In case you can’t read Spanish or are too young to know what the title means, I wrote “Yes, you can” and basically, “long live the strike!” A strike is one of the most powerful tools workers can use to fight business owners. “Viva la huelga” was the rallying cry of Chicano farm workers in California and Texas when they fought for decent living wages, decent housing, and for the right to be represented by a union.
I am certainly NOT comparing the working conditions of yoga teachers to farm workers who perform back breaking labor in the hot sun but…
what if yoga teachers stopped working for shit pay?
I mean, all over the country, in every yoga studio.
After yesterday’s post I was told that in Salt Lake City, Utah the rate for yoga teachers is more like $1-$3 per student instead of the Chicago rate of $6 per student. Maybe someone who is fresh out of their 200-hour is fine with that, but for those who have been teaching for 10+ years, it’s damn insulting. Add to that basic 200 hour training, years of study in India (if that was the teacher’s path), any type of specialized training like in trauma or addictions or Yoga Nidra, etc., or becoming a Certified Yoga Therapist via a 300/800/1000 hour training.
Obviously the current yoga studio model is broken and abysmal.
It also doesn’t help that yoga teachers are (and have been for years) a dime a dozen in America thanks to too many yoga teacher trainings.
BLOW UP THE MODEL AND INVENT A NEW ONE.
But people always get what they put up. Always.
What if yoga teachers banded together and refused to teach for shit pay at studios? What if they demanded a living wage where they could support themselves and pay bills?
How many teachers do you know — maybe you are one yourself — who are completely burned out and injured from teaching too many classes a week in order to support yourself? You don’t even have time for your practice, right?
I know that some studio owners ask their established teachers to teach for free in order to introduce or attract people to the studio. JUST. STOP.
There IS power in numbers. What could yoga studio owners do? NOTHING. If it meant yoga studios going out of business, so what? Aren’t there too many studios in some places, a studio on every block in large cities like Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles?
Or would this scenario mean that only the corporate studios stay like CorePower and their ilk?
Think about it and talk amongst yourselves.
Spread the word, forward this post. Maybe we can start a labor movement. Dare I say it, a union for yoga teachers? Oh wait, I just woke up from that dream.
What has the Yoga Alliance done for ya lately? 😉