How Teaching Yoga Nourishes an Entrepreneurial Spirit
The entrepreneurial spirit. It’s hot right now—trending, even. But what is it?
According to Amway’s Global Entrepreneurship Report, the entrepreneurial spirit is defined by several key characteristics, including:
- A desire to learn, and a willingness to learn from mistakes
- Creativity, resourcefulness and a desire to innovate
- An urge to create success (in whatever way each individual perceives success)
- Wanting to enjoy life and feel empowered
Entrepreneurship adds innovation and creates change in society. It’s simultaneously about independence and community; about challenging the status quo and seeking new and more fulfilling ways of living in the world.
It could even change the environment around us for the better. Green Entrepreneurship has been around for over 30 years and refers to people making potentially risky innovations in a conscious effort to address environmental problems.
Teaching yoga is entrepreneurial
Yoga teachers are usually pretty in touch with their entrepreneurial spirit. Read that list of characteristics, again; do they apply to you? Did they, at least in part, motivate you to become a yoga teacher?
- Yoga teachers, by instinct and through training and study, have a desire to learn.
Good yoga teachers always know that they can become better yoga teachers. Yoga teaches us to embrace the beginner’s mind; to cultivate curiosity and strive to find a lesson in each mistake we make or each setback we’re faced with.
- Teaching yoga requires creativity, resourcefulness, and innovation.
Each day we work with different minds and bodies. We adapt physical practices to suit the people in front of us and weave opportunities for philosophical or emotional insight into our work so seamlessly that students don’t even notice it. We sequence creatively, market our classes creatively, and seek to innovate new ways of connecting with students as the times change.
- Yoga teachers want to share yoga for a reason.
We want to create success within our teaching in a way that is personal to us and personal to the practice. It’s different for everyone. But we do this ourselves; with each class, each workshop, each new plan.
- Yoga teachers usually believe in a more holistic and wellbeing focused way of living.
We want to enjoy our lives. We teach because we love teaching and because we want to help other people feel better and enjoy their lives. And we want to feel the power that comes with feeling good; with feeling strong and resilient. We experience empowerment by sharing our practice with others.
And teaching yoga can nourish and strengthen your entrepreneurial spirit…
So I’m willing to bet that most yoga teachers feel at least a little aligned with the characteristics of entrepreneurship. And the practice of teaching yoga in itself can nourish that spirit; drawing on it and strengthening it at the same time.
Teaching yoga requires you to use those elements of yourself. You have to want to learn. You have to be creative—otherwise neither you nor your students will feel supported or inspired by your teaching for very long.
You have to want a different kind of success; to have the patience to persevere even though this isn’t a conventional or easy route to earning a comfortable living.
And teaching yoga is empowering. It will strengthen your belief in yourself. It will reflect your endurance, your curiosity, and your desire to learn back at you every single day; in obvious ways and in subtle ways.
Which, in turn, will motivate your professional development
As this spirit is nourished and strengthened, your teaching will evolve. You will integrate challenges into your teaching methodology. You will embrace those students that make you question yourself because they teach you how to listen, accept, adapt.
This spirit will push you to discover new layers of yoga practice and experience. It will motivate you to train further; to follow the specialist paths that capture your interest, and to get onto your own mat and practice. To explore yoga. To expand your capacity to learn and teach.
You’ll look for new ways to promote your teaching; new people to network and collaborate with. And you will look for need: you will be ready to spot opportunities to make a difference with yoga. Every mood that is lifted by a yoga practice counts.
This spirit is your companion in practice and professionalism. You have it already; whether you call it entrepreneurship or something else. As you teach, you care for it; and as you care for it, your teaching practice develops.