Bored off my asana

Published on October 30, 2012 by      Print
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By Susan Snyder

A couple months have passed since I decided to take a break from teaching yoga. And you know what? I feel good. In fact, I feel better than I did when I was spending all my time managing a yoga studio, surrounded by herbal tea and organic cleaning solvents. I feel better than I did saying the “N” word forty-five times a day (you know which word I mean, people), my head bowed to my heart in a gesture of implied humility and gratitude. I feel much better than I did spouting off rote spiels aimed at getting my students to truly grasp that successfully doing a headstand in the center of the room is some sort of spiritual currency.

I had some issues about being a yoga teacher. I could ramble on about the state of yoga in the West, and how we have bastardized the blah, blah, blah ad nauseum. But I quit teaching because teaching yoga is boring. Now, I don’t mean to say I didn’t value the time the students and I spent together. They are some wonderful people, seriously. I just mean that being a yoga teacher is boring.

My conversations were boring.

Yoga teachers have become a stereotype. When you tell someone that teaching yoga is what you do for a living, you immediately get the up-and-down eyeball. It’s an obligatory test to see if you fit the person’s idea of what a yoga teacher is supposed to look like. Sometimes, if you are speaking with a rather blunt individual (usually male), you get to hear the always popular “You must be pretty flexible.” Ya buddy, I have never heard that one before.  I’ll make sure to pass along a big chest bump to my boyfriend for you. The banality of these encounters becomes quite tedious. It may be easier to tell people you are a professional snail sex voyeur. Less judgement.

My social life was boring.

There is the snooze-fest of conformity among the yoga teacher community.  We all eat at the same places, wear the same yoga pants, use the same brand of yoga mat, buy groceries from the same co-op.  All of our Facebook statuses mention Kombucha at some point, and we repost any famous quote meme regardless of the veracity. I don’t think Martin Luther King could have had an opinion about the internet, folks. We all watch Food Inc. and What the Bleep Do We Know with a smug sense of superiority, because, dammit, we already knew all that.

My studio repartee was boring.

You run out of spiels. This is when the boredom not only glazes your own eyes over, but hits the students right in their third eyes as well. Now, I appreciate a good line, a witty anecdote, a snippet of whimsy in a yoga class, but when the teacher says the same damn thing every week, I start to feel my mula get all bhanded up. I am extremely guilty of commiting this offense. I swear I have seen students mouth along with me karaoke style. Another ominous cloud of danger lies in repeating what you heard from another teacher. Then the budding young yoga teacher that happened to take your class that day repeats it from you. It becomes a vicious game of operator where little nuances are added, but not enough to make it any less of a bad Faberge Shampoo commercial.  And so on, and so on…

My sex life was…wait a tick. Nevermind, my sex life is amazing. I mean, let’s face it, I am pretty flexible.

So now that I am out of the yoga biz, I feel less bored. I feel like I can actually explore my own practice without having to create Led Zeppelin playlists and coordinate my Lulu pants with my toenail color.  I no longer have to think up witty banter that convinces people to touch their toes to the back of their heads. When a herd of free-roaming yoga teachers pass by, I just smile and wave and turn the corner.

About Susan Snyder

Susan is a science lover who works in a molecular biology lab and dives with great white sharks. She has over 700 hours of yoga teacher training under her belt but decided to get a “real job with benefits” just to be ironic. Her love of zombies has led her to explore some pretty deep aspects of life and death. She has been studying Vedic Astrology for several years now just so she can hold her weight at spiritual gatherings. A heavy metal fan, she could never come up with a realistic marriage of Slayer and yoga, no matter how hard she tried.  People were just dropping like flies. 


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  1. leah says:

    I appreciate this, & can really relate! Please keep sharing – love your voice! xo

  2. can totally relate says:

    Susan, thank you for sharing….I am currently at a point in my teaching career when I too am chronically bored with with everything yoga. I find myself spewing the same trite sayings, inspirational quotes, and I can’t help but roll my (third) eyes.
    Good to know that I am not alone.

