Try this yoga playlist out for your Power Yoga or creative Vinyasa Yoga class!
What up, Rogue Yogis. The time is here. We begin to wrap up 2016 and ramp up to 2017. For some of us, it's kind of hard to do. For some of our Rogue Yogis (including me) there's just been so much shit happening the past few weeks. For some of us, there was so much shit happening the entire year. This blog post is to share with you what's been changed up in our world, provide tips on making it through the holidays (if this season tends to feel lonely), and share updates on what's going to be added in our private FB group for 2017.
It's been real challenging, because we lost 2 people within a 2 week time span. One to suicide and the other to the Oakland Ghostship Fire. Suicide is a tough subject...I can only guess that this person was suffering so much physically that he really couldn't take it anymore. But, when life is taken unexpectedly from people, that also brings sadness. This Ghostship tragedy took away such creative and passionate people. It really brought to light the plight of the artist. As someone that had to resort to living in a really tiny basement annex in order to even get footing in SF, it hits home to see how many creative have to resort to living in less than ideal conditions in order to thrive. Except in a few cases, art just isn't rewarded financially as much as tech.
With all these things happening, the Mongorrian and I were thinking we'd be in Spain by now. But, we're not, and it wasn't initially by our choice. So, we're changing a lot of plans now. A lot of transition is about to happen for us:
On January 31st, 2017, we're going to Vietnam instead. It was a feeling deep in my heart that we should be there sooner than later, but thought we'd have to put off because of Barcelona. When the Spanish Consulate rejected our application, asked for more information, and stopped responding to our questions and request for another appointment, I took the opportunity to suggest Vietnam. With just a few messages to my cousin, we already had a place to stay with a big family eager to meet the love of my life. We'll be with family for a month, scouting out beautiful locations on the coast for the location(s) of my Spring 2018 Rogue Yogi RE:Treat. We'll be paying homage to my dad, relatives and grandparents. Lots of delicious exotic food will be consumed, and if you subscribe to my Periscope you'll get to see them all.
In March, we'll hit up Cambodia the entire month to meet the hubby's family. THEN, after that we'll hit up Spain for 3 months. Not a year as we had planned, but 3 months. During this time is my Spring 2017 Rogue Yogi RE:Treat in Granada, Spain. What's really great is that we can be able to travel and share this experience while doing what we love. I feel really grateful for this! We also have 5 out of 10 spots filled. Grab one of the last 5 here!
At that point, we don't know where we'll be going. UPDATE: We will hit up France, Germany, Italy, then Mexico in October when we end up in Tulum for my Fall 2017 Rogue Yogi RE:Treat. After that, we will be in Mysore, India for 3 months before my Spring 2018 Rogue Yogi RE:Treat in Vietnam. I will be studying Ashtanga Yoga with Sharath Jois, the grandson of K. Sri Pattabhi Jois (the creator of Ashtanga Yoga). As much as I am about sharing yoga for the urban lifestyle, I'm also about learning about its historical roots and understanding the tradition that yoga came from.
This is not to brag, not to impress you guys, but to share where we're at. And, this next step is a lot to absorb. But, the fact that we're doing this together...let's just say I probably wouldn't be doing this by myself, that's for certain!
Every country we go to, I'll be hitting up a Mysore Ashtanga place, a general Ashtanga or Iyengar yoga studio or some kind of place where I can learn yoga from a good instructor and also practice on my own. That was the non-negotiable part about this journey. It took me awhile to let go of attachment to teaching yoga physically in each country. Once I realized that my number 1 priority is to be a yoga student, the burden just floated off of my shoulders. That isn't to say that I will not be making online yoga sessions. In fact, I will be broadcasting my personal practice as much as I can on Periscope, FB Live, proper classes on YouTube and Teachable. This Rogue Yogi is literally going Rogue. Let's hope I find a good traveling yoga mat that I can lug with my yoga wheel!
Note: If any one is reading this blog, lives in another country, is connected with a studio owner or an underground music venue, and knows any local ambient/downtempo/deep house DJs, I would love to continue my Rogue Yogi yoga pop-up sessions. The chances of this happening are unknown, but I am putting it out there to make this dream come true.
Side Note: I'm doing my best within the limitations and glitchy inconsistencies that Facebook has. It hasn't been easy trying to broadcast the way I want without FB malfunctioning. So, if the yoga sessions are not happening that well in our private FB group, I'll record the session and load it there and/or YouTube.
So....that's where we're at.
All I can do is be at peace with all these struggles and challenges. It's kind of sad, but a true reality that when you lose someone, you get a wake up call, and some people.. their perspective of life changes. Some things that were a big deal just aren't anymore, and priorities shift to others that used to sit on the back burner.
[Tweet ""The struggle ends when gratitude begins." --Neale Donald Walsch"]
Struggles don't end forever, it's just for that moment, I am aware of what I do have at the moment, I'm alive, I can breathe, I can practice yoga, I can mentally practice meditation. In that moment, there is no struggle. It's this sense of "wow, I have something very good", and maybe it'll last for 15 seconds, 1 minute, maybe 1 hour. But, for that moment, there isn't really a struggle. It's a practice.
For those of you that may feel like the holidays are rough, lonely, or shitty, it may be difficult or easy advice to say, you can take a look at what you do have.. if you can find some outings with some friends, or have pets, find something that you can look forward to, no matter how small or big it is.. to help you get through the holidays. Because I know what it's like to go through several winters that were lonely and less than idea, and it can be better than that if you shift your perspective for just that moment.
Ramping up to the new year, I won't ask you to make new years resolutions, new promises, new majestic goals all of a sudden.
