How to become a rich yoga instructor

Published on June 1, 2011 by      Print
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By Erica Schmidt

Once upon a time, I tried to start an advice column under the pseudonym “Exuberant Bodhisattva.” Within minutes, a down-and-out lifeguard posted this desperate inquiry to my blog. Read on:

Desperate Lifeguard: Help! There’s a hole in the swimming pool where I’m a lifeguard. How can I get rich as a yoga instructor?

Exuberant Bodhisattva: Friend, you may not be the first to encounter this problem. The economy is bad, if not terrible, and leaks happen. One thing you have going for you is that your day job is somewhat convincing to potential clients. The slaughterhouse manager whose business falls through and decides to take up teaching yoga has a little less credibility than you do. Everyone knows that lifeguards become excessively bored and end up standing on one leg and performing absurd stretches all day long. Rejoice! You have it better than the cow man.

That is the first step: Rejoice.

The second step: do you do yoga? Do you like yoga? That might help. To do it and to love it. Do as much yoga as possible, and even if the process causes you to inconsolably burst into tears, advocate yoga wherever you go. After practice, go to a café to caffeinate and improve your consolability. Become consolable and become an advocate of yoga.

Say, “Hi everyone, I’m a yoga instructor.”

(Are you a certified yoga instructor? I was assuming that you were. If not, your subsequent step is obvious. Allez-y.) Converse about yoga constantly and ensure that your conversations are always intriguing.


a) “My pelvis forgave me this morning in class! I will never give it bad sex ever again. Ever.”

b) “I finally found my tailbone. It told me that my sternum says hi.”

c) “Isn’t it AMAZING to bask in your own Inner Luminosity?” (Hopefully, the person you’re having coffee with will say YES.)

Whatever you do, do NOT lie:

i) Yogis are truthful.

ii)You are a yogi.

iii) Complete the syllogism.

Do NOT complain about being poor.

Not a selling point. Nor is admitting that you’re considering spending a few months as a dominatrix slash call girl to make ends meet. Yoga instructors should NOT do that. They believe that the universe is abundant. YOU believe that the universe is abundant. All you must do is vacuum.

Indeed, vacuum your living room.

Treat your toenail fungus, but don’t mention your methods. Don’t even mention that you have toenail fungus. Affirm: I do not have toenail fungus. Write this on a piece of paper and put it into your God Box. If you don’t have a God box, make one. Now.

If you drink wine, switch to sparkling mineral water.

Take pictures of yourself with one or both legs behind your head. Lying down is better. The best is lying down with one leg straight and one leg above your head. Then your vagina goes in two different directions. That’s the best, and YOU want the best.

Remember that just because you can jump into handstand doesn’t make you special.

You’re only special if you can stay there. Stay there.

In your promotional pictures, do not scrunch up your face or forehead.

Smile like you just got laid. Never, ever mention Prozaac.

I’ve consulted my Tarot cards (all excellent yoga instructors have Tarot cards) and the cards suggest that you should be prudent. You are the butler of prudence. You are the knight of prudence. The Queen. The Princess. That said, there are no squares in yoga. Only triangles and quiffs.

Always wear your mouth guard.

Nobody wants a yoga instructor with no teeth. Nobody…

Best of luck to you, lifeguard. Om shanty. Namaste.

Lots of Love from the Exuberant Bodhisattva who has Ecstatic Adventures.

p.s. I also recommend that you acquire a compelling non porn-star nickname!


About Erica Schmidt

Nearly eight years ago, Erica Schmidt moved from Perth, Ontario to Montréal, Quebec in search of Jesus, her bandhas and her tailbone. Her bandhas and tailbone remain elusive; however, she did find Jesus. Although the two were married, Erica now cheats on Jesus with Ashtanga Yoga, Atwood novels, and Ovarian Kung Fu. When asked for a word she loathes and abhors, Erica responds, “Vibes. For years, I have been sending good vibes to the universe, and so far, all I have received are pubes. It’s breathtakingly disappointing.”

You can read more of Erica’s musings at or follow her on Twitter.



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  1. Yogini5 says:

    I think I have made it very clear in my hundreds of comments to everybody’s blog over the past couple dozen months, that yoga instructors are not going to get rich off of ME. That being said, whether you can hold handstand does NOT make you better than me. Or even special, as compared to me. Only different.

    I keep telling myself that. Every day. Otherwise I would give up practicing yoga with all that static coming in from this corner of the universe …

  2. Amelia Catone says:

    crying. i’m crying… the tears… and not inconsolable yogi tears but tears of merciful laughter over vibes and pubes and a vagina going in two different directions… oh MAN i needed this!!!

    • Yogini5 says:

      Well, at least with the vibes and the vagina angle, said yoga instructor is at least not a BORING yoga-obsessive … lol

  3. says:

    “Always wear your mouth guard.”

    You are real funny Erica.


  4. Michelle says:

    You are so funny and thank you for sharing.

  5. nicola oddy says:

    Erica! You’re hilarious! Never mind doing yoga – you should become a stand up comedian. Or combine the two..

    So great to see what you’re up to!

    xoxo Nicola

  6. Jillian Meiners says:

    Im obliged for the post.Much thanks again. Fantastic.

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