Corporate Yoga? Who, ME?

I’m more than a little bit cranky on this Monday afternoon. Considered not blogging, as I feel it my duty to aim to inspire here, but perhaps I can inspire myself with a little blog therapy. Maybe it was all the yoga this weekend (workshop with visiting “celeb” yogis Nicki Doane and Eddie Modestini) – sometimes after intense practices a lot of crankiness comes up. But most of all, today I am cranky about a fellow blogger who so kindly wrote about our Cowgirl Yoga retreats, and then got snarky about the “corporateness”. Because I was (ahem) smart enough to trademark the term “Cowgirl Yoga” before someone ripped it off? That’s considered corporate? I could tell you a thing or two about corporate after spending a considerable amount of time in that environment. This ain’t it, baby. I’ve been known to have phone calls with my feet braced against the closet door and my poor daughter banging her heart out on the other side of it. I am the only real “employee” of Big Sky Yoga Retreats, and believe me, sometimes I wish I could fire myself. I run the biz side out of my less-than-sleek home office, and I lead every retreat. I’ve been lucky enough to partner with larger companies that I have a personal history with, prior to a business relationship (as in, I was a loyal customer). And the biggest thing I pride myself on is the very personal element behind my business. 

The author of this blog said that the “combo of corporate and yoga gives her the willies”. Yeah, I hear you on that…but the combo of lack of business sense and yoga gives ME the willies. I can say this, after years of running my own studio in Washington DC and dealing with some of the most unprofessional (and while I’m no psychiatrist, I might add crazy) people I’ve ever encountered. I’ve written articles about the biggest challenge I’ve faced with regards to my yoga ventures – finding the balance between being yogic and being businesslike. I quote myself to sum this up:
It is hard to find equanimity when you find out someone is stealing from you. Managing a staff of yoga teachers has been a lot more thorny and complicated that I ever imagined. How could there be so much conflict amongst yogis? How about the student that makes a scene because the yoga class or retreat wasn’t what they expected?
Well, yogis are people too and human nature had its darker side. But over the last few years I have realized that within these situations the greatest opportunities for learning and growing my yoga practice can be found. I don’t know if I would have been able to see things that way while climbing the corporate ladder and trying not to look down or get knocked off. The perspective I have gained from my yoga career has been yet another unanticipated gift.