We must help businesses emerging from the pandemic. In many ways this year has been the toughest, without subsidies and with a long grind of a milder form of Covid that has kept people out of cafes and studios for fear of missing their rescheduled holidays. The people of Melbourne in particular has an experience that was isolating, not only in the moment, but even now as they recover in a country where most people had a milder situation.
Beyond this recovery period, we have been asked to help teachers build a career pathway. There is very little yoga work advertised on job portals/websites. Along with this, it seems like everyone is a contractor. When teachers are in it for the long haul, willing to train and retrain, to demonstrate their commitment, we will serve them with advocacy and assistance.
It can be frustrating when clinical psychologists talk about the benefits of teaching their clients to regulate themselves with the breath and body, something that yoga has been advocating since time immemorial. There is such a volume of potential work for yoga teachers and yoga therapists but we need to be sitting at the right tables to be heard. We want to show leadership and alter the perception and expectations of what we do.
Let’s build relationships with other associations, other lineages, and other modalities. This again speaks to the need for a membership structure that allows for activities other than hatha yoga. Let’s invite very senior expert teachers from the world of yoga (Australian and abroad) to provide short courses on various topics. We could invite experts in tangential modalities. This is already the essence of our CPD program, but we intend to have a more comprehensive approach rather than leaving it up to members to seek out courses.
Let us increase the sectors of community who are catered for by yoga. We should be a champion for those who have been left behind by the popularised styles. People with disabilities – hidden or visible. But you don’t have to have a disability to feel excluded from yoga. There are many stigmas, many subtle barriers to entry. It might be something physical, maybe around excessive “new age” content, trauma in varying degrees. We are well positioned to make positive change.
Let’s use our position to bring yoga back into the private health rebate scheme. If it’s going to happen, it will be us that does it. We are the ones who will elevate yoga and yoga therapy in the eyes of government and health landscape. Similarly, we must advocate for a more complete acceptance of yoga in NDIS. People are relying on us.
The last couple of years has been a huge reshuffle of our organisation and the world, and behind the scene we have been consolidating.
Now we are nimble, we’ve let go of our office space, reduced staff a little, and invested in a new member management system and website.
It’s exciting and we glad to have you on board!
With warm regards,
President, Yoga Australia