What's it like to be a Yoga teacher?
Well, things have recently taken a turn for the better with Down Under bringing new ownership to the Baptiste studios. Along with this step, they have made their teachers employees and now offer health benefits for those who are full-time.
Teaching—whoever you are and wherever you are—is full of healthy challenges. These challenges help to keep teachers humble and remind us of the privilege of the practice of teaching. When you present yourself to the magnitude of responsibility that comes with teaching, it's not unusual to span the emotional spectrum from debilitating self-doubt to ecstatic joy. In other words, as a yoga teacher there can be a treacherous interior landscape to navigate. This work is full of pitfalls and searing truths about oneself.
Through years of teaching, I have learned the incomparable value of structural support. If this is not in place, it is very difficult to generate what's needed as a teacher. Structural support might not be the first thing one thinks about when realizing one's dream to teach but if you can't pay your bills, if you're terrified you'll get sick, if you can't ever take time off because you can't afford it, or you're worried it's all going to "go away" because you're not there to keep it all going, life and your teaching gets flat—to say the least. A grind takes over, and it is merciless in how it drains the life out of you.
Down Under has recognized the critical value of structural support. They see that with it, teachers are able to live a life that allows us to share what we love and to love who we share it with.
I am delighted Down Under has led the way in taking care of the structural things that need to be in place if a Yoga community is going to thrive and if the teacher is going to survive. This is indeed something to celebrate.