The Yoga of Work: One in All or All in One

In the business realm of yoga teachers, there has been a loud and clear call to narrow down and focus on one area of interest. Prenatal Yoga. Yoga for Kids. Yoga for Runners and Cyclists. Yoga for War Veterans. The list – and possibilities – are endless. I’m probably best known for teaching Yoga for Women Cancer Survivors.

Yet I also teach Restorative Yoga, Prenatal Yoga, and various levels of Hatha and Vinyasa Flow at four studios, a gym, several government agencies, and to private groups and individuals.

jill-of-all-tradesAnd I write.

And I sell fair trade natural beauty products.

And I translate documents from Catalan to English.

And I volunteered at a local nonprofit healing and arts center’s successful fundraising event.

Had I limited my work to only one of the above, I would have grown resentful that my job prevented me from maximizing my full creative and intellectual potential. Believe me, I tried. Last fall, I learned a good deal about the business of teaching yoga through an online series, the Yoga Business Sutras, which featured internationally known masters such as Duncan Wong, Racheal Cook, and Jennifer Pastiloff. While recovering from surgery, I completed an online course, Yoga Marketing Mastery, taught by the enthusiastic, knowledgeable Chris King. This is not to say that my failure to limit my work to a single niche – and invest 110% of my efforts into its promotion – rendered futile my time and energy in the online courses.

Narrowing down to a single niche works for many people. Yoga and the Pelvic Floor? Leslie Howard. Pranayama, Anatomy and Physiology? Leslie Kaminoff.

For others, a single niche would be like only eating one of the food groups that make up a balanced diet. Working only with Women Cancer Survivors (who I affectionately call “Warrior Women”), pregnant women, or government workers would result in malnourishment. When I tried to reduce my workload in other areas to concentrate on Yoga for Women Cancer Survivors, a hunger gnawed deep within. My intuition could not ignore the inspiration from pregnant women, students who needed to relax deeply, or wanted to learn yoga basics while modifying for a chronic ailment, or safely progress to arm balances. Nor could I ignore my passion for Catalan, writing, and art.

Shri K. Pattabhi Jois, the guru of Ashtanga Yoga, famously reiterated, “Practice, and all is coming.” Do what you love. Stay in the moment, with your breath, as you dedicate your time and energy into your endeavor. Maybe it’s one thing all day. Maybe it’s all of your passions, divided among the hours of one day.

Thankfully, all is coming, thanks to the generosity of many people who presented me with opportunities: new yoga private clients and classes, an invitation to become a Pangea Organics Beauty Ecologist, and an amazing Catalan-to-English translation project. With gratitude, in the next month I will give back to the universe by leading my Warrior Women team plus assisting at Living Beyond Breast Cancer’s annual fundraiser event, Yoga on the Steps, as well as applying the skills learned from a B.T.Y. (Before Teaching Yoga) job, packing the beautiful Alchemical Vessels at the local nonprofit healing and arts center.

What about you? Are you a one-niche person, or a jack-of-all-trades? Listen to your intuition: are you heeding life’s callings? Does your work fulfill you? As you move with your breath on the mat, notice your yearnings.

© 2013 Amy Dara Hochberg. All rights reserved.