Balanced Business – Yoga Alliance Certification Discussion

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I received an email in my inbox today inviting me to the first Annual Yoga Alliance Leadership Conference. It sounds interesting, and it got me thinking. I have always had my own opinions of how Yoga Alliance functions. I believe that they have passed up many amazing opportunities for the community that they stand for, and I feel that there is a lot of potential for growth. I myself am certified through them, as are over 70,000 other yoga teachers, but what exactly does that mean?

I would like to start a discussion amongst you, the yoga teachers:
What are your thoughts on the Yoga Alliance and what it stands for?
What is Yoga Alliance providing to teachers across the country? What could it be doing better?

If there is obvious interest, I plan to attend the conference as a representative of you – the real life teachers who are out there supporting yourselves. I have started my own discussion in the comments below, please feel free to add your own thoughts and opinions!

I understand that this can be a very sensitive topic, so if you prefer to remain anonymous, you can send your comment to me, via email, and I will post it for you.

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Inspired Teachers – Darren Main

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Darren Main is a unique yoga teacher, and it shows in his gentle demeanor, his heart melting restorative classes and his availability to his students. He has found an amazing niche in his home city of San Francisco, managing a very successful teacher training, providing podcasts, video’s and blog posting on an almost daily basis and teaching to a wide assortment of students. In his spare time, he has published four books and has another one on the way about the business of yoga.

Darren is the epitome of finding the balance between business and yoga. We inspire to be as focused and grounded as he is!

This is what he had to say when we interviewed him…

- Where do you teach? How long have you been teaching?
Yoga Tree, Grace Cathedral, The Sun Room
22 Years

- What is your yoga lineage, or, the teachers and modality you learned from?
Originally Kripalu Yoga, but now hatha flow and restorative.

- Where do you get your inspiration?
By traveling to India each year.   I like to get my yoga from the source!

- What’s your favorite website?
Other than my own?  MacRumors.com. . .  I’m a closet geek!

- What’s your style in the studio (clothing, candles, music, scent)?
Background or live music, no scent, some candles, one naked class per week, the rest clothed.

- How did you start your journey and how long did it take you to get where you are today? Who and what were instrumental in getting you here?
My journey began with the twelve-steps.  My first teacher jump-started my life and I have been on an adventure ever since!

- What kind of business experience do you have and how do you utilize it?
None. . . just years of making mistakes and occasionally finding things that work.

- What’s been your greatest struggle in your yoga profession?
My own ego. . . the temptation to compare my teaching to that of others.  When I fall into that trap, nothing flows.  When I teach my own dharma, then all the pieces come together.

- What is the most embarrassing thing that you have said or that has happened to you in your class?
Just one?  Asking a woman what her due date was only to be told that she wasn’t pregnant was defiantly a low point.

- What is one piece of essential advice that you would give to a new teacher?
“To thy own self be true!”  If you are trying to teach another teachers class you will fall on your face.  Know your practice, love your practice and share it with the world.

- Have you ever wanted to just give up and if so, what kept you going?
I have my moments, but for the most part, I thank God every day that I have the best job in the world!  Gratitude for the gift of teaching is the best wind for your sails!

- What’s your favorite yoga outfit?
Well, I teach a naked class, so might not be the best question to ask me.  But for my clothed classes, I like the 72K line of men’s yoga clothes.

- Did you ever have 3 students in your class?
Yes. . . .  But they were the three most important students in the world at that moment.  I was grateful to serve them.

- Tell us something that you don’t tell your students…
I like Diet Coke way more than I like to admit.

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Yoga Accoutrements – Our Favorite Accessories

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As yoga teachesr, we wear spandex every day. Every Day. Most women would be thrilled by that idea, so comfy, so easy. But sometimes all we want to do is put on a tight pair of jeans, a cute top (not made of lycra) & those sexy heels that we bought three months ago but haven’t had a reason to wear yet!

Since we can’t wear our heels to class (or at least we haven’t tried doing tree pose in stilettos) we’ve come up with other ways to have a little more fashion fun in the studio. Below are a few of our favorites. What are your secrets to stepping it up a notch when you are in front of the class?

1. layer it on. These adorable mini skirts by mesheeky are great for wearing before and after class, but they can also add some fun to the game while you are teaching.
2. scarves. These lovely additions bring some color and movement to our form fitted tops. And don’t you always feel a little more chic in a scarf?
3. hair. There is a lot you can do with hair (besides the conventional ponytail) but our current favorite is the feather extension. Just a hint of sass and plenty of class!
4. crazy pants. saint patty’s day green is the new black when it comes to luscious leggings!
5. eyes, fingers, ears & toes (ears & toes). when you’re feeling a little shy, but you want to make a bold statement. Look no further than your finger nails…try a crazy color, some polka dots or even one of these amazing minx foils!

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