Episode 45 – Competition and Jealousy – The Business of Yoga
Listen to this episode here!
In this episode Rachel dives into the very sensitive subject of competition, jealousy and cattiness in the world of yoga and business. She shares her own stories of being on both sides of the spectrum – both having felt nervous about other teachers competing with her and having had other teachers create drama over competition. She shares specific stories from different times in her life as a yoga teacher and entrepreneur and candidly shares both the challenge and the learning of each situation. Operating out of lack will always make us feel like we don’t have enough and this is where most sense of competition and jealousy stems from – the fear of not being able to provide for ourselves. But what if we operate out of abundance and out of knowing that we are cared for? This sets us up for success in a completely different way! Tune in to learn some big life lessons on how to grow your business and stay anchored in passion and love for the work you do in the world.
[00:00] Hi and welcome to another episode of From The Heart: Conversations with Yoga Girl. I hope everyone has had a great month of January. I cannot believe we are already arriving at February! I mean, everybody always that January is the slowest month, which I kind of agree on, but the fact that it’s February already is sort of blowing my mind. We’re a twelfth of the way into this year. I feel like last year flew by. It was also the slowest of my life, somehow. (laugh) But I have a feeling that 2018 is just going to … it’s just going to be over in a flash. I’m really working on slowing down, to enjoy every moment, which is a super challenge.
[00:42] Today’s episode, I have actually chosen a specific topic I’m going to talk about (laugh) which, for everyone who tunes in every week, that it’s very rarely the case, I’m extremely unstructured, unorganized, and usually I just sit down and I start talking and I record whatever is on my mind each week whenever I’m recording alone. But this week I actually have something in mind, and it’s a topic that has … that’s kind of been on my mind for a while already. I’ve been receiving some questions about it as well, and I’ve been in conversation with friends and with Dennis about it. We’re going to talk about jealousy and competition within the yoga world. So, a pretty sensitive topic, I think, and a pretty big topic as well. Also, I asked through social media just a second ago for people to send in questions, and I got so many questions sent in about this topic. So I think I’m not alone in having this stuff on my mind right now.
[01:36] So, before I dive in, in the spirit of From The Heart, I’m going to share with you, just for a moment, from the heart how I am feeling in this moment, right here, right now. I’m having this really weird head cold type thing. I don’t know if you can hear by the sound of my voice that I’m a little stuffy. My baby was sick, but it was two weeks ago, and I picked up a little bit of her cold, and it just hasn’t left me. So, I can’t forward fold, and whenever I bend down to pick something up, it’s just … my whole head, my sinuses, they hurt so bad. So I can’t practice yoga! And this really, truly sucks for me. I mean, of course I can. I’ve been in a couple of classes, but I’m just miserable all throughout because I can’t do a down dog. Even plank and tabletop, anywhere where my just … when I’m facing down with my nose toward the earth, it just doesn’t work. So I end up just sitting on my heels the entire class, just kind of (sigh) like, you know, feeling really frustrated.
[02:35] So, I haven’t been practicing for almost a week, and it’s showing up in different ways. Maybe that’s why I’m choosing to talk about this topic as well, because I haven’t practiced in a week, I start feeling tension in my body, I start feeling a little pain in my upper back, just stuff that happens. I start feeling a little stagnant when I don’t practice yoga. And I know from experience, of course, that stagnation or tension in the body very quickly moves to the mind. That’s how it goes. It goes both ways. Tension in the mind gets stuck in the body, but tension in the body also goes to the mind.
[03:11] So, it’s a very important thing for everyone listening and for me, that we sustain ourselves with some sort of practice of self care. So, for me right now, I have been diffusing a shit ton of essential oils. I have two essential oil diffusers that I’m using, one in the baby’s room, we use lavender oil and just some calming, like, child-proof stuff before she goes to bed. In my bedroom I’m diffusing eucalyptus and peppermint and all sorts of stuff just to get my sinuses to clear up.
[03:40] I’m also meditating more, which is interesting, just because I can’t move on my mat, I found myself just sitting down. Like, if I have those 15 minutes when the baby is sleeping or whatever, and I just … yeah. I use my essential oils and I just sit. And it’s been a nice change. But yeah, I need my asana, man. I really really do. Yeah, so apologies in advance if I have to blow my nose mid podcast recording. I really hope not.
[04:08] But I wanted to touch on this topic because, okay, I know this is … The topic of competition and jealousy in the yoga world, everybody deals with this. It really, really true. I think anyone who’s like, “Oh no, I never cared about that, I never heard about that,” I don’t think that’s really true. At least, if you are a yoga teacher, you teach in a community where there is an abundance of yoga, or where there’s not, there’s something about this industry because that’s also part of this conversation, part of this topic is when we start teaching yoga, we start doing yoga for a living, it actually becomes our means of supporting ourselves; how we sustain our families, how we pay our bills at the end of the month. We’re also taking part in what we call the “yoga industry.” So, very separate from the practice of yoga, the ancient philosophy of yoga, and the root core of the practice that so many of us find so sacred and so beautiful.
[05:07] What’s blossomed from that is all of the frills that come along with practicing yoga in the western world. So, if you’re taking classes at a studio, you pay for those classes, right? You might be buying yoga pants or a yoga mat or props that you feel like you need for your practice. You might be practicing yoga online, you might be doing immersions or workshops or you go on retreats, or maybe you take a yoga teacher training and you decide you want to deepen your practice, and you know, maybe one day you decide you want to teach yoga, because this your passion, you love it, you want to spread it to the world, and it seems like such a fun way to make a living, right? I mean, this kind of how it goes. So, whether we like it or not, most people, unless you have a home practice and your yoga practice just consists of you rolling out your mat in your home, maybe in your PJs every single day, and many people have that type of practice as well … of course there is many, many ways to immerse yourself in the yoga culture without having to deal with the industry of yoga. But it means that you’re practicing a little at your home, right? So whenever you start paying money for the service of practicing with a great teacher, you are taking part of the industry as well.
[06:16] This is such, also, another controversial thing, because of course many many people think that we shouldn’t confuse yoga with the yoga industry, and they need to be very separated, and the more the yoga industry grows, the more sensitive or the more separated we become from the actual, true origin and the root of the practice. So, how can you actually merge this very sacred, intimate, personal thing with business, right? Or it goes beyond that with all of this stuff that we feel like we need to buy. In the end, we take part of this big wheel of a moving industry that, yes, also invites people that want to profit off of it. And that’s just how things go.
[07:00] Of course, right now out there in the world, there is a ton of brands and big companies and people profiting off of yoga, and yoga practitioners that actually do not give a damn about this practice. And you just have to kind of flow with that, because I think that’s just the way things are. Yoga is big enough right now that there’s going to be people out there that can see that there is money to be made there. So, inevitably I feel, especially right now, we are in this place of having to be fairly careful, or at least mindful about where we spend our hard earned money, who we choose to support, which teachers we practice with, where we get our clothing, our props, if we even do, right?
