Thursday, September 22, 2011

Yogic Philosophy Made Simple and Applicable

Yama's and Niyama's in your life and  work life:
The Yamas and Niyamas are a common sense path in yoga for daily living in this world. 
For the next 10 post I will apply them to daily life and work life.

• Ahimsa (non-violence),
• Satya (truthfulness),
• Asteya (non-stealing),
• Brahmacharya (celibacy) and
• Aparigraha (non-covetousness)

• Shaucha or purity,
• Santosha or contentment,
• Tapa or austerity,
• Swadhyaya or self-education and
• Ishwar-Pranidhan or meditation on the Divine

 Yamas generally refer to how we treat others, however when going deeper it comes full circle to how we treat ourselves effects our actions with others. In life I am doubting anyone reading this is a violent person. However when we put our life under the microscope we can see more clearly how we can apply this. When you go to a restaurant and the waitress is frazzled, do you decide not to leave a tip, or are you rude or angry with him or her ? When you shop at the Holidays and the lines are long, do you get agitated with the people working in the store and the other customers? 

We teach people how to treat us, in our behavior we illicit reactions from others. Not to absolve others from their behavior but to open our eyes to how our actions effect others reactions to us. As my sweet Granny used to say "You catch more flies with honey than vinegar." Well that simple statement was Ahimsa, it was my Granny's Southern philosophical statement on non violence. 

Each day I struggle with not being disappointed with myself and the things I want to be, do, look like, accomplish, etc...
I'd like to save more money, lose some weight, be more patient. However, in focusing on those things I am only serving to make myself feel bad. So in my mind I will say "I have saved $500, and we have a retirement account. I'm only 10lbs heavier than I was in high school and I have had four pregnancies." Today instead of getting angry when my son was late for school for the 6th time in three weeks I said "I love you Honey" (as he walked out the door to get in his car, knowing the school would inflict the proper consequence).
When we are kind to others and to ourselves we feel a sense of pride and accomplishment for being patient and kind. When we are angry and frustrated we feel defeated. By following the philosophy of Ahimsa we build others up to succeed and build ourselves us for success. 


Others: Today when you face people smile, say something kind, think of how they feel. Consider that the person who is angry, rude, or disrespectful could have more on their plate than they can handle and be extra kind to them despite their behavior. 

Yourself: Take time, five minutes or five hours to do something nice for yourself. For me it will be brewing a cup of tea and taking a nice short walk and doing a little yoga before work. 

Meditation: Take a deep breath in and silently say to yourself "I am", as you exhale say to your self something positive, such as "love, peace, joy, happy, beautiful, successful." Repeat several times. 

Peace and Love.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Pricing - Just do it

So this makes me a little crazy and I believe it's a bit of information that could really change people's profit's for the better.
I see a service I am interested in and I go to the web page and there is no price.  So I have no idea if I can afford the widget or service this business has to offer.
I go with my gut when it comes to business and it has never let me down. Put yourself in the customers shoes. When you are looking to purchase or use something if you can't find a price do you give up?
So I will give an example from tonight that made me think of this. I'm on FaceBook (FB), someone local I adore has a business that I think I might like to use. I'm thinking I can spend a specific amount. They do not have a web page and on the FB page there no information about how the service works or how much it cost. See here is the deal, I really want to give this person business, but I would feel foolish if I called and then I could not afford what they needed. If you have a service that is hard to price, give an example of work you do and a clear statement that prices vary based on whatever your variables are. If you are struggling in a new business and do not know what to charge then "google" or research at least ten similar businesses and look at pricing. Then compare prices in your area. In Arkansas we charge a little less for yoga that the East or West Coast so I have to stay competitive. Ideally you don't want to be the most expensive until you have really built a reputation and you don't want to be cheap just to be cheap. Price fairly. Make sure you give a brief and concise statement about what you offer.

Here is an example from my web page: There is more info on the web page describing refunds and other financial policies, but you clearly know what you are paying for and what it cost. There is more detailed information on the website for specific events and trainings.

·       Workshops  and Intensives  (C.E.U.’s available): $20 credit hour. If hosted 75/25(host) split, host advertises on website and current publications.

·       Yoga to go: $15 per person, minimum of $105.

·       Guest teaching with Courtney: $50 per hour, plus the cost of copies up to $15, and mileage outside of Garland County.

·       Personalized therapeutic yoga sessions :$60 per session, 1hr.