    • Susan Snyder says:

      Thanks for the comments! It is so hard to stay inspired sometimes when you find yourself in the bubble of the local yoga scene. It felt good for me to get out. But that is just me. :)

  3. about to do the opposite says:

    This is awesome, yet scary. I’m about to quit my (boring) job with benefits to become a yoga teacher full time. Any advice before I fall into this endeavor? By the way, I will find a way to incorporate Slayer into a yoga class… and zombies rule:)

    • Susan Snyder says:

      First of all, I do not care where you live. If you have a Slayer yoga class, I am there! I would just say to keep being inspired in different ways. Read sacred scripture, travel, get out into nature. Think of creative ways to weave your lessons into your asana classes. Make it more than just asana! Use humor, for krishna’s sake! My best advice (if you really want it) is to go your own way and be authentic as a teacher. I poked fun at the rote yoga spiels but it does not have to be that way. It is just easy to get sucked into the “yoga bubble”. Before you know it, you are lost in the sofa cushions of the yoga teacher community. So press on with your bad self and best of luck in your new full-time gig!

    • Jenifer says:

      The daily life of a yoga teacher is not often what people expect.

      When I was working as an independent making about $50k per annum, I was out of my home 6 days a week, teaching an average of 30 classes and private lessons. I was commuting about 4 hours a day (in between gigs) all said and done as well. My day usually started around 6 am and ended around 10 pm, with a break in the day between 1 and 5. It was during this time that I would do things like keep house, go grocery shopping, or have hobbies.

      It’s largely a lonely existence because all of your friends — except for other full time yoga teachers or similar — are working normal day jobs and at the office while you are off, and you are usually working when they are (evenings/weekends).

      I loved every minute of it — except the loneliness of the afternoons after a while. That can wear on you. But, if you make arrangements for yourself to have social time in your schedule (I started to make sure that I could have at least two evenings free and definitely Sundays as well), then it abates this loneliness a fair bit.

      When I transitioned to owning my own studio, the amount of time spent running the business increased and the teaching decreased. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing — I absolutely love running the business. The business provides opportunities for a lot of people — including me — and it provides yoga to a lot more people than I can on my own. This is really fabulous (I think), because we are reaching groups of people who wouldn’t normally think about doing yoga. So for me, this is exciting.

      I currently teach about 10-14 classes per week, but I don’t have to commute so it saves a lot of time. There are a lot of things to do with this sort of business though — such as planning the marketing, and getting used to doing things well ahead of time — such as planning for 1st quarter in 3rd quarter so that you can implement in 4h quarter and have 1st quarter covered comfortably. Basically, you have to know a lot more than how to teach yoga.

      But for me, this is *really fun*! It’s also just as much work as an office job, but instead of feeling “hemmed in” by other’s rules and never really getting the return on the investment of time that you put in (someone else gets profit off of your work), you do see the direct returns — financially and, in my opinion, personally too.

      These days, I pretty much run a 50 hr work week, which isn’t too bad in my opinion. Part of the reason that I do this is because I L*O*V*E running the business. I can’t stop thinking about it even. I just love it!

      So, when people talk about the “yoga teacher lifestyle” to me, I get a sense that they have no clue what they are talking about. It’s not just drinking chai and hanging out and thinking about yoga all day long.

      When you’re an independent contractor, you’re driving all over creation to get to your gigs so that you can get paid. You’re planning classes, continuing your education, and so on. All great stuff. But, it’s time consuming, and you end up working about 8 hours a day and commuting 1-4 hrs.

      When you’re running a business, you are working just as many hours — and early on you are working A LOT more just to get things founded — and you’re not getting paid much because you haven’t grown the business enough in the first few months to crack sustainability (we were blessed. we cracked sustainability in 6 months and started a growth process after that).

      What a lot of my friends and coworkers discover is that it’s actually a lot nicer to have an office job that pays the bills, and then a smaller yoga teaching schedule that can pay for more yoga or other fun things. Some of the teachers who work for me, for example, just want to teach 1-3 classes per week and enjoy that. . . not run it as their full time gig.

      It’s great for both of us, really. I get to do what I love to do (which is run a business and teach yoga), and they get to do what they love to do without the pressures of having to do everything else (teach yoga, but not worry about finances, marketing, profit margins and sustainability margins, etc).

      I guess what I’m trying to say is don’t expect it to be an extended holiday or how you feel after you take a yoga class. It’s an awesome profession (whether you do it full time, part time, or whatever), but you have got to find the way for it to fit into your life right.

