16 June 2010
The warehouse manager at my husband's company once told The Hubs that he (the manager) had a high level of confusement. ;) :)
I'm throwing the question out there: as a yoga student, do you get confused when you experience a style of yoga you are not familiar with? Or do you just go with flow and if it resonates with you that's fine, and if not, that's fine too?
The reason I ask is that a yoga studio owner gave me that reason as to why he did not feel comfortable with me doing a workshop. He thought his students would get "confused."
As a teacher getting my name out there in my area, I send a lot of emails to studios asking if they would like to offer one of my workshops. It's a simple, standard email introduction of myself, giving them my website link, stating what I can offer, giving them a link to news articles about me, things like that. It's a standard business introduction. A yoga teacher friend told me that when she took a "business of yoga" workshop, the presenter said that you have to get your name in front of people at least 7 times before they connect with you. Sometimes yoga studio owners tell me "let's do it!", but for the most part I never hear from them. Not even a "thanks, but no thanks" response. As my husband the Big Shot Corporate Guy has told me, a lot of small business owners have really crappy personal business skills. They may know what they're doing in their business, but as for people skills, forget it.
This week I heard from one local studio owner who said that he would feel more comfortable if I spent time at his studio getting to know his style and "methods" so that I could "get an understanding of where the students are coming from." Then he said, "I don't mind if students seek out other styles on there own, but if I'm going to offer it to them [workshops], I feel it is my responsibility to offer programing that keeps into alignment [sic] with the other offerings so as to not confuse the students."
Now I have a high level of confusement.
The website states that the studio is an "intimate studio that creates a safe environment for exploration into the yogic arts." OK, sounds good to me, which is why I emailed the owner. I happen to know that the owner is heavily Iyengar influenced because a long time ago one of my former students also practiced with this teacher. The studio is not specifically an Iyengar yoga studio and the classes are advertised as simply being yoga classes, not Iyengar yoga classes.
I was amused by the owner's email. I must say that this was the first time anyone ever told me that I should spend time at their studio getting to know their style and methods. From the class descriptions on the website, I don't understand how the owner would think that what I do is so wildly different from his offerings. Obviously I am not going to send my workshop proposals to name-branded studios that only offer Bikram or Anusara yoga or to strict Iyengar yoga studios!
In my response to him I said (tongue in cheek) that I think I know a little bit about classical yoga and therapeutic yoga since I study at Desikachar's school every year. I said that I am certainly familiar with Iyengar yoga and while it is not a style I have studied in depth, I've attended many Iyengar yoga classes over the years. My own teacher in Chicago studied at an Iyengar Institute and also with Pattabhi Jois. If he had taken the time to read my website (and from his response my gut tells me that he did not -- or maybe he did and he was confused!), he would have seen that I've been around the yoga block more than a few times.
I told him that to me, yoga is yoga, and it all comes from the same source which in this modern yoga era is Sri Krishnamacharya. I said that this was the first time I had heard a studio owner say that students might get "confused" if they experience a style of yoga that is different from what they are used to doing. Wouldn't taking my workshop be their choice anyway? If they are curious they will take it, if not, they will pass on it.
I asked him to explain why he thought his students would be confused because I was honestly perplexed by his statement.
In any event, I said that the testimonials from my students speak for themselves on my website, so if he would like to offer his students the gift of another style of yoga that may further them along their path, to contact me in the future.
I will let you know his response.
If it's not too confusing.