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The Business of Spirituality

By November 13, 2018 No Comments

As I’ve grown to share my ideas and vision through Rising Sages, I hear suggested marketing tips, branding ideas, and tactics that are commonly used. It’s as if I hear the practical information in one ear, but my body lacks any interest in actually following through with it. What I have to share is personal, and at the same time, universal, and I have a hard time fitting it all into 7 easy steps.

I don’t know many people, yogi or non, that hasn’t considered their purpose, choices and emotional dilemmas especially when life feels challenging. The only difference between Yogi and non-Yogi is that we intentionally practice connecting to a larger picture. I am not savvy enough to sell you on the idea of a better life, unless you have personally experienced the effects of practice. It is important to recognize that how yoga has been spread and marketed, does not accurately depict a necessarily better life. It is equally important to recognize that each of us holds within our hearts our own version of this “better life”. My most brilliant gimmick will fail to hold your interested if the timing isn’t supportive of your participation. I can re-brand or reword the material, but it is still the same material.

What I can do is recognize at this point in my life, my accomplishments and offer my understanding and encouragement. I no longer strive to constantly improve my creditdentials, because my worth is not my studies but my intention. Success as a teacher is not equivalent to ones marketability, but is evident in your teachings and interactions. The energy through which you share your understanding of the teachings is clear as you have walked it. When I teach, I feel a sense of confidence in sharing about practice and life, because I know I am moving the information as best I can in the current moment as I’m learning it myself. It does not mean I’m unwavable, imperfect, more marketable, less qualified, under educated, or pompous by saying this. I realize listening to these marketing ideas, that the best I can do is stand in my own accomplishments and recognize how far I’ve come. The storyline is thick and rich but not inclusive or limited to just those experiences because they may relate to one or two yourself. I am someone who has overcome a massive eating disorder in my youth, tempers addictive behaviours, been dependent on my yoga practice to deal with anxiety, weathered emotionally unhealthy relationships, moved across the world alone several times, paid off $50,000 in debt, built two businesses, taught thousands of people through the Vancouver area yoga, inspired people, disappointed people, given massive amounts of love and support, and then left and broken more than a dozen times. I gave birth to my daughter, I have fought to embrace my family, I have changed habits, appearance, thought patterns, opinions, and all I have to say at the end of it is so can you.

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Author Nathalie

Nathalie Saunderson has spent over a decade exploring the world of yoga and teaching classes and retreats in the Vancouver area. With a background in the classical Hatha, Ashtanga and Iyengar traditions, she offers her insights from this journey, to further inspire the deep spiritual inquiry that arises from practice.

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