masterful in-class teachers know AND then learning success tools, systems, and strategies, and implementing these over and over under the tutelage of great coaches… It is not a brag but probably just facts, that I figured out something(s) lots of other Yoga teachers have not. Yet.
Why do Yoga teachers resist learning the very things that can bring them their greatest teaching joy?
If you have read this far, perhaps you have an answer to this question. Let me know. Here’s mine.
Yoga practices teach us to sit with suffering. And so we sit with the suffering of half-lotus or full lotus as we practice our Yoga breath, and guide our steadying mind and gaze to shift the nervous system (where all the Yoga happens) and we find our way to the other side of suffering. This is the beauty of the adapting capacity of humans (and all living beings). And so it seems to me, Yoga practitioners almost take comfort in suffering, it is so familiar, and there is an association that if I just sit and suffer a little longer, I will cross to the other side. But in truth, sitting in the suffering of NOT earning a living, the suffering of financial stress and fear for your financial future will not shift the nervous system to a solution, rather it will impact the nervous system with extreme stress that erodes wellbeing and health. What will shift Yoga teachers from the suffering of not earning? Learn the skills and tools for earning and career success. And as diligently as Yoga practitioners implement their Yoga practices, they can now implement success strategies and systems. And begin to live their dream Yoga Teaching life and lifestyle.
Learn more about what I do by clicking here. And apply to work with me. It will be amazing. Your community is waiting for your gifts.
“Once I joined the program I realized she had left no stone unturned. If you want to take the next step forward in your business and want to know everything is touched upon, talked about…she’s got it, she’s got everything that anyone could really ask for.” – Janay, Idaho