The Yoga of Business: The Business of Yoga

A guest post by Sally Lever, tutor on our Yoga Business course:

“In my experience of working 1-2-1 with alternative practitioners, many of those who are inclined towards teaching Yoga and making that more of a business than a hobby are attracted to the idea of sustainable and ethical business. This is often simply because they want to treat their clients with kindness and respect in every aspect of their relationship with them. They would like to behave authentically in their business dealings and in alignment with the values and ethical principles that they themselves adhere to in providing their service.

“What is a Sustainable Business?

One formal definition goes like this:
“A sustainable business is a constituted organisation that takes full account of its triple bottom line i.e. managing and contributing to social, environmental and economic improvements in its business practices.”

“The social, environmental and economic benefits that result from a small business operating are also more simply known as the triple bottom line people, planet, profit.

“People: Who are the people involved in your Yoga business? You, family, neighbours, employees, associates, support network, suppliers? The aim with a sustainable business is for quality relationships. Why? Because when you have quality relationships with all of the people involved with your business in any way, there will be cooperation, mutuality, longer term and deeper commitment to your mutual success.

“Planet: What are the important resources that you use in your business? Energy (transport, heating and lighting), water, food, technology, Yoga kit, consumables? The first priority is to minimise the amount of materials we use, then to reuse what we can and finally to recycle what we’ve finished with. 

“Profit: In simple terms, profit is income minus costs. In theory, cultivating quality business relationships increases our income and attention to the 4 Rs (reduce, reuse, repair, recycle) reduces our costs. So, overall our profit should be healthy.

“From this, you can see that these sustainable practices ensure that we are careful not to cause harm, to ourselves, to others, to the planet and even to future generations. It also encourages truthfulness, non-stealing and living within our means. Genuine sustainable business is totally in alignment with the yamas and so, by running your business along these lines, you can be sure that you will remain true to your Yogic values.

“Yoga Business is not about the traditional “cut and thrust” of fierce competition, but is more to do with how to collaborate with others, form mutually supportive allegiances and offer the budding Yoga student some choice in where, how, what and with whom they learn. This is the yamas in action.

“I’m delighted  to be teaching the business module of Harmony Yoga’s teacher training course, both in South Yorkshire and Somerset. These Yoga Business modules are also open to those not attending the rest of the Yoga teacher training course. So, if you are a Yoga Teacher, Student Yoga Teacher or Yoga Therapist and you would like to know a lot more about how to run your Yoga business successfully and in alignment with Yogic principles, you might like to join one of these 2-day workshops:

“Kilham Hall, Branton, Doncaster. South Yorkshire. DN3 3PF. 16th and 17th April 2011.

“Wells Museum. Cathedral Green, Wells. Somerset BA5 2UE. 15th and 16th May 2011.

“Each of these non-residential modules is modestly priced at £80 per person.

“The workshops will comprise a series of presentations by me with Yoga practice sequences, meditations and reflections led by Harmony Yoga’s Director Steve Brandon.

“Do contact me if you would like further details. You can book and pay online on the Harmony Yoga website here.

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