I did a recent count of people I know who have become yoga teachers and I soon ran out of fingers.
And who can blame them?
Whereas most professions require years of study and practice, you can become a yoga teacher in the time it takes the moon to go around the earth. From China to California, Vietnam to the Bahamas, in just one month you can emerge from the Sivananda teacher training program with a diploma certifying you as a yoga instructor.
It costs a few thousand euros, of course, but at least you’ll make that back when you start giving classes? Oh wait, there are already 3 yoga teachers in your village…
Yoga retreats are holidays that make you feel better about yourself
For the enterprising yoga teacher there’s always the chance to run your own yoga retreat. The first step is to find somewhere warm to do it – not as much demand for a retreat in Lapland as in Ibiza or Morocco. Then, because it’s hard to make a living selling retreats to people with no money, the yoga retreat must also be a vacation with hotels fancy enough to satisfy the kind of customers who have a lot of money to spend. If the retreat is somewhere like Morocco or India, there needs to be enough distance from the grubby day to day realities that might sully the whole spiritual experience.
You can see it starts to sound expensive.
Check out for instance this blog post entitled yoga retreats you can actually afford – the first one listed costs $207 a day. But wouldn’t you want to look like those girls around the pool?
So where are the cheap yoga retreats?
What’s cheap for someone living in Austria where a cup of coffee can be 5 euros might be well out of reach for someone from Portugal where the same can be had for 60 cents. Retreat organisers and yoga teachers have to make a living just like anyone else, and there are all kinds of expenses that hopefully boost the local economy.
The Road Junky Sahara yoga retreat is about half the cost of other yoga events but, truth be told, while there’s yoga in the mornings but we also have other activities like dance, contact improv, music and storytelling – bottom line is that if you want to go on an intensive yoga retreat where you do 6 hours of asanas and pranayama a day you’re best off looking on one of the many groups on Facebook for yoga retreats.
But then you wouldn’t get to make yoga somewhere like this…