[07:45] So, if you start practicing yoga right now, maybe you’re young, you find yoga through the internet somehow, through social media, or maybe you follow Yoga Girl on Instagram, and that’s how you found yoga, and that’s awesome! Such a great way to find the practice, beautiful. To me it’s really important that the practice doesn’t stay there. Yoga is not something that we’re meant to find online and then be alone in in this online world. It’s a really deep practice between teacher and student, and community is everything. So, one of my first suggestions I give to people that are beginners, if they found yoga or they get interested in yoga from something they see online is immediately find a studio close to your home so you can build community, right? So you can find a teacher that you resonate with, so that you can learn, so you can get adjusted and assists in class, to really build something real around this practice. Because it’s important that we continue, that we learn, and community that grows out of yoga is the best part. At least, it is for me, really. The community that grows out of the yoga practice, the sangha, it’s the best best best part.
[08:48] Of course, with community and with yoga studio life comes competition. If you’re on the side of being a yoga teacher or being a studio owner or being immersed in the industry somehow. I find that there’s … I don’t know if there’s a difference in communities where yoga is really abundant compared to communities where there’s very little yoga. I think everywhere we go there tends to be this idea that we have a very limited community to choose from. Which, actually, I don’t believe is true. But the general idea is that, you know, the yoga community is very small. Or, if you practice or you teach yoga in a small city somewhere, or like me, I live on a tiny island, we have this idea that the yoga community is so small, so of course we have to cherish our students, and almost like we have to fight with other teachers to keep our students, to make people come to our classes.
[09:43] So, many people teaching yoga, I feel, operate from this place of lack, if that makes sense. So, if we look around us, and we always have this core idea that we don’t have enough, that we need to get more for ourselves, we don’t have enough, we’re lacking, we’re always going to look at this sort of stuff, like other teachers, and we’re always going to see competition instead of community. That’s something that I struggled with a lot in my first years of teaching, definitely, definitely. I’m not going to say that … I’m definitely not above and beyond feeling jealous or feeling like I have to compete with other teachers, or feeling catty, I’ve gone through all of that. But I’ve arrived at a place now of … and of course, I mean, maybe someone listening is like, “Yeah, well why would you care? You have millions of people following you and thriving businesses and all of that.” Aside from that, I don’t know if it’s maybe maturity, or maybe actually going through this stuff a lot, having a few rounds of, ummm … being competitive or feeling jealous over other things, or feeling like I’m lacking that I realize that operating from that place just brings you more lack.
[10:53] So, if I’m teaching somewhere and I feel like, “Oh god, I have almost no students, there’s so few people here, I have to make sure that they’re all mine. This is my community, my people, they can’t go to any other teacher.” If I operate from that place of lacking, that’s the energy I’m going to send out and I’m going to manifest more of that.
[11:10] Where truth is, and this is one of my favorite sayings that I actually repeat in class a lot that my friend Ashley Albrun told me years ago. I think, I don’t know, maybe 2012 or ’13, she told me, “You know, people are so worried about making sure they have more students and enough students and being able to keep all of their community, all of their students for themselves, but do you have any idea how many people haven’t practiced yoga yet?” (laugh) I love that viewpoint. If you look at your community right now, instead of just looking at it as a way as, “This is how small the yoga community is. Look how few people we have practicing yoga. I have to make sure they all come to my class.” Think of it from the other side of the spectrum. How many people are in your community that haven’t practiced yoga yet? They’re not yogis yet, but they could be! They might one day be. They will probably one day be! I would like to really think of it that way. There is billions, literal billions of people out there that have never, ever practiced yoga, that have never had any experience with this practice, that haven’t even been remotely close to connecting to yoga in any way. When I think of getting new students to my studio, or getting people to practice online with me, or growing the community, instead of thinking of it as this pool of yoga community, so me getting new students means I have to take from someone else, I don’t think like that ever. I think of who isn’t practicing yoga yet? Right? So, who can we touch in a brand new way, and invite into this community and make space for this practice?
[12:55] The good thing about this too, or at least that’s how I feel, I don’t know everything. I mean (laugh), hopefully anyone with a good head on their shoulders is going to say that. But I’m never going to sit here and say that I’m the greatest teacher in the world and I can teach you everything! That’s bull shit! I have really strong areas of my teaching, and I have aspects and components of my teaching that are really unique to me that people return to again and again, but there’s a lot of stuff out there that I do not know, and that other people can teach way way way better than me. So I love encouraging students to deepen their practice by actually seeking out other teachers, even if they’ve been practicing with me and with me alone for years, there’s going to be a point where they need to expand. At least that’s how I feel.
[13:43] Another saying that I love … So, I just had an interview with a journalist right before recording this and we were talking about the #MeToo movement and the #MeToo stories that came out of the yoga community and why in the yoga community we are so susceptible to this type of sexual abuse, you know? Because we have this student-teacher relationship and there has been this guru culture. Ummm … Not everywhere, but fairly prominent in the yoga culture as well. I truly believe that anyone on a pedestal is pretending. To me, if there’s someone out there, teacher, whoever, who says that they know everything, they have it all down, they are almighty, their way is the only way, I’m going to immediately turn around and walk another direction. A teacher that doesn’t have humility, for me, can never truly teach me what I need to know. There has to be a sort of humility and this willingness to just be human and admit that we don’t know everything. But, if we want to keep all students to ourselves and just gather this community and make sure that everything is for us so that we don’t lack, there’s going to be that part of your ego that’s going to have to come out, because you’re going have to portray yourself as a teacher who knows everything if you don’t want to share the students with the actual community.
[15:09] So, if you’re a student out there I would definitely definitely shop around for your favorite teachers. Practice with different types of people. Figure out which type of people you like to practice with. You’re probably going to find that one, maybe two go to people that you truly love. But that’s going to change, you know? The teachers that I studied with ten years ago I don’t practice with at all today. Also, when it comes to style of teaching, you know, that’s why I don’t think one single person can say, like, “This way is the only way and I know everything.” What I taught ten years ago is not the same as what I teach today, at all. There’s things that I taught five years ago that I would never include in class. Why is that? Because I’ve learned, right? I’ve grown. I’ve realized where my mistakes are and where my weaknesses have been, and I’ve been able to shape a new form of teaching. And probably, I hope, in five years from now I’ll be able to say the same, you know? My teaching will be evolved and have grown as well. And that could never happen without other teachers in my community. It could never happen without me practicing with other people, without me continuing to learn and without me making space for other teachers in my community.
