My Netflix for this month is catching up on episodes of “Once Upon A Time”. It’s fun to watch all the characters come to life in new ways, while also being able to recognize who they are, often even before their name is given.

And it made me think of the fairy tale of the yoga teacher.

You know the one… It goes something like this:

Once upon a time, there was an individual who went to a yoga class and fell in love…. with his/her mat. And all the asanas and stories and philosophies that went along with his/her practice.

So s/he decided to explore further and become a yoga teacher. Bright eyed and open minded, s/he was going to change the world through his/her practice and teaching of yoga.

And for some, that tale holds true.

For many however, reality hits. They realize that teaching yoga isn’t just about showing up at a studio and teaching to get a paycheck but there’s actually SO MUCH MORE that is necessary in order to be successful.  And to change the world. Or at least, their little corner of it.

They realize this isn’t a fairy tale – the happy ending doesn’t just happen at the end of their 200 hour yoga teacher training – the real work is actually just beginning.

Myths and fairy tales won’t get us very far…

Being a yoga teacher is a CAREER choice and, what many don’t realize is… it’s a BUSINESS. And for most, it actually borders on, or is fully vested in, entrepreneurship.

And not everyone is prepared to do what it takes to be an entrepreneur.  Or even to know what it takes to be an entrepreneur.

Learning how to run a business – even if it’s a business of ONE – is one of the first steps you should take when you choose to become a yoga teacher.

One of the next questions to ask yourself is – How can I go ABOVE AND BEYOND for those I support, on and off the mat, so they will succeed – personally and professionally?

Because in asking this question, the likelihood of YOU succeeding – along with the business and students that you’re contracted with succeeding — becomes exponentially more probable.

Yet, sometimes, we forget to ask that question, we forget that it’s not really about us but about the bigger picture…

Have you ever said, “That’s not my job” or “I’ll do this but not that”?

When I was in my 20’s and 30’s, working regular day jobs, I knew that my time was coming to an end at the company when I no longer wanted to go above and beyond to support the business and see it succeed. When I felt like I was digging my heels into the sand and on the verge of saying – “That’s not my job.”

When I started out as an entrepreneur nearly 10 years ago, the learning curve was steep. And I worked 7 days a week, sometimes 12+ hours a day to meet the needs of my clients PLUS manage my business.

I quickly learned just how hard it was to run a business and how much effort was required – AND how either your team can support your success or bring it to its demise.

Think about those fairy tales – Cinderella had help from the birds, mice and her fairy godmother. Snow White had help from the 7 dwarfs. Robin Hood had his Merry Men.

Here’s a personal, and somewhat extreme, example:

About 4 years ago, I actually stopped working with an entire country. Yes, an entire country.

One of the main reasons being – because the overall business practices of every client I worked with were so poor along with a severe lack of accountability. As much as I still believe in going above and beyond, I made the choice to no longer work with people who made my job so much harder because of (1) the team’s lack of work ethic and (2) because that lack of work ethic made it so much more difficult for my clients to succeed in their businesses.

Because that’s my primary goal, my WHY – to help people succeed in their businesses so that they may do more good in the world!

I want to work with people and teams who are committed to going above and beyond – supporting the company however they can. Not nitpicking which responsibilities they will do or won’t do, giving excuse after excuse for why a deadline isn’t met or skirting around their obligations and hoping no one will notice.

Because ultimately, if there isn’t buy-in from the whole team, it is the business that suffers.

And there will be no happy ending – for anyone involved.

Over to you… a few considerations, as a yoga teacher:

  • Do you have a clear goal – your WHY – for your yoga teaching business and are you actively pursuing that?
  • Do you understand what it takes to run a business of ONE and be successful? For yourself and those you work with?
  • Do you have a clear understanding of what your studio and students need from you?
  • How can you do MORE – for your students, your studio and others you contract with?


online marketing training for yoga teachersChrissy Gruninger is Pranakriya’s Marketing Specialist, the creator of the Intentional Online Marketing program for yoga teachers and the owner of Social [media] Wellness™, a boutique international online marketing company. She primarily works with eco and wellness companies and individuals, or as she likes to say, “good people doing good things”. With a graduate degree in sustainable living along with health coaching and yoga certifications, she blends a background in conscious living with her business experience and online marketing knowledge, helping her clients bring their positive messages of wellbeing and harmony into the world.