Yoga Marketing…What’s the Message?
I think it’s fair to say that Patanjali, Krishnamacharya, Yogi Gupta or any of the modern or ancient sages never needed to know how to effectively use a hashtag to get yoga students. I’m also fairly certain they never even had to snap a photo or draw an image of their fanciest handstand, partner with their other Swami friends on an IG #30daysofKICKASSana campaign, or smile on YouTube to make themselves known. In fact, i’m not so sure their primary objective was to seek students to begin with. Exploration of the divine self being the primary goal and all… Oh how easy it must have been to just do your practices and trust in full that all is coming, or maybe that it’s already there…you know, sans the tech and yoga marketing.
But WAIT. Isn’t that what we shout from the kirtan laden rooftops. “Let it go” “Do Your Practice” “What you seek is already inside”…. blah di blah. I mean no disrespect. I say these things because they have been on the menu for many of my classes, themes, teachings, learnings for years now. And they are true. The only problem is that often times…all the other stuff gets in the way of sitting with these bits of wisdom and letting them take root. “How can I spend 5 more minutes, 5 more days, 5 more years learning and diving in to the energetic subtleties of ujjayi pranayama when I need to “Buffer” my social media plan, Man?!” If time is an illusion why does it feel like there is never enough?
It begs the question…what do we really mean when we say get your “Ass to the mat?”
Are we fitting that in to the rest, or is it allowed to be the everything? What if we were to only do ONE practice every day for the rest of our lives. Would that be enough? If our twitter feed was just a constant stream of “Aaaaaauuuuuuuummmm.” Would we be OK with that too? What are we OFFERING if our lives are full of planning and no real work around our passion and purpose? I’m not downplaying the importance of marketing and media. It is really amazing to be part of or witness to a message that really fuels creativity, encourages, inspires and HECK, fuels Artha (we have to survive too you know?). In fact, I believe that if I dedicate myself to my practice in all its simplicity and intrigue, the way in which I put myself out there will be more and more of a reflection of that. I hope to continue to use these tools in a way that encourages authentic communication, deeper exploration, and connection, so much so that one day those I connect with through the #modernyogimodel will become physical, tangible, huggable humans…and we will see each other as soul mates, reflections of one another. But finding that balance can be a mind-f*@$ for sure. I’m guilty of letting the momentum and flash of it all get in my way. I sometimes catch myself thinking, “Why?” Other times, what I put out there feels right and down right purposeful. It requires personal accountability and dedication to discern.
This too has to become a practice of it’s own to take our message from #fluffytogod. Join me in the mission K?
If we all have a little mantra to say (one long AUM is grande!) or even the capacity to take a deep breathe before updating our status, subscribing to one more service, sending out emails, or YouTube’ing ourselves then maybe we can get back to some semblance of authenticity with this new canvas. Let’s honor the path and the lineage as we proceed.
Because the reality is, this practice is an exploration towards sustained stability and ease with awareness…but it isn’t innately easy.
While we deal with the winding and confusing path of google analytics and search engine placement, our next workshop, or how to set up tropical retreats- we forget that our hardships are relative. Try being a “yoga pioneer;” Sitting in your dark, damp, cow dung smeared hut (gotta love the Pradipika) for days on end with no other aim than AWAKENING. Tell me how you feel about that option. What’s hard now?
So maybe we can take the patient route, and apply the effort to letting our message be reflective of something more meaningful. Let’s get out of the corporate motivations and jargon spilling. Let’s work together in the depths of this practice and let all our efforts truly mean something bigger. I’m not judging you for your motivations. Maybe they are awesome! But let’s ask these questions a little more often, with loads of compassion for our ‘humanness’… “What’s the purpose of today’s #ModernYogiMessage?” and where does it connect to the lessons of MY practice? #sadhanafirst #practicedaily
Here are some people’s messages I really dig lately
- Jill Sockman / Blue Lotus Great Monthly Newsletter with a poignant and relatable message
- Will Duprey / Hathavidya everything … Just look for /hathavidya and #hathavidya
- GabyGYoga on Instagram
- Nick Demos “Word of the Day” on Facebook
- And if you want to check out my messages you can click any of the social media icons at the top of the screen to go to the right location. /campbellyoga #campbellyoga everything <3