[16:45] So I wanted to share a couple of specific stories that were really hard for me, and I’m sharing them with a lot of humility, because there was definitely a past version of me that was … a bit catty. Yes, definitely, definitely. And that also felt that I was lacking and like I didn’t have enough, and I was always so worried of how someone else was going to take my clients or my students and what if I get left with nothing? Even though, looking at it now, I never had that problem. I never had a problem filling a class, I never had a problem keeping my students. But for whatever reason, I was operating out of this idea that I had to, you know, keep everyone. (laugh) Eventually, through that behavior, I did drive some people away. So, that’s kind of really what I want to get at here as well is that the more we operate from that place of lack, the more this tension is going to show up in our teaching, and people are going to feel inclined to go look for something else. That’s just how it goes.
[17:49] So, the first story that I’m going to share with you is, and this is a really specific one that’s kind of easy to connect with, I think. So, I’m going to talk a little bit about SUP Yoga. SUP Yoga is, if you’ve never tried it, it’s called Stand-Up Paddleboard Yoga, so it’s yoga that we do on big standup paddleboards on the ocean. And it was kind of a fad, like, it was a big trend years and years ago. It’s definitely mellowed out now. People sometimes say that … or people ask me, you know, when I founded SUP Yoga, or when I invented it … I never invented SUP Yoga, I always, always, always correct them. It was one of those things that kind of blossomed and popped up in a couple places around the world around the same time, like around the same year, I’m going to say 2010 or 2011, sometime around there. I had never done SUP Yoga in my life, I’d never seen it, but how it happened, for me, or how I thought of it the first time was I would always go practice yoga on the beach, just on the beach towel when Dennis was out surfing. One day, this was like early morning, we brought the dogs to the beach and he took one of our dogs on his surfboard. I was in a down dog on the beach, and he had the dog surfing in a wave. I was in my down dog and I was like, “Damn, that’s so cool. I wonder if I could do a down dog on the board. Like, if he can actually be with a dog on the board, maybe I can do a down dog.”
[19:08] So, a couple of days later I tried it, and it didn’t work, like, a normal surfboard doesn’t float well, there’s not enough volume to hold someone standing or doing a yoga pose on the board. So, I just sank and I made a fool of myself, and that was it. Then, a couple weeks later, the first ever standup paddleboard was brought to the island. There was like a little surf shop or a little surf shack on the beach that got three standup paddleboards. We walked by and I saw them and I was like, “Hey, that’s a really big board! What’s it for?” Because I’d never saw one. And he said, “Oh, it’s actually to standup and you like paddle standing up. It’s a really cool new thing, it’s growing a lot.” And I was like, “Huh! Can I see if I can do yoga on it?” The guy was like, “Okay, that’s weird.” So, I took the board and I tied it to a little buoy just like a couple of meters away from the shore and I climbed on and I was like, “I wonder if I can do a down dog.” And I could! Like, super easy. And then I did plank, and then I did a vinyasa, I did something else, and I tentatively stood up, and it eventually just blossomed into this little practice I had on my own. Like, I don’t know how long I was out there, but I was having a ball.
[20:08] It’s really challenging, of course, because you’re on the water and new muscle groups and you have to use your core a lot, and, you know, I didn’t fall, and I had so much fun. When I was done I took the board back to the beach and there was a whole group of people standing there, like, “What are you doing!? What is that!?” (laugh) I didn’t know what I was doing, because I’d never done it before, I’d never seen it before. And I said, “I don’t know! It’s like yoga on a surfboard?” These people were like, “Oh my god, can we take a class with you?” And I was like, “Yeah, sure, sure, I teach this, no problem,” like, lying through my teeth. It was just like a family and some other people. So, they booked a class with me and I’d never taught it, I’d never been on the water with people. I had no clue what I was doing. They booked a class for a couple of days later.
[20:51] I was like, “Oh my god,” and I ran to this little surf shack and I was like, “Guys, I need to rent these boards. These people want to do a class with me. Is there more boards somewhere? How many do you have?” And they were like, “No, we only have three, but this other hut over there, they have two, so you can get five together if you, like, rent them all.” So, they gave me a good price, and then I took the board out and I just practiced on my own, and I just tried to figure out what I had to focus on and what was hard and how I should teach it, because it’s really different, right?
[21:18] Then I taught that first class, and I cannot even tell you how … I’m not going to say disastrous, but yeah, it was super messy because I didn’t know anything about the wind, how to anchor down, how to stay really safe on the water. Luckily we were really close to water, so it wasn’t really deep or anything like that, but I’d never done this before, right? But I taught a class, this group had a blast. More people were on the beach, they saw what I was doing, and then they signed up for a class, and then little by little this, like, ball started rolling, right? So, I started charging kind of a lot for these classes. I had to pay a board rental to get the boards. I think I paid in the beginning like 20 bucks a board. Then I would charge, I don’t know, $15 on top. So I would charge like 35 or 40 dollars for a class, which for a yoga class is a lot of money. But with the boards and everything, like, these people were tourists, they didn’t care, so they were like, “Yeah, 40 bucks, no problem,” or, “35 bucks, no problem.”
[22:10] And I started teaching, I started sharing in through social media, and I was sharing all of these poses of me on like a handstand on the surfboard or headstand and doing all of these crazy poses, and of course I got a lot of attention and a lot of likes and comments. It was definitely a part of me growing my social media following in the very beginning was me sharing these beautiful images of doing SUP yoga. The Caribbean, blue water, you know, it was very inspirational and very beautiful.
[22:40] Then these classes grew like crazy. It started getting really, really, really busy. I started going to surf expos and I got really immersed in the community. We got our own boards, started working with a paddleboard company that made a yoga board, it just grew and grew and grew. And somewhere around here one of these little huts that I was renting boards from, that guy that had that hut saw how many people I was taking to the beach. I was like, Dennis at the time was managing a surf shop, so I was alone, and I started getting 12 boards. I would have 12 boards, 12 people that I would teach and take out onto the water. I’d been doing it for maybe a year or something, so I was really good at it. I would teach every single day. I would put my 12 boards in the back of the car, and then I would rent some on the beach and went up and down and lugged these really heavy 12-foot boards on my own. It would take me easily two hours to set a class up, because I had these big, heavy, concrete blocks. Now when I think about this, it’s kind of crazy. These really heavy concrete blocks that I would have in the back of the truck wrapped with like a string or a rope that I had. I would lug them out into the water, and I would connect this other rope to it with little carabiners, little carabin hooks. I would set this anchor up, and I would take the boards one by one and put them out into the water. It was a whole thing. Then the group of people would come, and I would teach the class, it would be like one hour long, and then it would take me an hour to get all the boards back tied onto the car. It was a Caravan. And I did this every day. If I had two classes I would spend hours and hours and hours on the water in the sun. Like, it’s really heavy work.
