Regaining My Faith in the Yoga Industry

Regaining My Faith in the Yoga Industry

It’s been a tough time, and this pandemic has changed the face of the yoga industry as we knew it. It’s changed how we teach, it’s changed how we interact, it’s changed pretty much every facet of how we experience yoga. And most of all, and one of the hardest realities to face for me, is how it’s fractured the yoga community and changed our ability to connect as yoga teachers and as a broader community.

You’re not alone if you’ve felt alienated or disturbed by a lot of what’s happened over the last two years. And most recently with the convoy occupation in Ottawa. I’ve certainly felt disillusioned by a lot of it, including the yoga industry, if I’m being honest, and I’ve had to come to terms with thoughts around whether I even want to be a yoga teacher. 

A lengthy identity crisis has unfolded in my life – and I know I can’t be the only one.

And that’s been really hard. Seeing how the industry has been mired in conspiracies, anti-vaxx sentiment, and the flouting of public health regulations by influencers and yoga studios alike – you start to doubt your vision, your very identity as a yoga teacher. I certainly have. I’ve felt almost like an outsider standing on the sidelines, feeling disempowered and lost.

If you can relate to any of this, just know you’re not alone. I’ve been vocal on social media about my thoughts, and I’ve been overwhelmed by the responses, the deluge of DMs telling me how much people appreciate me speaking up. They tell me they feel less alone knowing there’s an opposing voice to so much of the conspiracy and anti-vaxx rhetoric and misinformation out there. 

And that has kept me going. 

The new connections I’ve made reach into the wider spheres of health and wellness, from wellness coaches to holistic nutritionists to fitness trainers. Some work within the industry and others have been harmed by it. But we are all connected by a collective desire to see yoga and wellness spaces transformed from within.

Through all this, I realized how I can best help. I want to facilitate connection in the yoga community right now. I want to help folks reconnect to their practice, to their teaching, to our wider community that’s in the throes of transformation. Most of all, I want to provide a brave space where we can express ourselves, talk about these tough moments, and find authentic connection.

And it was amazing to chat with the yoga teachers at my first Living Vinyasa yoga class + sharing circle a few weeks ago. The idea was to create a space to come together as yoga teachers to talk about our experiences. Especially now that we’ve entered yet another phase of this pandemic, a phase where we’re supposed to just pretend like none of this happened and get on with things… 

There are so many feelings and different responses, and I loved hearing your stories and experiences after class. I felt so connected and rejuvenated as a yoga teacher, just being in conversation and holding space with all of you. 

This was just the first of what I hope will be many opportunities where we can start to come back together as a community, as collectively minded yoga teachers and purpose-driven wellness entrepreneurs, and just decompress and rebuild.

The next monthly yoga class + sharing circle is happening Monday, March 28, at 4 p.m. PST. / 7 p.m. EST.

More details here. I’d love to see you there.

Your friend in this journey together,

Nigel Walker

Related Posts:

Seasons of Life as a Yoga Entrepreneur

Your Self-Care Blueprint

Being on the Verge of Burnout

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