Recently, one of my favorite yoga teachers, Kino MacGregor,has come under fire due to her non- traditonal way of spreading the word about Ashtanga and she wrote a rebuttal here.
In the article, she poses the question:
“If you knew you could reach a billion people with the message of yoga and half would hate you and half would love you, would you still do it?”
I would like to pose this in a different way:
If you knew that you could reach a billion people with the message of yoga (8 limbs not just asanas and working out) but you had to commercialize the practice a bit to do it, would you?
Is it better to reach half that and remain a purist?
I know, many of you are thinking, a billion,that is not even possible. However, I have been teaching consistently for about 4 years and when I look through the student database for the studios I work for, my own records and do some general calculations, I have already reached thousands teaching in Charlotte alone. Imagine if you taught virtually on the internet through sites like Yoga Glo and through You Tube, wrote books on yoga and traveled the world teaching. Everyone who comes across your work is considered to be people who have been reached. Does it sound doable now?
They don't tell you this in teacher training, but this is a question that all yoga teachers will come up against at some point. Somewhere in your career, someone will ask you to cross a line that could possibly result in a larger student base but may require you to teach in a way that questions your beliefs on what yoga is and how it should be presented.
If reaching students in the short term through image,sequencing, music, heavy advertising, sexy videos, etc will result in a larger audience for the pure message of yoga in the long term, does the ends justify the means?
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