“This training is deeply affecting me, supporting me, nourishing me and opening up a question about where and how I might teach as I am not teaching much at the moment. I have been more able to really listen to my body and spirit. It has brought focus to the dynamic interaction between inner and outer life, intensifying awareness and bringing insights. I am excited about where this will take me and feel a renewed love and vitality for life.”
~ Lois Whiteman, Australia // online participant
When the 2017 reality TV series Yoga Girls was released, I remember feeling immensely disheartened by the state of the yoga world. Described as “om meets OMG where Instafamous yogis clash with yoga Traditionalists in L.A’s West Side”, the series portrayed the cutthroat nature of the yoga industry and the competitive thrust of teachers and studios vying for their share of the market pie. In the dog-eat-dog world of capitalism, the adage that “good guys finish last” seemed to reign.
But a lot has changed in the intervening years. I’m not sure whether people became disenchanted or disgusted (or both) by the shallow emptiness of yoga served up as a dumbed-down fitness routine. (Yoga Girls only lasted one season.) Or, whether it took a worldwide pandemic to create a seismic shift in reaffirming values and priorities. Whatever the reason, there’s a palpable groundswell forming, largely through the post-lineage zeitgeist following #Metoo, the revelation of exploitation and abuse in countless yoga organizations, and the courage of yoga teachers resolute in their commitment to share the heart of the tradition.
Teaching yoga is certainly not the easiest way to make a livelihood, but I feel heartened that times are changing. Recently a trainee in the Art of Teaching live course shared that, when she began the course, she had poor attendance at one of her most important contracts; a Sunday morning class for the city’s overworked counselors. With the confidence born of new skills, she overhauled her approach trusting her instincts that perhaps these people needed a gentler class that included time for deep relaxation and Restorative Yoga practice. Her feedback that; “Now the class is packed!” seemed to surprise her as much as it delighted me. At the same time, she was also substituting for a teacher in a class that numbered just eight. When she handed the class back, she had an attendance of thirty. This gives me hope that when teachers trust in their authenticity and gain greater competence in the development of their class planning and specific techniques for improving delivery, it’s possible to be both authentic and prosperous.
If you wish to explore this new (old) future of yoga in all its richness. Please join us. Registration for the next The Art of Teaching course will be open from the 10th September at 9:00 AM and close on the 14th Sept at 9:00 AM NZT. The online course begins at 9:00 AM on the 15th September with a final lesson delivered 30th March 2022. Our first course filled quickly with a long waiting list and our 3rd cohort does not begin until 11 May, 2022.
"This course was an amazing opportunity to get live access to Donna’s teachings without travel. And I was feeling disillusioned by the current Yoga climate/ commercialisation/ manipulation/ guru mentality and I LOVE how Donna doesn’t stand for any of that! I had stopped teaching but now with my new embodied knowledge from this course so far, I’m excited to start teaching again."
~ Jade Frederiksen, Australia // online participant