[24:13] But I had all these people come everyday, and it started becoming a thing so that the hotels were talking about these classes, and people were seeing them from the beach, and then the New York Times picked up on the fact that you could to standup paddleboard yoga in Aruba with this girl called Rachel. So, they wrote and article about me in the New York Times, which was huge, huge huge thing. I was jumping up and down, freaking out that this big, you know, publication cared about what I did. So, it got even bigger.
[24:41] But then one of these guys that were in the huts saw that I was everyday taking these people out on the water, and he thought, “You know what? I could do this myself!” So he decided one day, he said, “You know, these boards that you’re renting for 20 bucks? They’re 40 dollars now.” And I was like, “Well, I cant pay 40 dollars for this board.” I was charging I think 45 dollars for a class by then. I’m like, “Then I would make 5 dollars from the class, and it takes me hours. I can’t do that.” He says, “Oh, sorry, if you can’t afford it, I guess you should just go somewhere else.” So, I had to make my classes smaller because I didn’t have … like, I think we had 8 boards, and then we would rent 2 from one place and 2 from another. So, I just had to make my classes smaller because this guy didn’t want to rent them to me anymore, which I thought was strange because I was consistently using these boards.
[25:25] And then, what do you know, like, a month later, all of the sudden some girl who had booked my class emails me, like, “Hey! I had a hard time finding you on the beach, but it was okay because I found that other teacher that teaches for you, so I took her class instead.” And I was like, “What?! I don’t have another teacher that teaches for me, that’s super weird.” And I started doing some research. It turns out that that guy had decided, like, “Oh, this is a thing. We can profit off of this.” So he found some other teacher that was on the island that I didn’t know, that had never done SUP yoga in her life, that didn’t know at all what this was, and this was really what I felt was my thing. I had founded this on the island, I was the first one to do it on the island, I made it famous, you know? I’m using all of this stuff, I’m working for all of these companies. Like, I really created this business for myself in Aruba. Then, all of the sudden this douchebag guy and this random teacher who, like, I don’t know, wasn’t even 200-hour certified or whatever, started teaching on the water, and they would pick off my own students. So, people that didn’t find me … I don’t know, they had a hard time finding where we were, and then they would teach around the same exact hours, like, a couple of meters off to the side.
[26:39] Thinking about this now I’m like, “Oh my god, I cannot believe that I made such a big deal out of this.” But I was furious! Like, oh my god, I cannot even tell you. I was so forking pissed off. I could not believe it. So, instead of thinking about the fact, like, okay, hey, people are going to know the difference between something genuine, like, I was using these yoga boards and I had been doing this a long time and I was very serious about it. Then there was this other people that were clearly just trying to copy something, just to make money. But, I started freaking out. I fully started panicking. I’m going to lose all of my students, what’s going to happen, etc.
[27:13] So, there is that balance of, and this is another one of my favorite sayings, “Do no harm, but take no shit,” right? So how can I in that moment stay with my integrity and communicate to the community that, hey, my classes are the legitimate classes, right? Like, a certified teacher teaches you who stays safe and all of this stuff that I had planned, because I had this whole proper setup of classes. Then I thought that this other girl that was teaching, I thought she was a fake. She was just copying me, and she’s not even a certified teacher, and she’s going to injure people, etc. So, I started talking shit to everybody that I saw! “Watch out for this other people that are teaching yoga, it’s not real, they don’t know what they’re doing, she’s not even certified, she could injure you. People can drown!” I made up this whole big story that wasn’t even true. Honestly, looking at it now, I didn’t care about people’s safety. That’s not why I was telling people left and right that there was these uncertified teachers on the water. I didn’t care about … That’s not what my concern was, I didn’t genuinely think that she was going to drown someone. I was nervous that I was going to lose clients.
[28:18] So, I started talking negatively and being really catty towards this girl who I didn’t know and this guy who was … okay, he was kind of a douchebag. But it wasn’t reflecting well on me, right? Can you see that? Having a yoga teacher that you’re excited to take a class with, and then all of the sudden she starts telling you about this competition and about this other uncertified teacher that’s on the water. I mean, it’s so unprofessional. Ugh, I shiver a little bit just telling this story, because I would never in a million years do that today. Never, never, never, never, never. But of course it reflected really poorly on me, because not only was I talking badly about someone else who, you know, she was just trying to make a living too! Who am I to say that I have the monopoly of this style of yoga? Like, of course, if you do something good, people are going to pick up on it and try to do it themselves. That’s How Things Work. It doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad thing. Actually, competition is a good thing! It’s how markets grow, it’s how we thrive, it’s how we get better, right?
[29:19] So, I had probably a couple of months, because these people started gaining traction, and then they were picking up on other students, and they worked with a hotel that we didn’t work with. So they started getting some people coming to their classes. So, I had probably about 6 months where I was really upset, and I was obsessing about how they were marketing this, and I was stalking this girl’s Facebook page, and I couldn’t believe it that they were taking my style of yoga (laugh) and doing it, like, pretending that they knew what they were doing, and they were doing it on bad boards … And all I was doing for these six months was making myself miserable. That’s all I did. I was making myself miserable, and I was making myself look bad by speaking poorly about someone else in front of students and people that came to my own classes. Suuuuper super super dumb move.
[30:06] So, I don’t know where the shift was, I think 6 months in or something we were traveling a lot, so I got a second teacher to teach my classes, and I started letting go a little bit of the idea, like, “This is my thing.” Then, eventually, what actually happened, from that competition I decided, “Hey, we gotta step our game up now. It’s not enough, I can’t be alone lugging these boards back and forth, 12 boards every day, I can’t spend 6 hours setting up for a class that takes one hour to teach. I don’t get any return of my own investment in time, and it’s so time consuming and it’s so hard, and I was in the sun all the time.’ I realized, like, “Hey, number one, I have to be smarter about how I teach this so that I can spend less time on the water so I can teach more classes.” I was getting so drained from all of the setup that I was doing alone without any help that I could teach one or two classes max a day, and then I was wiped out. So, I started getting a little smarter, I started booking classes on times where Dennis was off, he started working a little less. I got an assistant, someone that came and helped with the stuff and with the anchors, and I was able to add more classes to the schedule so that there was more space to fill, because I just got smarter about how I taught.
[31:13] Then I started marketing in a better way, I printed flyers that were really neat, and on the flyer I put, like, “Taught by a certified teacher,” which was my little elbow to these other people that were teaching that weren’t certified, which, again, like … It doesn’t have to be catty at all. I’m all for people should, clearly, educate themselves before they start teaching yoga, absolutely. But the way I was doing it was just out of this catty way. I wasn’t doing it from a place of integrity. I mean, I was young and a little bit immature, for sure.
Then I started marketing in a better way, I printed flyers that were really neat, and on the flyer I put, like, “Taught by a certified teacher,” which was my little elbow to these other people that were teaching that weren’t certified, which, again, like … It doesn’t have to be catty at all. I’m all for people should, clearly, educate themselves before they start teaching yoga, absolutely. But the way I was doing it was just out of this catty way. I wasn’t doing it from a place of integrity. I mean, I was young and a little bit immature, for sure.
