The answer to the question can be answered in a hundred, if not a thousand ways as it will not only depend on who you ask but also when you ask them; teacher or student. Of course no answer is wrong as everyone has their own reasons and motivations for their practice.
(Aside from this - who are we to judge anyway!?)
For some, yoga gives people time away from their day to day commitments to switch off. For others the act of moving their body can be to support recovery from injury, gaining greater flexibility through to an alternative type of exercise. Similar to the answers to the first question - none of them are wrong and indeed many are likely to change or even evolve over time
The most important thing for a student is to find a style of yoga, and teacher that can provide what they are looking for. I often describe yoga as similar to athletics - with track and field the different events require different skills and training. For all of the events an athlete will need dedicate time and effort to see improvement.
In a yogic context there is now such a wide variety of styles to choose from including Hatha, Hot, Vinyasa Flow, Restorative, Power, Partner, Acro, Aero to name a few....the list goes on. Some styles and teachers will suit some and not others. It's up to the student to find what works for them.
As I started my training to become a teacher 3 years ago - I was speaking to someone who simply summed up why people do yoga. His comment has stuck with me ever since and remains important to me now.
"Whenever someone comes out of a class - they are always smiling"
In my mind - it doesn't matter why they are smiling but that they are.
The person who made the comment has never done yoga but gets to see the increasingly broad range of people that do. As a taxi driver in London, he gets to see the cross section of our community.
If a class can help people smile then I can not think of a better way to spend an hour of my day sharing my practice.
Since I have started teaching, over 2 years ago I have been fortunate to have gained several corporate yoga classes. The experience has certainly improved my practice, my teaching and also my ability to adapt to changing situations.
When I say, adapt to changing situations - read - thinking on my feet! Sometimes the best laid plans were just not meant to be...
One client regularly provides a lovely meeting room with floor to ceiling windows on 3 sides offering plenty of natural light and views over Windsor Great Park. It really is ideal for a class. On several occasions the room has been required for business (priorities, eh?) with the only alternative being the store room. Surrounded by shelves, working printers and no natural light, not to mention limited space the pre-class planning had to be tweaked ever so slightly. Plan B applied.
Several clients have provided in site gyms for the lunchtime classes. As noted with Plan B - sometimes the clients work unsurprisingly takes priority that can change the make up of the class. Gauging the size and the experience of the class has given me the opportunity to take smaller classes through more advanced sequences with more of a workshop feel to them. Application of Plan C.
In another location, I was preparing my class and creating calm atmosphere for a lunch time class. An attendee to the class kindly pointed out that the candles may set off the alarms... after all this was a key product of the client and was particularly sensitive! Plan D required.
Lastly, supporting a local conference I had been asked to provide a 15 minute yogic energizer. Following an engaging session (i.e. it over ran) - my slot was reduced from 15 mins to 5! Think yogic energizer on speed. Plan E activated!
Though I know some of my experiences are not unique to corporate yoga itself, offering classes away from the studio / deck (when it is warm enough) in the sanctuary of yogatonicuk.com HQ- has certainly improved my style and confidence as a teacher and given me so much enjoyment on the way. (After all that is one of the reasons to teach yoga isn't it?)
Whilst I can safely stay that I doubt I will ever feature a picture of me teaching in a store room, the opportunity to share my practice with new people, in new environments has been a pleasure and one that provides some of my personal highlights each week.
Now - how to provide corporate yoga on beach with the sun setting.... answers on a postcard please!
Tim & Shannon: Part time yoga teachers from Cookham, Berkshire. We thought it would be fun to share our learning experiences with like minded people.