  4. Terri @findingdrishti says:

    even though i started a yoga blog (so my friends and family weren’t bored with my yoga talk when all they want to hear about is the baby), i think your post is exactly why i could never be a yoga teacher. i don’t think i can stand in front of a class using the same phrases and putting on a “yoga voice” over and over again. i love yoga and doing yoga and talking about yoga, but i don’t think i could do all that in a way that yoga teachers are expected to do.

    do you think you’ll come back to teaching on occasion or have you hung up your teaching pants for good? (p.s. i miss seeing your friendly face!)

    • Susan Snyder says:

      Hi Terri! I miss your face too. I have not hung up my Be Presents for good. I plan on teaching a class on yoga and the planets at UT in March. I will probably stick to mantra, astrology and meditation though. I want to DO asana. But not sure I want to TEACH asana. And BTW, your baby is too cute!

  5. Amy says:

    Oh thank GOD! I stopped teaching just 4 weeks ago and I couldn’t be happier. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Mandy Horobin-Worley says:

    Wow! I’m so glad I teach yoga in England! I feel quite free to be myself here and there’s no need to consider my nail polish. Where I teach I don’t think anyone gives two hoots where my trousers are from. Sure, I expect there are classes where folk are a bit perma tan and lulu lemon, but there’s also plenty of room to be yourself whatever size, shape or age you are.

    Teach what excites you! If that’s not yoga then you’re wise to step aside. I couldn’t imagine saying the same thing every class. (I’ve been teaching for 9 years). My practise is ever ever evolving and so is my teaching and I just love it. I think you’ve done the right thing getting out.

    A lot of what I hear about yoga in the states sounds so conformist and restrictive to me. If you can’t let your freak flag fly in the yoga world then where can you?

    On the Slayer front, I recall a fellow yoga teacher asking me years ago while i was training if I thought it was ok to be into Kings of Leon and yoga!!!!! “Oh yes!” I told her ” if I get to be a yoga teacher I intend to be one that rocks!”

    • Susan Snyder says:

      Yes Mandy, if the passion is gone there is no sense is doing it anymore. I still plan on teaching the more esoteric side of things but not asana. It is time for the teacher to go back to being a student. And love it again! Thanks for the comment and keep up the good work! You sound like you are quite the inspirational teacher!

  7. Vision_Quest2 says:


    Wow … enough like you defecting, then the supply of yoga teachers go down.
    Enough defecting teachers with great day jobs (like yours) remaining, then the competition between teachers goes up.
    Enough dearth of yoga students, then the price of yoga goes down again … (and so does the incidence of lululemon)

    Although I will not take another yoga class because I still fear that commercialized yoga is still never going to be as primarily home practitioner friendly as it had been before the boom …



    Much luck to you … !

  8. Jenifer says:

    I’m really sorry that you think that’s what your role was as a professional.

    My job is not about my dress, nor my social life. It’s not banal or tedious. I enjoy my work thoroughly — and I have for the last 16 years.

    My job is constantly adapting the conventional aspects of postures to the individual bodies presented in front of me. I have to adapt the sequences on the fly, too, because of the students in the room and their special needs. Instead of repeating the same stories, I mostly just shut up and allow silence and breath to do it’s work.

    I don’t play music in class, so I’m not worried about playlists (it’s also copyright infringement to play music purchased for private use in profit-bearing venues such as a yoga class if you aren’t paying for that public license). I’m not worried about how I dress or how people might judge me for how I’m dressed or what they think my job says about me.

    I have a dynamic and diverse social circle — some yoga teachers, but mostly moms, artists, engineers, healers of all kinds, people from all walks of life, backgrounds, education, and economic status. Also different ages. I don’t get to spend as much time with them as I would like, but I love spending time with them when I can.

    I love every aspect of running my business as well. It’s completely creative and dynamic. I learn to be responsive and to listen to the market, to the students, to my coworkers and fellow teachers and practitioners. We adapt. We grow. It’s dynamic and fun. It’s near-constant problem solving! I really enjoy that.

    There is nothing that I would change about my life. I love my work. I love every aspect of my work. I love how it challenges me every day.