[31:45] Then, at the end of the day this other person that was teaching, their classes weren’t working out anymore. Probably their genuine intentions of why they wanted to teach SUP yoga weren’t really there, right? So that class stopped eventually. Then, moving on, like fast forward a couple of months, maybe a year or something, I don’t know, this original place where I was renting most of my boards, and I was operating from, I went on vacation, and then I came back and they were like, “Oh, we don’t need you anymore, we have a new teacher.” So then they had done kind of the same thing. They realized that if they did this on their own, they will make more money, because they don’t have to rent boards to a teacher, they can just pay a teacher a shitty fee for an hour, and then they will make a lot more.
[32:24] So, I had another moment of, like, oh my god, competition! But then by then it was growing to such a big thing that I realized, okay, I can’t put all this effort and energy into creating something, and then when it starts snowballing other people pick up on the idea, because it’s good, and then I’m going to start pulling back and say, “Stop stop stop!” It doesn’t work that way! You have to let go. You have to invite other people to excel. You have to invite other people to shine and to also step into that community and to grow something awesome. Because truth is if you come to Aruba, if you go to Palm Beach, you’ll see a bunch of SUP Yoga now. There’s SUP yoga over there, SUP yoga over there, and you’ll see us somewhere in the middle, and most people that come practice, like, our classes are always full, we’re thriving, we’re doing really well, and these other businesses are also thriving. So, my idea, or what I was under the belief was that I can’t thrive if other people are thriving in the same business. That is not true at all. So, those things are not at all mutually exclusive. We can all thrive together. When people come to Aruba and they see all these places to do SUP Yoga, chances that they’re actually going to try yoga is way bigger than if there’s only one tiny little company that offers it on the island, because we’re visible now. SUP Yoga is kind of everywhere.
[33:41] So, at the end of the day, now, I’m really really grateful that I had that experience, and I’m grateful that I was able to, in hindsight, see how catty I was, and how that feeling of competition was making myself frustrated. And it’s not a professional thing to do. So, rule number one, for any teacher listening, if you feel that sort of lack, if you’re looking at other teachers and you’re comparing yourself, or your feel like you had a great idea or something unique that you’re offering in class and someone else picks it up, and you get upset, all of this stuff, there is something underlying there that you need to deal with for you. Talking about it, or spreading this negativity is only going to reflect poorly off of you. So, never ever ever in a million years talk to people about these feelings. Specifically not your students, not people in the business, studio owners, you know, keep them to yourself, vent with your family or with your friends, but try to do so in a responsible way where you can get to the root of why you’re feeling this lack in the first place, right?
[34:45] So, this is, for me at least, one really clear example of learning, and I’m really glad we learned, because we grew from that.
[35:22] I got so many great question, I don’t know if I’m going to be able to cover them all. When I dive into storytelling, man, I know I talk a lot. I’m sorry. So, someone asked, “How can we as yoga teachers make ourselves stand out and be unique in the community while supporting other teachers whole-heartedly?” This is a really good question, and I love how this is phrased as well, because this, at the end of the day, is how we want to operate. We want to focus on our offerings and make sure that we can standout and be unique and have people come into our classes because they genuinely want to be there while continuing to support our other yoga teacher friends. And that also goes for studio owners. Studio owners need to support other studio owners, and we need to share the community and not be competitive and catty about it.
[36:08] I have one or two stories here that ties really well into this question. One story is, so there’s another yoga studio here on the island that’s been existing for a really long time. It’s a really small studio, and the owner of that studio, I’m not really friends with her, but I took a few classes there, like, years and years ago. I was worried when I opened the studio here, you know, I was really really cautious. I don’t want to step on anybody’s toes, but I also know, like, hey, we’re opening Island Yoga, it’s an 18,000 square foot space, it’s ginormous, it’s big, we have a big community, it’s going to be really busy. But I was really hoping that we would rally the Aruban community and invite and open new peoples’ eyes to the practice of yoga. I am not opening this studio thinking I’m going to steal whatever existing students are on the island practicing at another place. Absolutely not.
[36:56] So, we open the studio and I invited all the other teachers on the island that work here and teach here, I invited everyone and had a little speech about the community and I really hope we can all co-create, and we’re going to be inviting teachers here to the studio, and they’re all super welcome to join so we can all grow together and learn together and just make yoga grow on the island. And then this other studio owner was here and she was super friendly and super … she said she was really proud of me and the vibe was really great and really awesome. Then, fast forward like a week and I start seeing these social media posts coming from that studio page. So, this other yoga studio on the island talking about us, about Island Yoga, in a really negative way. Like, in a really really negative way. So, there would be a post like, “Here at this genuine yoga studio, we do not adhere to social media. We do not believe our guru lies on the internet. You do not need to have millions of followers to teach yoga.” Like, little super clear, because, I mean, it’s very clear like I have millions of followers on social media, I opened a yoga studio, like, hello, I’m right here. Super clear. They were like little backhanded comments at, like, “Island Yoga bad. This studio good.” You know?
[38:15] Then when I teach of course the room gets really full, and then they started making posts about, like, “Come to our studio, we will make sure you have a mat length between each mat. We will never pack the room.” And we pack the room here. You know? Like, a lot of those posts, like a lot a lot a lot. I had to actually, you know, there’s the feature on Facebook, you can hide someone’s posts. I didn’t want to unfollow or unfriend because I didn’t want to create drama, but it was just kind of breaking my heart to watch that every day, and it was triggering me like crazy! Like, hey … Then I felt, you know, I had done nothing but try to be like super friendly and, you know, this other place they teach hot yoga there, so if someone asks us for hot yoga or bikram style yoga, I would send them there all the time, because we don’t offer that here. So, I was really, you know, doing my best for us to coexist here and have things be good. She was clearly not having that and she was super upset, and these posts, they kept getting nastier and nastier, and it was really clear that it was about us.
[39:05] So, I had to just hide it, because I couldn’t see it, and it was triggering this side of me that wanted to kind of snap back, you know what I mean? This immature ego side of me that would be like, “Okay, well, should we post to our Facebook page, like, ‘Come here, we’re not going to talk smack about other studios on the internet.’ ‘Come here, where all of our teachers are actually certified!’” You know, all this stuff that I was just like venting with Dennis, like, “Should we do something similar?” He was looking at me with kind of sad eyes, he was like, “Come on …” You know? Like, “This is not who we are. Just drop it. She’s just operating out of fear.” Then he was really beautifully able to, he was like, “Look at this from her side. She has had this studio for years here, it’s really small, yoga is really small on the island, and then all of the sudden Island Yoga becomes like Wal-Mart. We’re this big big studio, with this big community. Bam!” Of course she’s fearful, of course she’s worried. Maybe there is a way that you can calm her a little bit instead of fueling this fire.
