"So what are you doing here?"

Oh yoga instructors.

I am at once inspired and made stronger by you, and also befuddled and perplexed by you. I heard a story the other day about a studio that uses us where an instructor asked their studio's new desk person the question: "So what are you doing here?" when they found out that this new desk person wasn't an instructor.


Now, there are a lot of beautiful and wonderful things about the yoga industry, (and even better people) and I talk about these things often. But there are also some very real things that are quite simply broken, and this is one of them. 

This is the kind of thing that I'm talking about when I write that the yoga industry at times seems to have a very real disrespect for people who are not teachers. There is a prevalance in the yoga community to believe that someone who's yoga path doesn't take them down the road of becoming a teacher is somehow on a path that is inferior. This is simply not the case and the level of disrespect this belief lays at the feet of the average yogi is stunning to me.

My wife Maile is not an instructor. And yet it is through her actions that countless people have been introduced to yoga, including myself.

Do servers and bartenders get asked by a Chef what they are doing in the restaurant? Do programmers ask a designer what they are doing at a development shop? Does a barista at Starbucks think less of a dedicated cashier? No. In these industries everyone realizes they are part of a team, and that team is formed by the business. 

I think it's high time the industry raises the expectations of how a professional yoga instructor should approach their chosen profession.

And if you're not ready to act like a professional, then what are you doing here?