Today is "Pay It Forward Day". A day where we make it a point to do something nice for someone else and perform acts of selflessness. Today I'm sure plenty of people will have their Starbucks paid for by the customer in front of them and charities will get a bump in their donation collections. Whoever came up with the idea of this special day was brilliant and clearly had their mind in a positive place. But wouldn't it be even cooler if everyday of the year was dedicated to paying it forward to your fellow man in one way or another?
As yoga instructors, we have the privilege to share our knowledge and love of yoga with others. We provide guidance, inspiration, and support for individuals from all walks of life coming to their mat to practice their yoga. But anyone who has been through a standard YTT knows that yoga on the mat is only one small part of the yogic practice. We learn that the first limb of yoga, the yama's, gives guidance on how we interact with the world around us and the impact we makes on others.
"Yoga is a practice of transforming and benefiting every aspect of life, not just the 60 minutes spent on a rubber mat; if we can learn to be kind, truthful and use our energy in a worthwhile way, we will not only benefit ourselves with our practice, but everything and everyone around us too."--Emma Newlyn, Eckhart Yoga
"One's spiritual realization lies in none other than how one walks among and interacts with one's fellow beings."--B.K.S. Iyengar
I highly recommend you find ways not just in your day-to-day behavior to show kindness and selflessness to others, but in your career as an instructor as well. Find some local non-profits that you believe in and connect with their director. Talk to them about partnering up to do some donation-based yoga classes. Charities and non-profits are constantly trying to raise money and for the most part, raise their eyebrows when someone approaches THEM about fundraising. I've recently reached out to theatres, animal shelters, and girls' confidence groups about doing some yoga for their benefit and literally every single one of them immediately responded with positive enthusiasm. Not only are you doing good for the world around you, but you can absolutely take the chance to hand out business cards, get emails added to your mailing list, and advertise your resident classes and events.
Make yourself stand out as yoga professional and as a valuable member of your community. I guarantee people will notice and will in turn want to support you and your business.
Comment with any questions or ideas of paying it forward as a yoga instructor! And do something nice for someone and yourself today!