[40:06] It actually took him telling me that for me to realize, like, oh wait, I don’t have anything to worry about in terms of lack, you know? In terms of abundance, like, the studio is busy, I knew it was going to be, it’s going great. I don’t have that worry. I don’t have to engage with that sort of behavior. So all I did, you know, I didn’t write anything, I didn’t reach out, I didn’t say anything, I didn’t get triggered or respond. I just sat down and I did what I could to send her love. So, whenever I would, you know, one of those posts would pop up, I would just take a breath and I would remember, like, okay this is coming from a place of fear. She’s scared that at the end of the day, she’s not going to be able to pay her bills. Like, that’s a genuine fear; fear of providing for yourself. She’s not that type of mean person, she’s just operating from fear, and maybe there is something that I can do to calm that space in her, right?
[40:54] So the moment I started doing that, and I wasn’t engaging with her, it was just the mindset for myself, those posts stop coming. It was really interesting, like around that same time she just stopped posting those things and stopped talking badly about us to other people in the community. And then a couple of weeks later all of the sudden I see, like, they had new specials from the studio and they were exactly the same specials that we had, the same introductory packages, and everything kind of copy/pasted from our studio. Then another week later they had taken our same membership management company which is a really small customized thing that we do, they had adopted the same thing. And I was like, “Okay, here we go,” you know? For her, like, and now I could see this other end, that was me with the SUP Yoga, I was like, “Panic, panic, fearful, fearful, talking badly,” about this other teacher for now reason, just from fear. And then I realized, hey, I’m going to step my game up now, you know? Then I started improving and I started excelling and I started getting better and better and better.
[41:50] Now we’re at a place, I mean, we’re one year in. Both studios are thriving. Totally different ways, we have different clientele. There’s no bad blood. We see each other, we hug, we say hi. Everything’s fine. Everything is great. But there was a moment there where if I would have engaged and fueled that fire of fear, that fire of the ego, for sure things would not be good now. I mean, for sure. Fueling that kind of stuff, it always comes back around. So, yeah, recommendation number two, if you are in that space right now where somebody else is being catty toward you or talking badly about you, or trying to harm or hurt your business, you know, take the high road. Just take the high road, every time. Take the high road every single time. Remember that everything you send out does come back around. So, if you can invite some love into that situation and realize that no one speaks badly upon another person or tries to harm you in any way without suffering themselves. Like (sigh) of course, of course. Every piece of suffering we inflict on other people comes from a way bigger suffering that we carry within ourselves. So, if you can, just send more love, send more love, send more love.
[43:00] I also find that when it comes to supporting other teachers, the more you do that, the more people you’re going to get in your classes. (laugh) And that’s really true! So, if you know that there are other teachers in your community that are offering different things, like, I would find something specific about each teacher that you cannot offer, you know? So like this other place over there, they do hot yoga, we don’t offer that. I push that all the time. We have teachers at the studio, of course, that do different things, like some are amazing with anatomy and the body, and for some people that’s not their strength, right? Someone teaches amazing meditation and someone doesn’t. Find what you can highlight in other teachers that maybe you are not great at yourself. So, when someone asks, “Hey, I really want to learn about this stuff,” like, “I want to learn about traditional philosophy, I want to learn about the eight limbs, I want to go here,” you know, study this, if that’s not your forte, don’t pretend that it is. If you’re faking it, it’s going to come out eventually. So don’t pretend that you know everything, but actually have that go to other teacher that you can send someone to. And if they go there, they’re going to say, “Hey, so and so sent me here.” And that teacher is going to go, “What?! That’s amazing!” Then their whole energy towards you is going to shift to a really positive space. The next time someone asks them for something specific that they know you do, they’re going to send people your way. So, just a more open, loving communication we keep with each other, and the more we can support and actually promote each other, the more thriving we’re all going to be, because all of that love comes back around. So, recommendation number three, support other people as much as you can.
[44:59] And now, I don’t want to sound like, you know, I don’t want to sound like it’s all butterflies and rainbows over here and for me it’s always easy, because of course it’s not always easy, and I have my own challenges and my own struggles, and I’ve shared in a lot of the recent podcasts that I am this year very dedicated to my personal development, which for me requires looking at some of my own behavior and my own shortcomings. I can definitely see that I’ve had, in the past, this sort of pattern of, let me phrase this right … So, whenever someone leaves me, if that makes sense, I immediately can take a relationship that was good and I can turn it bad. Of course, I’ve been doing a lot of inner work here, but I come from a past of a lot of abandonment in my past. A lot of death. A suicidal, depressed mom who tried to commit suicide several times, my dad left me when I was little, all of this stuff. So I definitely had abandonment issues. This manifests or shows itself, this wound opens up whenever someone exits my life, for whatever reason. And specifically in business. I don’t know why. I think there’s something about business. One of my teachers told me once that you can tell everything you need to know about a person from how they treat what’s in their pocket. And I was like, “What do you mean what’s in their pocket?” “Pocket. Money.” You know? How we act and react around money and how money plays a part in our lives, it’s a really good indication for how we show up in life.
[46:29] It’s not about money and material stuff and getting rich and all of this stuff, but providing for ourselves. Feeling provided, it’s our basic form of security knowing that we can provide for ourselves and for our family. It’s a really big thing. Some people are really trusting and they know that they’re always cared for and they have this very relaxed, trusted, grounding attitude, and some people don’t, right? Always feel like we’re lacking and we have to fight really hard to make ends meet, and no matter how much we have, we’re never going to have enough. And I definitely come from that place of lacking, and that place of lack, or that fear of lacking shows itself and opens that wound whenever I have any form of abandonment in my life.
[47:05] And abandonment doesn’t even mean, you know, I’m a grown woman, I have a really beautiful family, I have a great relationship with both of my parents today, but that wound of being abandoned is still there, and it shows up again and again, often in business. So, for instance, moments when I have to really, you know, check myself, and when things get really challenging for me are often related to when someone on the team, for instance, if someone quits … We had a teacher recently at Island Yoga that left and, honestly, I’ve done a lot of soul searching around this now. Now I’m like, “Why was this such a big deal for me?” Because, you know, I was able to kind of loop back around and be okay with it now. But then, when it happened, I was so distraught about it. And it was actually a teacher who I never practiced with, you know? It wasn’t my go to teacher or like my favorite teacher that I always practiced with at the studio, or a teacher that gives me something special. Nothing like that. It was just, I don’t know… And she really wanted to do her own thing, which was really evident. It showed up in the team. At Island Yoga, I like to build team, and like Team Island Yoga. So, who’s going to be there carrying the flag for the studio and just be all in, 100%? This teacher was just someone who it was really clear from the start wanted to do her own thing and things outside of Island Yoga. So, I think maybe from day one it wasn’t a great fit, you know? No big deal.