    I hope you find a life filled with as much passion for what you do as I have found in teaching yoga (and running the holistic health center).

    • Susan Snyder says:

      A lot of my post was a sarcastic look at how teachers feel the pressure of conformity in the yoga biz. And I always taught from the heart. I think I actually created a playlist twice. In 8 years. Twice. And it failed miserably because it was not a true representation of me, as a teacher. But the pressure to be “popular” still remains. It is how I made a living and more students usually means more money. Is that right and just? No. My post is about my frustration at the culture that has grown up around yoga teachers, the trend toward uniformity. And I am sick of it. So, if the passion is gone, I am not going to play the game anymore. I am going my own way. And teaching asana (notice I did not say yoga) is not for me. Teaching esoteric concepts of traditional spiritual practices, that is for me. If you are loving your experience, than by all means keep doing what you do. It sounds like what you have created is authentic and filled with joy. I am still in touch with a lot of my students and we shared some amazing growth and happiness together. I would not trade that for the world but I would rather be a student than a teacher.

      • Jenifer says:

        I don’t discredit your criticism of the industry or aspects of the culture, nor your own need to go your own way. What I asserted is that what you describe as what it is to be a yoga teacher is not what it is to be a yoga teacher.

        When you assert “And teaching asana (notice I did not say yoga) is not for me. Teaching . . . [yoga] is for me.” you are effectively asserting that what I teach (emphasizing asana) is not yoga, and while you’re happy that I’m happy, I should know my place: the place beneath you, the teacher who wants to teach “esoteric concepts” or “real yoga.”

        Through this demonstration, you are a creator of the culture that you are “sick of” and thereby abandoning. It’s fine to walk away. No one said don’t walk away. I certainly didn’t.

        What I did say is that I’m sorry that this is what you think *my work* as a yoga teacher is.

        I’m now, secondarily, sorry that you think that a teacher who teaches asana is not teaching yoga.

        In my own teaching, asana is the doorway to esoteric concepts — which require no special language, no fanfare, or even direct discussion. I guide them into experience of these concepts, and then explain that.

        We start with asana because it is the doorway to awareness. We start by developing awareness of our bodies, and by focusing not on a competitive, posture-collecting process, but rather an internal, feeling-process of discovering the right alignments and modifications to have free movement and an overall sense of physical well being.

        As the awareness develops in the body, we begin to discuss how the mind-space is working. I bring up the issue of “mind chatter” when holding postures and trying to focus on breath. I begin to guide them into a process of mindfulness, wherein they can begin to not connect to the jumping thoughts of the mind, but move into the spaces of feeling and being. We experience that through our asana practice.

        From here, students often will dive into the meditation and mindfulness coursework that I offer — separate from asana classes. This allows us to discuss and move into the experiential aspects of these practices because the body is no longer a distraction — they’ve learned to work with it, make it feel good, and also become comfortable with discomfort.

        From here, we move into discussion groups where we go into discussions of philosophy, with emphasis on history and culture in terms of comprehending as well as being able to compare to our own modern experience and understand practical implications and applications in our modern lives.

        I understand what my work is — very deeply. My work actually existed before many of the things that I see as problematic in the yoga culture today even existed. Yes, it is true! Most of the things you complain about arose in the last 5-9 years. I was teaching before then. I was practicing before then. I was learning to teach before then. I know what it is to live in a world with a different yoga culture — which had it’s pluses and minuses too.

        And what I learned is that we — the teachers — are the culture creators. I create in my studio the culture that I think is best and healthy. I make mistakes — certainly — but I strive to take the best of the “pre-2005″ yoga culture and the “pre-1999″ yoga culture as well as “pre-1994 culture” (three that I’m most well versed in) and leave the bathwater by. I also look forward: what might the needs of the culture be as we are growing and changing. What is happening with the current cultural climate that will have fall-out, and how do I prepare to meet the needs of that fall-out for both teachers and students?

        You see, I understand what my work is — very deeply.

        So, if you’re going to say I’m a stereotype who is vapid and not teaching yoga, pushing a popularity contest and a broken record of platitudes, I’m going to stand up and say “I’m sorry that’s how you see this profession.”

        Because I am sorry. I’m sorry that you didn’t see your own work clearly enough to do this, and I’m sorry that you’re now criticizing me in any way shape or form because you want to walk away.

