A new documentary film premiered at the 2007 Toronto International Documentary film festival, Yoga Inc.
I'm trying to get my hands on a DVD of the film -- or figure out how to get access to the Documentary Channel, where it will air this week. (I suspect that this is a Canadian channel? I only have the barest cable access, and the channel doesn't seem to be offered in my area. Interesting that it takes so much analysis to figure out your whole cable/phone arrangement, and what is actually offered. But I digress.)
I only know what I've read about the film online. Well, not true. I was a director of a small yoga studio in Lower Manhattan. In the summer of 2004, literally in the days before we closed the studio, the guys who made Yoga Inc. were around the studio.
That said, what I've read pegs the film as a view on some recent developments in the business of yoga -- including the impact on Mom & Pop -- along with a view of the work of Bikram Chaudhury, the founder of the eponymous yoga system.
Watching the evolution of the yoga business combines two of my loves: yoga and small business...my philosophy is that the old models are falling away, really in both arenas.
Specific to changes in the yoga/business ecosystem: participants need to figure out how to participate in this shift, rather than grasping onto what used to be. And to maintain a clear line of sight on the very things that brought them to the practice of yoga. (Ever known a studio director who is not managing her own stress?)
"How can I make a living offering yoga, " is not the right question. The right question is, "How can I serve?"
Closing a business involves a full range of business functions, skills, and activities. And emotions. We got very scant sleep, the time was a blur, and I registered very little of the film crew's activity. (Even though they did interview me, I only remember one or two points I was trying to make. I'm fervently hoping that we wound up on the cutting room floor.)
And thanks to Fortune Elkins of Bread Coffee Chocolate Yoga for the heads up on this one.