[48:30] Sometimes you can just part ways, you don’t have to have any bad blood, it doesn’t need to be a deep, personal underlying issues or a fight or anything like that. We just part ways because it’s time, no big deal. But, we decided she was going to leave, and I got so sensitive about it. What is wrong? What did we do? What did she do? Doesn’t she like us? I was going over and over with Dennis, like “Oh my god, something has happened,” and he was like, “You know, sometimes people just want to do something else. Not everything has this underlying drama. Don’t make this into drama, because there is no drama here.” But I’m a very dramatic person. I was like, “But there is something there, there is like …” He says, “No, there’s nothing there. We’re all going to be friends after this, it’s all going to be fine. Just let it go, let it go.”
[49:12] So, I did my best to try to let it go, like, okay, okay, moving on. Then she had her last day, we sent her flowers and had a really nice card and wishing her well and all of this stuff. I saw her in the grocery store, we hugged, everything’s fine. Then the day after her last day teaching at the studio, literally, the day after teaching her last class at the studio, we have every single year at Island Yoga … Not Island Yoga, actually, I teach it normally. We’ve done for the past 7 years, I’ve hosted 108 sun salutations somewhere on the island. So as a way to ring in the new year. So, January 1st, always in the afternoon. I host this class where we do 108 sun salutes and we set our intentions, and it’s just, it’s super sweaty, super awesome. It’s a really, really beautiful way to start the year. And there’s never been any of these yoga malas anywhere else on the island, because I always invite all the teachers. So, usually every teacher that’s on the island comes and we all do them together. It’s not a led class, but we all practice side-by-side. So it’s a really nice community building thing. And last year we had the first one at Island Yoga. The year before that we had it in the old building that was where Island Yoga stands now, which was a bar. It’s a really dodgy place. I’ve done them on the beach, we did them in the national park one year and in a rental house another year. It’s been, like, all over, always. This teacher is always there. She took her first, like, real yoga class with me and one of those yoga malas like seven or eight years ago. A long time ago.
[50:34] Then we have the 108 sun salutes the way we do every single year. This was also something that I had dubbed my thing, because I had done it for 7 or 8 hears year. It’s like every year I host it and everybody comes together, and we do it together. Then we had the class here and half of the people that were booked didn’t show, which never happens. Never happens. We had 30 people that didn’t come, that didn’t give us any notice, that didn’t say, “Hey, I’m sick, hung over from New Year’s Eve,” or whatever. They just didn’t come! So, what was a full class, we had turned a lot people down because the room was full, half of the people didn’t even show. I thought it was so strange. The vibe was just, I just got this feeling like where are our people? What happened? Then we do the mala, I had a really awful feeling when I was practicing, it just didn’t sit right. Then I find out afterwards that this teacher that had just left us the day before had hosted her own private 108 sun salutes at her new place where she’s going to teach. She had not made, like, a public event I guess because she didn’t want us to know it was happening, but she had contacted these people one by one in private to tell them, “Come to my thing, don’t go there.”
[51:45] And it just broke my heart. I could cry a little bit. Oh my god, if I cry right now, this will be the fifth consecutive podcast where I cry. It just broke my heart! Completely, completely. Not at all about, you know, community or clients or students or money. Not that, but the fact that she left and we were on good terms and then she kind of had to go and do that? And she hosted it at the same exact hour that we had ours. I was just like, I was talking to Dennis, I’m like, “Hey, all she had to do was not do that, you know? What’s the point in having this one class, once a year that’s like our thing, why would she?” To me that felt like such a mean thing to do. I took it so personal, so personally. It was like a knife in the back toward me. I cried in the evening, I was super sad, I was like, “Okay, what did we do to deserve this? Didn’t we always treat her well? I thought we were parting in a good way. Now we’re not good anymore. If I see her now, how am I going to pretend that we’re okay? We’re not okay now, I feel so hurt …” I spent easily a couple of weeks completely heartbroken over this. I don’t know, this to me just didn’t feel cool, at all.
[53:02] Then now, of course, I’ve come back around. Okay, it’s been a month. Because I’ve meditated enough on this, and what I did was I journaled on this. There’s something about writing stuff down. So, when I write things down as to why I feel like this person harmed me, and on paper it looks kind of stupid. There’s something about seeing your words on paper reflected back at you, you know? Like, “I’m upset that she, in secret, wrote our students and hosted an event at the same time as yours with our people without telling us,” you know? I was reading it and I was like, “Oh my god, what am I, five years old?” (laugh) Like, come on, okay, you know, it’s okay to be hurt. I’m not saying that you should never be hurt about anything. Of course it’s okay to be hurt. I still don’t think that this was a cool thing to do. There would have been a more loving way to deal with the exit that would have left our relationship in a much better place. That’s what I believe, I still believe that. I haven’t seen her since then, so I don’t know what this relationship is like now, but is it worthwhile for me to have sleepless nights about what this other teacher did one time, three weeks ago, in a class? Is it worthwhile for me to waste energy and time and tears and asking questions and what did I do and why did this happen? … You know? My reaction to this thing is way bigger, runs way deeper than what actually, you know, what reality actually warrants.
[54:30] It’s because it’s connected to this abandonment, for me. Because she left, and then I was already like, “Oh my god she’s leaving, she’s leaving.” Every time anybody leaves for whatever reason, like, whatever it is, I always freak out a little bit. That freak out comes from this wound, and sometimes it trips me up in different ways. But, no, it’s not worthwhile for me to waste all of this energy and time obsessing over this stuff. No. Truth of the matter is, like, if she wants to leave, she should leave. You know? There’s probably a reason she wants to leave. She wasn’t happy at Island Yoga. Maybe there’s something there that she isn’t telling me, or whatever, I don’t know. But for me the best way is to just let her go and wish her well, and wish her abundance, and wish for her classes to be thriving and big, and for this community to continue growing. I had that shift from journaling, from obsessing about it, I had all of that stuff. And I started doing that same thing that I did years ago with the SUP Yoga and then with this other teacher, and then now, where I would sit down and just send her love. So, every time I would have a thought pop up about, like, “Oh my god, lack. Oh my god she was so mean. Oh my god, ugh…” I would just be like, “Okay, take a breath, send her love,” and then I would try to envision for her really full classes. Like, really.
[55:39] And I’m saying this now, okay, I’m getting a little teary-eyed too, because this is a hard thing for me to do that if you have a person that you feel competitive with and you feel like there’s a little thorn there, there’s a little, like, there’s something that isn’t good, like there’s a little rock in your shoe, and your mind gets really busy of all the reasons why that person did you wrong … to actually turn it around and genuinely send them well wishes and genuinely imagine and envision for them and help them manifest something truly great and abundant. Like, it’s a hard shift, it’s a big shift. And when I arrived at that, I could feel this like total relaxation of my heart. My heart just mellowed for a second.