        Please, by all means, walk away. I understand this!

        But don’t walk away saying “anyone staying in — particularly if they are just teaching asana which isn’t yoga — is a stereotypical, popularity-seeking, broken record.”

        It’s simply not true. Perhaps YOU were that, but we are not. I am not.

        • Jenifer says:

          sorry about my long posts. i get passionate about stuff and then ramble. i’m glad that RY went back to not containing the lengths. but, i can see why they would when i’m always responding. lol

        • Vision_Quest2 says:

          Well, it’s just too bad for you.

          I knew yoga from 1991, when I’d been a rank beginner (although it had by far not been my first exposure to it) when classes had been mellow and there was no lulu around, when some people kept their socks on (and some their shoes) …

          Market forces ruined it for me.

          Occasionally, online, I get a class that harks back to the old-school – classes that come to me all the way from Vancouver, Canada …

          My commute patterns preclude my having much choice …

          • Jenifer says:

            It’s true. One of the things that I really liked about that culture was the very open, accepting, come-as-you-are, multi-generational culture. I’ve worked to carry this forward.

            One of the things that I liked about the culture post 1999 is the advent of the all-levels class with the drop-in/come when you want payment process. That is really good for making yoga more accessible to everyone, and anyone can “join the party” at any time. I carry this forward, too.

            One of the things that I like about the current culture is the creativity in the access points and teaching. Mostly, this is about finding niches and filling them — which requires a lot of creativity and thought. I enjoy watching people discover these niches and specialize for them as well. I also like discovering them and creating for them, too.

            This current culture’s fall out is already happening — as evidenced by RY. While at a personal level I think it’s perfectly acceptable for people to walk away from practicing yoga (in it’s many forms), I also wonder if people are throwing out babies with bathwater due to the hurt that they have experienced in this culture.

            So, on my own end, the wounding that’s happening from this culture needs a particular balm, and likewise, we can encourage people to continue practice (if that is what they want to do and/or appropriate for them).

            One of the major flaws of the current culture, IMO, is the pressure to practice. In order to be “real” or “good/right” you *must* practice in these ways. The practice itself is reinforcing. It feels great. So, you have that initial good thing. But instead of “once a week is good — just develop consistency” the culture up-sells using a manipulative method of “good/better/best/real yogi”hierarchy.

            This then sets up a dynamic of feeling fraudulent in one’s practice if one isn’t moving beyond “better/best” by doing expensive retreats, or going to kirtans, or being vegetarian, or having a whole wardrobe of prana/be/lulu/whatever.

            Even though the practice continues to feel good — because that’s what the practice is designed to do/be — there’s an overriding sense of not-rightness in the sense of self and doing because of the inability that one may have to be better/best/real.

            This feeling, then, becomes the overriding feeling of the practice — the feeling-hurt over shadows the feeling good (innate aspect) of the practice. And thereby, the practice looses it’s sweetness, and everything is abandoned.

            What I’m working to figure out now is how to help people notice the difference after it’s been overshadowed. How do they feel the sweetness again without feeling any pressure to continue? Can they repair their relationship with the practice, after the wounding of the up-sell?

            It’s a puzzle. One area where I’ve started to fix is just encouraging people to “do what feels good” — what they know will make their body feel good. At home. No props. No clothes. No videos. Not even books. Just feeling. If they want a hint, I just give them three poses to try and feel out — see if it works. And if it triggers emotional pain around worthiness, then perhaps just be with that pain a bit and see what it is.

            I’m finding this is encouraging people. But, I also try to remind them that yoga isnt’ the end-all, be-all, and that it is truly ok to feel the pain and walk away and stay away. To do something else to edify themselves. And I think that helps too.

            I feel like I — as a part of this culture — have a lot to answer to and for. . . even if I’m actively striving to not continue these aspects of culture. SO, I’ll answer to and for it, even if it’s not mine. Because it is mine too. I am a part of this culture, even as I’m trying to change it.