I WILL tell you to take a look at the past year, look at the lessons you learned, what realizations did you make, what appreciation do you now have or forgot to have...and from those lessons you can apply them into the new year. It's more of a gentle shift, to take it one degree differently, instead of all of a sudden doing all this different routine.
I would say, make a gentle shift. If you need someone to talk to, if you want to share something that inspired you, share it in the group. That's what the FB group is for. You're welcome to share inspiration, meditations and...I actually do encourage you to share your progress in yoga. It's not to show off, but to hold yourself accountable in sticking to your practice.
In the Lounge, I'll be sharing a yoga pose of the week, a meditation of the week and more music, (especially my curated playlists so you can play it in Spotify at your own leisure)
Just more connectedness is what I intend for our members in 2017.
Take on the holidays, the shift and the direction you'd like to move your life to...what's that next small step for you?
Julie Tran (Your Local Rogue Yogi)
Track of the Moment: Always Like This (Andhim Remix) - HVOB
Some days you win, some days you don't! I have taught Beach Yoga to over 70 people, Deep House Yoga to over 100 people, and to-date I must have taught classes to thousands of students. This fact isn't to toot my own horn or anything, because I still have days when I show up to an empty yoga studio.
The current state of the yoga business industry is really different than what it was a decade ago. My mentors didn't have Instagram or Facebook. They didn't operate studios that did all of the marketing and kept most of the profits. Their studios collected rent from individual instructors who could have been extremely new to teaching, or could have been veterans who already amassed an immense student following. Every teacher was responsible for his/her own marketing, but could keep all of the profits, teach class in any desired way, and make a really great living.
Now, this type of studio is part of the 1% of yoga business models. The rest are owned by a private owner. Some are seasoned yoga teachers. Some are avid yoga students. (The rest are both. I'll leave that for another post!)
The owner hires a manager to do all of the marketing. Classes are listed in various platforms, such as ClassPass, Groupon, Meetup, Zenrez, MindBody, MoveWith and probably several others that I am not yet aware of. Then, there's the social media avenues: the Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, Google+...
In a sea of yoga studios in San Francisco and East Bay (Berkeley, Oakland, Emeryville, Alameda), there is indeed a lot of hustle that has to happen. How else do you make your yoga teaching stand out in this realm?
As an entrepreneur, I didn't want to work for someone's studio. Call it stubbornness or determination. After deciding to try out this "old-school" business model of paying rent, creating my own Groupons, Meetups, and trying a few "yoga and fitness" startups, things weren't moving so fast. There weren't many students coming to class. Energy had to be spread out between working a bunch of part-time jobs, marketing for the class, and simply figuring out how the hell to survive in San Francisco. I had just moved up from Los Angeles with a plan to teach yoga for various startups in the tech scene, to grow the Rogue Yogi platform, and to just get the fuck out of my comfort zone. Living in LA all of my life led me to one of those "stubborn" moments of needing a change.
Juggling all of these things didn't result in much progress for this old-school style studio. Working for these random part-time gigs became tiring. Working hard without working smart is what happened.
Eventually, I swallowed my pride. I remember crying to my husband (my then-boyfriend) about the huge epiphany that I was not a big shot teacher. Not a rock star. Not an Instagram personality with 80K followers. How would anyone know who I am if I'm not physically showing up to places where tons of students would naturally go?
So, I bit the bullet. Applied to yoga studios. Applied to well-known studios. Applied to not-so-well-known ones. Rejected. Declined. "Not what we're looking for," one said. No responses from others. Some only hired teachers from within. Teachers that paid specifically for that studio's teacher training even though they had already paid over $3K to get certified in the first place. Some hired me but expected me to do all of the marketing. Some hired me, but weren't intending to be boutique yoga studios, so there would be a max of 3 students attending. Owners from so-and-so studio wanted no spirituality or chanting. Managers from this-and-that studio wanted the opposite. There were studios that I had to drive over 45 minutes to get to. Such an equally long drive in the middle of the night to come back home.
Every yoga business owner had their own vision for what type of experience they wanted their students to have. The majority of them wanted one thing: a kick-ass fitness class.
SIDENOTE: If you're one of those Rogue Yogis that just want to get your ass kicked in yoga, that's totally cool. As a Rogue Yogi, you take what you want from practicing, and you leave what you don't. For those of you that want a lot of chanting and singing with mala beads, that's dope, too. For me, I'm not the kind of teacher that does the chanting and singing, nor am I into the mala beads. I could go to someone else's class for that experience. I'm the kind that likes to give a sufficient amount of alignment cues, take you through a steady pace of flow, give you real talk about the shit that happens on your mat that happens to be the same shit that happens in your world, and give you the freedom to be yourself during each and every pose I'm guiding you through.
I don't want to just kick your ass is what I'm saying. It is amazing that a sweaty yoga class could help you lose weight (if that is your focus), or tone your body and strengthen your core. There's also some amazing components of yoga that deal with quieting your mind, helping you become less reactive when someone does something stupid in your experience, and keeping your entire self as healthy and balanced as possible.
So, knowing this about my style of teaching, and knowing that every existing studio has their own requirements on how to teach, hopefully you can see the dilemma that is the current state of the yoga teaching industry.
How does someone like me be able to teach for someone else's studio? How do I get paid far less for doing zero marketing but teaching a fully packed room, but also get paid the same amount for doing my own marketing and teaching to a few students at the "old-school" studio?
The main question is: how can I make great income doing something that I truly love? How do I make enough to disprove the stereotype that yoga teachers have to drive all over the place, to teach at 6am, to forego eating in order to teach classes back to back?
Is this a case of having to prove your worth? To pay your dues? To run through the yoga teaching gauntlet for X amount of time before you earn your street cred and garner your following?
-Rogue Yogi Out