I heard from one of the studios I teach at yesterday. They had a midday staff meeting, and obviously I couldn’t make it, seeing as I work all day. During that staff meeting, it was decided that I should now share my Wednesday night “Intro to Ashtanga” time slot with another instructor. Currently, when I’m in between my 5-week workshops, I’ve been offering this class time as a drop-in Half Primary class. Beginning in March, I’ll no longer have a mid-week drop-in Ashtanga class. Just my 5-week intro-series class every other month or so, and my Saturday Led Full Primary class.
Bright side: A few leisurely Wednesday evenings at home with husband.
Downside: Not much of a soft transition is offered at this studio for those folks who’ve just completed the “intro” class. Since I only teach up to Navasana in the intro series, they’ll be pretty overwhelmed coming into a full primary class. Sigh, oh well. Maybe I can convince them to come on over to the other yoga studio if they feel they’re not quite ready for the whole she-bang.
A few weeks ago, I was offered a Thursday 5:30-7 p.m. time slot by this studio, but that offer was apparently rescinded. An outside party has offered to rent the space on Thursday nights for some form of Martial Arts.
I get the why’s. I’m the newest yoga instructor at this studio, I have the least consistency in numbers. And add to that: I teach Ashtanga, which is not the most popular form of yoga here on the Central Coast, although I’m working on raising “awareness.” What’s that saying I’ve heard before? 1 in 1000 will take to the Ashtanga Vinyasa practice. So I’m certainly not the cash-cow of this particular studio, that’s for sure.
Money makes even the yoga world go round.
While I understand that a yoga studio is a “business” that needs to generate “income” to cover the overhead and maybe even make a profit, I think there’s a problem when that bottom line becomes more important than the students and the community as a whole. And I’m not only talking about this recent schedule change. This feels like the underlying theme at this studio. Business first. Students second.
I think I’ll speak to the owner of the other studio where I’m currently only teaching one class… The vibe is extremely different there. They seem much more supportive of their instructors and their yoga students in general and have much more of a welcoming “community” atmosphere, even if it is a little too hippy-dippy-warm-and-fuzzy for my tastes at times. Perhaps I should dislodge the stick that’s currently “up my ass” and join in the drum-circle-incense-burning fun. Nah. That’s just not me. The stick will stay where it’s at. But I’ll smile and go along with everything. I’ll offer the suggestion that I’d be willing to take on another class, if a time slot becomes available that works with my current schedule. And then I’ll wait and see what comes of it.
Last night I discovered a pattern in my emotions. I dread teaching until I’m actually there, in the midst of it, and then I love it. And afterwards, I’m always elated. I used to feel the same way about my tutoring. I volunteer to tutor English to one of the local farmworkers twice a week, and I used to dread it in quite the same manner. At the time, I didn’t know my student very well, and I wasn’t very comfortable in my role as “tutor.” During our lessons, I always had fun, and afterwards, I felt great. I was filled with a sense of pride in my student, and pride in myself as well. Now, almost a year after I began tutoring him, I look forward to these meetings each week.* I’m hoping, with a little time and a little more patience, these same feelings will develop towards teaching yoga. I think a lot of the stress and anticipation stem from the recent no-show class, and the one other I’ve experienced before that. I drive to the studio thinking, “I hope SOMEONE shows.” Maybe I need to tweak that attitude a bit.
*Although things are getting much more complicated as my student is becoming more and more proficient. “This is an Apple” is much easier to teach than “This is an Object Pronoun” or “This is Yet Another Irregular Verb. Aaargh!” I never realized how completely fucked the English Language was until I tried to teach it to a non-native speaker.