Hope this is helpful to someone and increases your revenue.


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Want to find work or keep your job?

 In yoga teacher training there are many types of personalities. Though I may care and appreciate each person, when it comes to hiring I have to look for very specific qualities. In my work as an employer and as a manager (I own a business and work for a large non profit) I have to make decisions in hiring that can be quite difficult.

What I look for when hiring:

1. Is the person a team player? Does he or she work well with others and have a positive outlook about the organization?
2. How does the person handle conflict? Can he or she understand that in business life problems do arise and it takes patience and tact to work through them and find a solution?
3. Are they dependable? Will show up for work and give plenty of notice when they need to be off?
4. Do they follow the rules of the organization? This is much like being a team player however it goes deeper than this. For instance, we have a rule that when teaching certain poses a teacher must give a modification if the pose has the potential for being dangerous. Do teachers take caution and understand how they can modify?
5. Are the teachers willing to continually learn and improve their skills?

Here are some steps to finding work or keeping your current position:

1. Does the timing of the job fit your schedule? Apply for work only if you know you can be dependable. If you find you need to make changes speak to your boss about a schedule change, they just may be able to accommodate you.
2. In other areas of your life be dependable. For instance do you show up for appointments on time? Do you do what you say you are going to do? This will reflect in your reputation.
3. Be willing to understand that there will be challenges. You will have to try to solve some problems. Expect that others are not trying to make you angry, they are merely doing what they think needs to be done. Simply put be flexible and open minded.
4. Always  be a student. Continue to study, ask questions, read books and blogs on your profession.
5. Be willing to admit your mistakes. Apologize, take responsibility and move on. Above all, do right once you know where you messed up, intentionally or not. 
6. If you don't know, admit it. On a regular basis people ask me for help with specific health issues. Now there are about 1,999,999 different health issues in the world. If I don't know the answer I say " I'd like to double check to be safe. I'll get back to you." Then do it.
7. Do your work in a reasonable amount of time. Make sure you understand your expectations. If you boss says "I need you to do this." You say, "When do you need that by?" If you find you cannot meet that expectation once you start your project, then speak to your superiors and discuss it. Whatever you do, don't let it sit out there and ignore dealing with it. Likely your superiors are in a place of management because they are "Get it done" types. Always handle things in a timely fashion.
8. Manage expectations. If you have an expectation then ask if you are not sure. Don't let things fester. Deal with your challenges as soon as you can.

Simply Put:
  • Show up
  • Smile
  • Be nice
  • Study
  • Care
  • Work hard
  • Be honest
  • Be flexible

Here is a great blog post from Step Morgan on hiring employees.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

From Yoga Student to Yoga Teacher

You have decided to make a life change and your not quite sure what that will look like but in your mind you have some ideas, dreams, and hopes. Congratulations, that is the beginning. Anything you can picture you can likely do, it may take tenacity and preservation but if you can picture it you are on your way. Here are the details in getting started on your journey and some helpful hints to help you get the most out of your journey.

First Steps:
  1. You will need to have some background with yoga. You need to know you really love practicing before you decide to be a teacher.
  2. Be able to answer the question for yourself -Why do I want to teach ?
  3. Find several schools that appeal to you and research them. What is it you like about the school? Do you like the teachers? The style of yoga? What is their history? 
  4. What appeals to you? A small school with less than 15 or so students per class? Or a big school that is more like a college campus?  
  5. Ask some teachers who went through the program how they feel about the school.
  6. Once you pick a school then you will want to email or call the Director. Send in your deposit and application. There may or may not be a phone interview. If the teacher knows you then they may skip this part.
  7. Make arrangements to be able to attend "all" of the classes. Most schools do not let you miss any classes, but if you know you may have to miss one or two classes make sure you speak to your teacher and see if you can make it up. Many schools will make you wait a year to repeat the sessions you miss.
Once classes start:
  1. Have what you need the first day.
  2. Bring an attitude of willingness to learn.
  3. Take care of yourself during training. Eat healthy, exercise, sleep, and do your yoga practice. 
  4. Do your work on time. I know this sounds like a "DUH" but it's crucial to enjoying your training. Make sure to set time out of your day, week, or month to do homework and assignments so you are not rushed. When I was in school I would get to my kids school an hour early and sit in my car the parking lot, not answer my cell phone and do my assignments in the car- no distractions. It worked for me for the reading and written work. 
  5. Go to other teachers yoga classes.