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Wanted – Yoga Teaching Position

June 2, 2012

In reality, I DO wish to begin teaching yoga in San Francisco, but in the month since landing here I have run into a curious problem. That problem, my friends, is Judith Hansen Lasater. Truthfully, JHL is not, by name, the problem but she represents the very hurdle that I must devise a plan for leaping over (or, if I must, darting around.)

While I have high hopes of JHL being a yoga industry model, I cannot compete with her for jobs. In the celestial kingdom of yoga teachers, Judith Hansen Lasater is a constellation. She began studying yoga in the 70s under Mr. BKS Iyengar and has been going strong ever since. She has built a yoga empire, and has laid the path that Western Yoga is following today. She is Yoga Journal, but she isn’t merely a figurehead. She is still very much an active teacher, with an omnipresence at many YJ Conferences and an army of sub-teachers that report to her. By no means has she not earned her much respected status, but once one has reached such an place they generally limit themselves to a curated list of private clients and speaking engagements. Not the case for Dr. Lasater. She is still teaching, and at Yoga Tree of all places!

I have found the yoga scene in San Francisco to be a much different environment than that of New York City. In my current neighborhood there merely 2 yoga studios, and neither of them is a hatha or vinyasa studio. There are also very few gyms from what I can tell. That means that my teaching options are  extremely limited since I am neither Bikram nor Iyengar certified at present. In Brooklyn, at times, I felt I as living at ground zero for yoga – surrounded on all sides by several varieties of yoga and a few gyms and pilates studios to boot. I feel slightly mislead by the host of people that told me San Francisco was the mecca for yoga. The closest studio to me (1 mile away) where I could possibly even attempt to teach is Yoga Tree…and guess what kind of people they’re hiring? You guessed it, Judith Hansen Lasater. What I really need is to know the precise locations of all of the tiny independent studios in the area, and who is running them. I also wouldn’t argue with anyone who wanted to personally introduce me and give glowing reviews of my yoga teaching or practice.

This all sounds very whiny and self-indulgent, I’m sure, to anyone unfamiliar with SF, NYC, Yoga, Yoga Journal, or JHL, but I assure you that I am railing against a system of injustice where an educated 500 hr yoga instructor can’t catch a break! Ok, I’ve left out that I haven’t really done all of my research and I’m sure you can surmise that I have a reluctance to leave my neighborhood to find teaching jobs. Ok, I’m a cowardly defeatist and possibly even lazy.

The landscape of yoga teachers in San Francisco is noticeably different from that of New York which I believed was characterized by over-saturation – and not really by quality or well educated instructors. It would seem that the studios here are flush with household names, and regular contributors to Yoga Journal. The competition here is pretty steep, but I hope to eventually join their ranks  by hook or by crook (ok, that isn’t very yoga inspired, but still…)

San Francisco, you have been warned. I’m coming, and I’m going to teach you yoga…the Marla Thornes way.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Gary permalink
    June 5, 2012 3:57 pm

    Welcome to San Francisco, Marla.

    You will thrive here, I have no doubt.

    One of my favorite mantras is:

    The future belongs to the optimist who does not lose faith

    Hang in there.

    All Love,

    Gary and Sabrina

    • marla permalink*
      June 5, 2012 4:19 pm

      Well, I’m not living in Golden Gate park yet…so things are looking good so far!

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