            • Vision_Quest2 says:

              Now that I go only to a pilates studio where I take mat pilates (I do my yoga at home–overwhelmingly self-sequenced), pilates studios know they can’t pull the same upsell and bait-and-switch kinds of stunts as yoga teachers do on students:

              1-Teacher training is selective and time-intensive in pilates
              2-I’ve always maintained that the only thing really sexy about pilates is not in its execution but in its end-result …
              3-Yoga teachers can teach core-intensive classes, but only pilates instructors have the credibility because they keep the corework accessible … so what if it takes me longer to get my core working than, theoretically, in some inversion. There is little proof that great core strength is sufficient to get into and hold some of them, many headstanders have weak cores but the right proportions. I have seen it with my own eyes in the “All Levels Class” ….
              4-Intergenerational. Not only that but no size-and-diet shaming (been the recipient of and hated that … you could infer as much from my comments to others’ blogs on here); probably even less than that OTHER spiritual physical discipline: martial arts …
              5-Pilates may not be cutesy, active or storytime enough for kids, but that is changing. Anything is possible. I had been taught yin yoga at an emotionally-backward 16 years of age. And kids’ pilates will probably blow kids’ YIN yoga out of the water …
              6-Even vinyasa yoga (and I don’t and can’t do the acrobatic stuff, fyi) does not feel as fast-moving as I need many times in a workout
              7-Acroyoga burns not much more calories than a beginner’s class .. see #3 above. Note to self: There IS a God …

              • Jenifer says:

                One of the benefits of pilates is that it is wholly divorced from any spiritual system, which is an easy point of emotional manipulation.

                When you add yoga’s spiritual tradition with the common advertising tropes developed in the 1920s or so and then perfected in the “MadMen” era, and you have a perfect storm of emotional manipulation techniques for the yoga industry.

                In terms of the other criticisms, lots of them have to do with specificity. For example, in my opinion, headstands are not “all levels” material. Likewise, corework in pilates (with it’s connections with ballet) are wholly different than core work would be in yoga — though there are commonalities between the two. Training in yoga actually varies by era — with the current era being a total mess, whereas prior eras were more like the pilates system and some even more strict than others.

                Anyway, the idea being that there are good thigns to bring forward, and there are also things to release.

                • Vision_Quest2 says:

                  Well, I never could stand advertising since about age 8. Yoga advertising is reaching a group of 17-40 agers which is getting smaller and smaller. Probably all those who bought into all those upsales. There is a recession as well, and the bubble is soon to burst.

                  All the hipsters, excepting those who–like yours truly this baby boomer–have torn meniscuses … will soon be departing for Boot Camp. And they will NOT, I repeat, NOT be looking back at yoga …

  9. Jenifer says:


    I haven’t read your response yet. I want to be clear on this one. LOL

    First, much love to you. My process in this sort of thing is mostly excitement, so if you felt attacked, I didn’t mean it. I totally get where you’re coming from in a lot of ways, but I was also feeling rather. . . well. . . undervalued.

    I think this may be due to the facts of things going on outside of the online world or these articles, and I try not to confuse them. But sometimes I confuse them.

    So, I want to apologize up front if anything was too hinky or weird or extreme or accusatory or whatever. I realized about 2 am (woke up for it even), that I’d probably read your response to my response wrong, and realized that there was more specificity and less implied.

    In length, I was probably having a bad day. You know, like a pomeranian on a humid day in deep summer. Those are such bad days for pomeranians. Thus, you heard the meaningless barking of my inner Fizzgig. (

    In all truth, I’m probably 98% fizzgig under a thin veneer of normalcy.

    Now, I’ll read your response and try not to be fizzgig.



  10. Tammy says:

    OM! I LOVE your blog! I miss you terribly and we must get together soon. You are such an amazing person and I’m proud to have you for a friend. xoxoxo

    Ps. When are you writing your book? You would kick Eat, Pray, Love in the @$$

  11. Barbara says:

    Spot on, Susan! I was thinking about writing a post about why I stopped being a yoga teacher (seven years ago), but you took the words out of my mouth. Not only I was bored and felt boring, but I got on my own nerves…

    • Susan Snyder says:

      Thanks Barbara. I wish people would not take it like a personal attack or some grandiose generalization about ALL yoga teachers. This is MY experience and it is also written with a hefty does of humor and self-deprication. But I got on my own nerves too. Just happy to be a student again. :)

  12. Ken Walton says:

    I hope healing practices can Intrgrate more, making creative hybrids. For me pay therapy and yoga.

