Should Yoga be Free ($0)?
There are usually two different camps on the ‘should yoga be free’ topic.. One side says something like “ Of course it should be free, it's an ancient tradition handed down from generation to generation”. The other side goes something like this: teaching yoga is a profession in which the teachers need to make money in order to live.
A little history
Back thousands of years ago yoga was handed down verbally from teacher to student, usually an elder in the family to someone younger. Patanjali was the first to write out the sutras over 1,700 years ago but even at that time daily tasks were different. Life wasn’t as demanding in regards to the hustle and bustle of the modern world, internet, working 40+ hour weeks. It was simpler, there was time for more traditional teaching and learning.
The idea of yoga is to become one with the inner Self and the Universe. Yoga is not just asana (physical postures) and meditation. These are just two of areas used to gain more connection. Through the years yoga has changed and evolved however continues to be preserved as special ritual.
Over the years, yoga has turned into somewhat of a business. It was made famous globally by many teachers, such as Pattabhijois, BKS. Iyengar, Swami Satyananda Saraswati and Swami Shivananda, who came up with their own interpretations of the practice.
All the attention, especially in the last 40 years or so, can make yoga feel saturated and “popular”. However the truth is the world would be a better place if everyone practiced yoga or some form of mindfulness. It brings about a more balance in mind, body and spirit, which allows for more inner peace. If you feel at peace, it’s a little harder to bring conflict into the picture. A waterfall effect of good vibes!
So many people are consumed with work, child rearing, social engagements, etc. therefore having an outlet like movement can relieve stress and tension. Yoga is a form of movement for many people. The asana (physical postures) is more widely practiced as “yoga” in the Western world (more on this below).
Self-care is also becoming more prevalent and many people associate meditation with being part of a self-care practice. Meditation comes in many forms like journalling, breathing, exercise involving being mindful and aware of breath. When you’re paying attention to what’s happing in the present moment without a thought of before or after, that’s mediation.
Should yoga be free?
As stated before, the physical practice and meditation are only two areas that make up yoga. There are other parts that encompass yoga, simply put there are four general classifications of yoga. There’s yoga practices that utilize the body, emotions, intellect (mind) and energy. Specifics in each area can be learned and reached when guided by a trained yoga teacher.
Yoga teachers are not unlike personal trainers, chefs, accountants, professors, etc. A teacher takes his/her extensive knowledge and breaks it up into bit size pieces for students. This enables the students to learn little by little, rather than feeling overwhelmed with all the information coming in at the same time.
The vast majority of yoga teachers spend money and time receiving training, continued education and consistently practicing themselves in order to make purposeful classes. All the time and energy yoga teachers spend on preparing and executing just one class is worthy of a fee.
Teachers are there to guide students through an experience that ultimately allows each person to connect on a greater level with her/his breath, body, mind and ultimately the Universe. I mean you wouldn’t go to a nice restaurant where you loved the whole experience of dinning and decide you don’t what to pay for what you ate, right? Right! Therefore, yoga teachers deserve to be paid for their services just like anyone else in the health service industry.
Let me know your throughs on this in the comments section.
Disclaimer: The information on this website (Alt Yoga Vibe) is for informational purposes only and does not substitute for medical treatment. If you are experiencing any severe symptoms, please consult a healthcare practitioner.