yoga teaching valuesIn the last Fully Alive magazine for the PKTA members, I wrote about how Facebook was coming under fire for their tactics in advertising and their use of their customer’s personal information.

I recommended that we see all sides of a story before coming to a conclusion of whether or not we should use the services of a business that perhaps isn’t aligned with our “core values”.

As a follow up, I’m going to share with you a story of how I contributed to a sea of voices to stop a poorly considered business rebrand. I generally recommend two email marketing systems to my clients and in my online marketing trainings.

One of them, I really loved. Their prices are reasonable, they have excellent customer service and their features far outweigh the other option (although for some, the other option was “good enough”).

But then a few months ago, this company decided to change their name.

To Seva. In other places around the web, I’ve written how, as best as I can, I choose to align my everyday decisions with my values. Their decision to change the company name to Seva was disappointing. A commercial, conditional business using an ancient Sanskrit term that means selfless, unconditional service.

I did reach out to them to express my concerns. They replied and told me they were very sensitive to cultural appropriation and really felt that Seva represented their company.

I told them this was more than just cultural appropriation. It was cultural MIS-appropriation. I shared with them that if they adopted Seva as one of the company’s core values, there were ways they could put it into practice by offering free service to nonprofits, or by carrying out volunteer work as a company. But the term should not be adopted as the name for a fee-charging, profit-making company.

Their response to me… and the rest of their customers? They heard us. And while they had gone through an entire rebranding effort, they would be reverting back to their original name.

So there are really TWO lessons to this story:

  • Choose to live as best you can in alignment with your values
  • Choose to speak up when you believe someone is making a mistake or they haven’t understood the impact of their actions.

This also prompted my team and I to do some extensive research on other email marketing systems out there. That new information will become a part of my Intentional Online Marketing training for yoga teachers, both in the live group format as well as the DIY version – to reflect what we have learned and provide a resource of several options to choose from for my students in both programs.

How can you apply your own values to your yoga teaching business?

Even in your personal life, it can be hard to perfectly align the teachings of yoga AND your householder life. There’s likely a few yamas and niyamas that you’re “making up your own rules” about or only applying them in certain ways to better fit them into your everyday. (no judgment – I’m sure we’ve all done it!)

Here’s a few prompts to get you thinking about how to apply your values to your yoga business:

  1. Know what your values are
  2. Do your research
  3. Choose companies to work with who share your values
  4. Choose to do this every day

It isn’t always easy. Sometimes, you have no choice but to continue to use services that don’t 100% align with your values. But often times, if you’re willing to do a little bit of extra work, there is another way…

And it is up to each of us to decide where to draw the line.

Ask yourself: How do the choices you make in your yoga business support your values?


online marketing training for yoga teachersChrissy Gruninger is Pranarkriya’s Marketing Specialist, Director of the Intentional Online Marketing program for yoga teachers and the owner of Social [media] Wellness™, a boutique international social media 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.