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The Value of Mentoring

Pip Taverner
Aug 31, 2021 12:24:15 PM

During my personal journey into teaching yoga, there was minimum mentoring support for yoga teachers and especially for yoga businesses. It was certainly an unfamiliar area to me and not something I knew existed when I began my yoga career. When I qualified the idea of mixing a professional business with yoga, seemed contradictory and frowned upon by fellow yoga specialists/teachers. After all, were we not aspiring to drop the 9-5 capitalist trappings, rejecting the materialistic way of life in the west and adopting a wonderful life of yoga classes and India trips seeking a higher truth through our practice?

I reflect back on my own personal journey and I too certainly relished my new career change and winters in Mysore India. Whilst I fully aligned and agreed with the questions about how I live my life through my yoga practice I also wanted to develop my teaching into a successful profession I would be proud of and could continue long term. I naturally drew upon my business acumen when I began teaching yoga. Having more than a decade of working in operational management and training roles in the beauty and wellbeing sector in London, it seemed a logical thing to do, to bridge my business skills with my developing yoga career.

As I embarked on my new career I lacked confidence and felt overwhelmed with self-doubt and imposter syndrome as I tried to move forward. In a way focusing on growing my yoga business was a tool to gaining self-confidence. So, I put my heart into creating the yoga business I dreamt about rather than what I thought other people expected of me. As I set my goals of a yoga retreat business, workshops, courses and events, teaching at festivals, they passed from my "wish list" to eventually becoming a reality, and even appearing in the national press.

Whilst I delighted in all of my goals and achievements I found at times that it was a lonely path creating a yoga business. I recalled that I had always been mentored in my corporate jobs, the interactions and communication with like-minded people, with a shared business vision. Previously I had been part of a whole team of managers, peers and directors supporting me with quarterly performance reviews and appraisals, so it felt strange to have no one to turn to for advice on my yoga business.

A mentor is someone you seek guidance from who has experience and success in the areas you wish to get support in. For example, if you wanted to get advice on how to run a yoga retreat then you would look for a mentor who has a proven track record in running retreats successfully, offering practical advice from direct experience, which then can help you in making decisions for your business with confidence. The mentoring journey can be transformational for your confidence as a teacher and for your yoga business.

A key question I would ask myself when seeking support is whether the mentor is inspirational and aspirational. What has their journey been and have they walked the path I wish to walk, and do they show success in the areas of business that I wish to explore? By pursuing a living from teaching yoga, being self-sufficient and the freedom this offers, then teaching yoga is a business, with I believe, mentoring is a key component to its success.

So, how does yoga connect with business without feeling misaligned? I believe it’s not only possible but essential to have a yoga business based on yogic values, Satya, truthfulness, Karuna, compassion, Aparigraha, non-attachment to name just a few. When I created my mentorship programme to support other yoga teachers in feeling confident in creating sustainable and thriving yoga businesses, the roots of what I share are based in these yogic principles.

The way we connect and communicate with our yoga communities has increasingly changed during the past decade. It has served us well to educate ourselves and seek guidance to navigate the ever-changing yoga teaching landscape, to create growth in ourselves and yoga businesses, so we can keep sharing the incredible practice of yoga. We are doing good in the world by teaching yoga, so let’s continue to help and support each other personally and professionally. By sharing it better and further, the role and value of the mentor is becoming increasingly visible as a part of the yoga journey.

Pip’s mentorship programme Elevate begins on the 5th of September, find out more about the mentorship and her 1:1 Yoga Business Coaching here at www.youryogacareer.com or connect with pip over at Instagram @pipyoga108 

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