A little bit ago I watched the video for John Friend’s new revolutionary extra-wide Manduka yoga mat. I was put off by the marketing language. Why make claims that the purchase of a $100 mat is going to give you an “an inner opening”? “Lead to the very essence of your heart”? I understand that a wider, longer mat may be more appropriate for a wider, longer body, but I wish the language would be toned down. I love me some good old fashioned capitalism, especially expensive yoga pants, but connecting the quality of one’s yoga gear and spiritual development puts me off.
While bombshells fall in the yogaworld I am stuck in my head. I wonder: should I open up a yoga studio? I love the idea of starting a business; I love yoga. I need a job.
I don’t have a yoga following, let alone much teaching experience, but the school won’t be about me. It would be about the teachers (from all styles! Ashtanga, Jivamukti, Iyengar, Kundalini, you name it, even pilates!) and the community. It would be a business. My neighborhood has been gentrifying, needs “services”, and could possibly support a studio. I am excited about marketing, sales, HR policy, e.g. running this as a for-profit venture with philosophical, spiritual, physical benefits. I continue to think.
But my insecurities and fears stand in the way. Am I good enough? Do this in New York City, where yoga studios are like Starbucks, one on every corner? Gamble with our savings?
Anything gives me self doubt. I compare myself to others.
For example–the Wall Street Journal profiled this 32 year old guy, a former investment banker now Hindu monk, who recently led a meditation session at the Occupy Wall Street protests. He’s got an MBA, like me, but was more “successful” in the business world than me (he was investment banker at Bank of America), and, having quit the corporate world (as I did) seems to be more committed to his dharmic path (he’s a celibate monk at a Hindu monestary in the East Village, giving talks about mindfulness at Citi and B of A, while I sit around doing very little). I think, I am so cautious; others are not. Why do I think I can do this? What to do?
My mantra these days has been to soften and be receptive, and when I do this, I find his teachings instructive. He says: don’t allow fear, ego and selfishness to stand in the way of making the right business decisions.
John Friend makes some amazing claims about his new wide Manduka yoga mat. “If you’re on a mat that you just stick to and you feel stable, you just go inside. You actually can have an inner opening from a piece of rubber, on your floor. I’m proud to say that everything about this mat will lead to the very essence of your heart.”
(me: I have a Jade yoga mat. After a while the rubber falls apart, but it’s my fave for grippiness.)