1. Q: With the explosion of Yoga’s popularity at this time, there are more and more studios & teachers popping up everywhere. How to deal with the financial challenges of staying afloat in the midst of so much competition.
DAVID: Work very hard to become a Yoga master. Serve others until otherness disappears. Chant the Name.
SHARON: Let go and let God. Do your best to serve others, always renounce the fruits of your actions, offer those fruits to God—let Him do as He wishes with them. Do your best to continue to teach as long as others seek you out, but like death, when the time to go comes, let go gracefully.
2. Q: What is your advice on maintaining successful boundaries with students, employees etc. in the Yoga business?
SHARON: Have your goal firmly established in your own mind. Don’t forget it. Remember it at all times. Your goal should be God-realization, Enlightenment. When this is established in the mind then all relationships become very precious. Because it is only through our relationships with others that we can come to a relationship with God. This of course is what asana practice addresses. Our bodies are storehouses for our unresolved relationship issues with others. Through the practice of asana we can resolve those relationship issues. Each asana allows us to access a specific chakra as well as specific relationships. For instance backward bending asanas allow us to access the anahata chakra and to resolve relationships to others who we feel have hurt us. Here’s an example of how that might work: While practicing urdhvadhanurasana, if we can remember to send forgiveness, to someone who has been unkind to us, we use the practice of asana to move us toward enlightenment, the goal of the yoga practice.
We must see the Divine in every person who comes into our lives; we must live in a way that we remember that our job is to serve the Divine in that ‘other’ being. For our own freedom, we must strive to contribute to the happiness and to the freedom of that ‘other’ being. When we do that, then something magical occurs. The so-called ‘other’ beings in our lives (who we work with and interact with) stop being in our way, we recognize them as ‘the way’!
3. Q: Recently a friend, an aspiring Yogi and choreographer from the NYC ballet commented on the fact that since your Jivamukti style of Yoga came to town the quality of Yoga classes in NYC has drastically improved spiritually. He felt that your classes influenced many studios in NYC. How do you feel about that?
SHARON: Many people who now teach at or direct Yoga centers in NYC have in the past attended classes, or have been students here at our school. David and I have tried to provide a place dedicated to teaching Yoga as a means to enlightenment, hence the name: Jivamukti (liberated soul). We did not create these teachings; they are old and have been preserved by evolved sages orally and in written form. They have been passed to us through the kindness of our holy teachers. I would be very happy if these practitioners, who you refer to, take some of these ancient sacred teachings, which are at the heart of our school, with them when they open their own studios. I wish them the same success. How can you not succeed when you are sincerely sharing the sacred teachings and practices found in the holy Yogic scriptures?