100 mg Dilantin no prescription canadian orlistat manufacturers Once a week, I teach free yoga classes at various locations. Recently, I’ve had quite a few students ask me if I accept donations. The short answer is yes, donations are accepted and appreciated — but by no means are they required to come to my class.
I’d like to elaborate on this just a bit, given the flack that teachers like me get sometimes for only offering “free” and “donation based” classes. There are some (not all, but some) that contest that by offering free and donation based classes that teachers like me somehow devalue the teachings of yoga, that these types of classes are somehow not as good, and/or that I am devaluing myself as a yoga teacher.
These assumptions, in my humble opinion, are a general (and, quite frankly, unfair) assessment, given that those who make such comments don’t really know the real reason why I do what I do.
Obviously I find immense value in the teachings and practice of yoga, otherwise I wouldn’t be doing it. I wouldn’t have invested the thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours of time into my teacher training, with the eagerness and anticipation of absorbing as much knowledge as I possibly could, or have gone to numerous studios and taken countless classes if I thought it wasn’t worth it.
I know my value as a teacher. I know the value of what I am teaching my students. I know that after my classes my students are walking away feeling better about themselves and their practice — I feel it every time I teach.
I also know the immeasurable value in what yoga has given me as a student. I know the value of the knowledge and guidance my teachers have given me over the years. I know — despite the long road ahead of me — how yoga has transformed me in ways I never thought possible.
I also know the challenges I’ve faced in finding the ways I felt yoga fit into my life, and sometimes, how I fit into it. I remember the years prior to stepping into my first class, and the obstacles that kept me from doing so. The times when I wanted to try it, but my self-defeating thoughts (not to mention my misunderstanding of what yoga really is) prevented me from doing so because I felt like I wasn’t “flexible enough” or that I “couldn’t do yoga”. The times I experienced the self-conscious emotions that come along with those self-defeating thoughts, allowing my preconceived notions about yoga feed into the misconception that the eyes of the more “seasoned” and “experienced” yogis would all be fixated on “the beginner”, judging me and ridiculing my lack of ability throughout the process.
I’ve also felt the frustration of not being able to find a place that I could afford to attend regularly, and the equal frustration in having to skip weeks or months at a time because I was going through a financial rough patch. The frustration of missing that connection, that guidance that I felt was offered to me by going to a class with a teacher I could trust would keep me safe throughout my practice.
Luckily, I overcame these feelings of self-consciousness and frustration, largely in part, by attending free yoga classes. And I feel very strongly that I may not be where I am in my practice — and in my life — had that opportunity not been offered to me.
This is why I do free and donation based classes. I want to offer the other “me”s out there a safe and comfortable place to practice yoga. The ones who feel a little nervous about dipping their feet into the yoga pool for fear that they aren’t “flexible enough”. The ones who believe the misconception that a yoga class is a place where you are judged for not being “as good” as the person on the mat next to you, or that there is even a such thing as “good” or “bad” at yoga to begin with.
I also do it for the ones who can’t afford to pay the standard rates for a studio class, the ones that can usually afford it but may be going through a little “rough patch”, and the ones that can afford it, but want to save a couple bucks to buy a new home, or a new car, or a new whatever. I even do it for the ones who can afford it, but quite frankly don’t want to shell out the money because they don’t yet understand the true value of practicing yoga under the guidance of a qualified and caring teacher.
The seasoned and the beginner, the rich and the poor, the flexible and the inflexible: I want to offer my classes to anyone willing to learn more about the practice — despite income, ability, race, gender, age and orientation.
I don’t do it to devalue the practice, devalue my abilities as a teacher, or to take away the business of anyone else. If anything, it’s the exact opposite. I do it to show anyone who’s willing to listen the immeasurable value of this practice. I do it to show the value and benefit that comes with the guidance of a qualified yoga teacher and the connection with other students in a class setting.
I do it to offer the opportunity for students to become more confident in their practice so perhaps they may one day feel confident enough to step into a studio and take a class. I do it to give students the opportunity to practice yoga in a class setting despite financial woes. I do it for the connection with others and for the love of the practice.
And perhaps above all other reasons, I do it because I believe that yoga is for everyone.