  13. Bored off my asana – Recovering Yogi | Healthy Mind And Body Yoga says:

    [...] she can hold her weight at spiritual gatherings. A heavy … … Originally posted here: Bored off my asana – Recovering Yogi ← How Yoga Can Help Your Overall Health | Better Innovations [...]

  14. AnacostiaYogi says:

    Brilliantly funny!!! I can totally relate

  15. Bethany says:

    Just piping in to say that while I didn’t feel personally attacked by this post, I did find it to be a great generalization for the sake of humor. I’m all for humor, and I am, even as a yoga teacher, quick to point out hypocrisy and cliches within the “scene.” However, I was struck by the fact that while many yogis feel frustrated by the “outside world” boxing them into this incense-scented, Krishna Das-playing, perfect pedicure sporting, Lululemon wearing stereotype, a lot of that boxing in actually comes from the inside out. Nowhere is it written that in order to successfully teach yoga do you have to adhere to any of those cliches. Personally, I am somewhat turned off by the teacher who fits that “yoga teacher” model, though I will say that if he/she teaches an intelligent, creative and fun class I will go back regardless of what he/she is wearing or playing, because it’s about the substance more than the style. I would not return, however, if what pours out of said teacher’s mouth sounds anything like a script or a regurgitation of another teacher’s ideas. I teach about 15 classes a week, and I never get bored because I vary my classes between studios, homeless shelters, corporate fitness centers and a church; because I constantly try to apply what I’m studying in my own practice and the world around me to my classes; and because I do it my way, wearing what I feel most comfortable in and maintaining an attempted indifference at those in the “scene” who use a “yoga voice” to tell me that I am beautiful and amazing anytime I see them.

    I believe that if we focus more on teaching yoga and mindfulness rather than “being a yoga teacher” we will find the most fulfillment. I once heard a wise man respond to a question about how to live mindfully in a busy city by saying “city life doesn’t have to be your life.” The same applies here: if it’s truly the ideas of Yoga that you care about planting in the world, then you won’t allow yourself to get caught up in traps that cause you to repeat noise that doesn’t mean anything to you in the first place. Anyone will get bored conforming to a greater scheme rather than carving their own way.

  16. Jessica says:

    I quit teaching drop-in studio yoga classes 18 months ago. I taught full-on for 6 years. Yoga was my world for 12. I was so so so sick of all the BS in the teacher world, so much holier than thou crap. It felt so good to leave that. Still does. Now I teach community classes for obesity and diabetes once a week. No fancy-pants, just humble folks wanting to make some pretty drastic health chances.

    I don’t believe in yoga like I did before. I actually find more inner clarity now from my weekly zumba class!

  17. Kathryn says:

    This is so liberating to read. I literally googled “I’m so bored with teachingyoga” and after reading your post called the director and requested an extended leave. Thanks for being so real!

  18. DebbieG says:

    Hello from another baby boomer yoga teacher who taught for 12 years after taking extensive teacher training from the east to west coasts. When I first started taking yoga it was great but I sensed a certain dysfunction among people who were drawn only to the world of yoga. I was only planning to teach yoga a few hours a week because I had a FT job with benefits. After earning my 200 hour yoga teacher certificate when it meant something (@Kripalu thru IYT) I also took classes from many noted yogis and yoginis and loved it. However after teaching 12 years and not having much free time to do other things in my life and also having some back issues I decided enough of this mind numbing yoga life. My brain and my body needed to rest, relax and renew (thank you Judith Lasater) and I moved on. Yes it was liberating to move on to another phase of my life and do whatever I wanted without being on someone else’s schedule. I want to close by saying I loved my 13 years of training, teaching and writing about yoga but the face of yoga changed. It became younger, more commercialized and more exercise oriented and less yogic. Teachers are being churned out by the dozens with little regard for the students’ safety. The growth of yoga has been phenomenal so it has been a financial boon for studio owners, yoga teachers and product makers and clothiers. This is not real yoga but a zillion $$$$ industry. I don’t think that is what yoga was intended to be. Namaste (LOL)

  19. KeithEsony says:

    綠屋家居: GREEN HOUSE 北歐傢俱-台中家具

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