[56:22] So now, okay, I can do it right now, I’m envisioning her teaching at her place which is another place on the island, and instead of being fearful of oh my god, oh my god, students and clients and what if we don’t have enough, just envision that space filled to the brim with people. Like, a line to sign up for her classes and how that place is just thriving and abundant with people from that area. Going there every day. Like, how wonderful for her. How wonderful for this island to have another place with really full classes. How wonderful for Aruba to be known as this place for yoga. Like, that didn’t exist a couple of years ago, at all. Like, what if we could become like, you know, you can go to Costa Rica, you know, in Costa Rica there’s yoga everywhere. What if Aruba became that place? What if we start attracting so many yogis and yoga communities from all over the world and more yoga places pop up? Then we’re going to get body workers come because they come attach, and then we’re going to get vegetarian and vegan restaurants, we’re going to get all of these cool healing circles and healers. You know? The island might change completely to my benefit if I can try to manifest abundance of yoga and yoga students for my competitors. I don’t know if I’m making any sense (laugh) right now, but I have goose bumps speaking right now, so I kind of know that this is true.
[57:41] I don’t know, I’m on lesson number four or five. I don’t know why I started counting because I can never remember where I’m at, but wishing our competitors well, doing more than wishing our competitors well, but actually doing our part in manifesting abundance for our whole community can only be good for us as well. Really, really. It can only be good for us as well. What we give out we get back. That’s just, that’s the case. So, I don’t know … I don’t know, but I feel really light and happy just speaking those words. And then anybody else might look at me, like, how can I be worried about competition? Like, what sort of competition do I really have? Like, of course, yes, it’s sort of silly that I even have these thoughts, because I run a thriving business, we have millions of people on social media, it’s always busy, our retreats sell out over a year in advance. I have no competition to worry about, but it just shows that competition is not a material thing. It’s not a true reflection. The feeling of competition or the tense sensation of competing with someone does not correlate or does not have to actually make sense with what reality is, because it’s all in our fucking heads! It’s all in our minds. We make this stuff up in our minds. These ideas of not having enough, of lacking, of things not going our way, and what if what if what if what if … And he said she said … It’s all in our heads, you know? So even thriving, abundant people can have these fears of lacking. My true guess is that the most abundant people are the ones that operate from the most abundant place. That just makes so much sense. The more we operate from a place of lack, the more we’re going to struggle, the more we’re going to lack.
[59:25] So, instead of just thinking her thinking how can I get more for myself, how can I make more, how can I, I, I? You know? How can we altogether thrive, how can we grow, how can we grow this community together? What a wonderful thing if we, as yoga teachers, could actually talk more about this stuff and actually vent our fears and be honest with each other and say, “Hey, that thing over there didn’t feel good for me, but I wish you well.” Or, “Hey, do you want to collaborate, should we work together somehow?” Or, “Hey, should we practice together?” That’s another thing, lesson number whatever. Practice with these people! Really! Do it do it do it do it. The best cure, if you have a teacher out there that you feel, you know, something is off, or you feel like there’s a little competition, there’s something that isn’t good, go take their class! Show them that you are supportive of their class. Go take their class, and not with like a judgey attitude of like, “Ugh, you suck.” No no no. Go take their class and actually immerse yourself in that class and enjoy it, and you’re going to see that there is gold in that teacher too. There’s a reason as to why you feel like there’s competition there, probably because you’re a little bit the same. Probably because you have a lot in common. Probably because if you overcame the sense of cattiness or competition, you guys would be epic friends, like you would be really good friends, because you have so much in common. That’s it. We never get rubbed the wrong way by people that are totally different from us, by people that have a totally different personality or that different vibration. No, we’re going to feel rubbed the wrong way by people that are similar to us.
[60:56] So, there is friendship to be found there. For sure. There is a little key. I like to think of it as, like, every time, you go through your life, every time you find that little speed bump, like a bump in the road, you know? Or you feel like life throws you a little curveball, take that curveball and realize that there is something epic here. It’s not just a curveball thrown your way for no reason, but the universe has decided that hey, you’ve been a little stagnant for a while, maybe things have been a little too easy, you’re too much in your comfort zone, it’s time for you to evolve. Evolve now. We can only grow and evolve through discomfort. It’s the only way. So, see that curveball as a way of, like, okay, wait, how can I check myself instead of just reflecting off to other people and feeling fearful because of things they do? Take responsibility for how you feel and actually act in a way that will grow you, you know? That will actually help you learn and become a better teacher and a better human being, you know? If you sprinkle that growth around, it’s going to come back around through other people doing that same type of work. I really, really, really, really believe that that’s the case.
[62:02] So, wherever you are in the world, wherever you are, also whichever industry you’re in, because this applies way beyond yoga, of course, of course… Sit with your shit. Manifest what you want to manifest, but do it with integrity, do it from a place of truth, and do it with a genuine intention. That’s also a really big piece that goes into this. Do it with a genuine intention. I don’t think, I don’t want to think that anybody becomes a yoga teacher or opens a studio just from the pure place of making money, because trust me, this is a really hard industry to make money in. Most likely people that are out there that are becoming teachers or opening studios, it’s because you feel so passionate about this practice, you feel so passionate about this teaching, and you want to spread it to the world. So, keep that intention in the mind again and again and again, because the more we get into this tricky stuff … Trust me, I wish I could spend much less time with the tricky end of things and the business end of things and much less time with the industry part of things, and just more time with the philosophy and tradition and core values of the practice and the teaching, because that’s what I love. That’s why I’m here, right? So if you ever find yourself completely immersed and caught up in all of this mind stuff, in the industry of things, remember why you’re here, right? Remember what it is you’re looking to offer to the world. Remember what brought you here in the first place, and return to that intention of wanting this to grow, right? Of wanting to give another person their first ever true a-ha yoga moment. That’s why we do this, you know? For that look in their eyes of like, “This is it!” Come back to that again and again and just anchor in that intention of wanting to do something really good and to lead with love and things are going to come your way. Trust me.
[63:52] Thank you so so so so so much for listening. I love you all, I love you all, I love you all, I love you all. Let’s keep this conversation going, okay? So, if anybody listening, if you’ve ever had your own story about competition or about something challenging, share it share it share it share it. I’m going to post this to social media, so there’ll be a social media post about competition. Share your stories there! Let other people read them so that we know that we all go through these struggles and we can use it as a fuel to create something awesome. Truly. From the heart. Always from the heart. I will see you all next week!
La Croix – lacroixwater.com
Goop – goop.com/yogagirl
Sun Basket – sunbasket.com/yoga
Parachute – parachutehome.com/yogagirl