CARE SERIES: Caring for the tradition of yoga in your marketing with Ravi Jaishankar



As a yoga teacher who cares deeply for yoga, I know you want to honor this tradition in your offerings as well as in your marketing so that’s why this conversation is happening today.


My guest, Ravi Jaishankar, is someone I met at a yoga conference and he truly blew me away with how he shared his message. Ravi was born in India and comes from a Hindu family and now lives in Colorado. He has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to the history and tradition of yoga and I’m thrilled to have him as a guest on the podcast.


Let me set the stage for you, I’m at the Yoga Teacher Conf in Denver, CO and I was attending the speaker and sponsor dinner. As you typically do at a dinner event, people start to introduce themselves and I just so happened to be one of the first and someone asked for the name of my podcast. After saying “Marketing Yoga with Confidence” it sparked quite the conversation. One that I will never forget.


Ravi was across the table from me and as the conversation turned to yoga as a business he shared his viewpoint so eloquently that it truly struck a chord with me. All around the table people asked him questions about the tradition of yoga and I was taking it all in all the while knowing that I was going to ask him to be a guest on this podcast. I knew I wanted to know his opinion from a marketing perspective. I was truly impressed with how he handled all the questions coming his way and he did so with calm and kindness for hours. It was remarkable to watch.



So after dinner and several hours of chatting went by it was time for me to go to bed but I wasn’t walking away without getting Ravi’s email address. So I walked over and asked him if he would be interested in being a guest on the podcast and possibly a guest in my membership too. I’m thrilled he said yes and I’m honored to say that he’s here today and will be a guest inside Thrive as well.


I’m asking him all the questions of how yoga teachers who aren’t Hindu can honor the tradition of yoga in their business and especially in their marketing. He has great insights into this and I know you’ll walk away with a lot after this conversation.



*Note: This is Part 1 of a 2-part series on the topic of Care. Part 2 is caring for yourself as an entrepreneur.




Traditional Sanskrit Invocation

Sanskrit

Om Sahana Vavatu

Sahanau Bhunaktu

Saha Viryam Karavavahai

Tejas Vinavadi Tamastu Maavid Vishavahaihi

Om Shanti Shanti Shantihi

ॐ सह नाववतु ।

सह नौ भुनक्तु ।

सह वीर्यं करवावहै ।

तेजस्वि नावधीतमस्तु मा विद्विषावहै ।

ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥



English Translation

Om!

May That (Infinite Being) protect us

May That nourish us both

May we work together with great energy and vigor

May our intellect be sharpened

Let there be no Animosity amongst us

Om! peace, peace, peace.


This is how Ravi started off the conversation and what a beautiful way to start. He continued on to share so many insights about how yoga teachers can honor the tradition of yoga in their offerings, lives and of course, marketing.


**This was also a podcast episode (episode #153. Use the player below if you'd prefer to listen to this message.




Recognize, Learn & Acknowledge The Roots Of Yoga

When I watched Ravi speak at the Yoga Teacher Conf he mentioned an analogy that really stuck with me. He shared that teaching yoga and not acknowledging and honoring the tradition of yoga is like taking fruit from a tree but not watering the tree. He said that this is what Western culture has done in packaging up yoga in order to sell it. We are taking the fruit (the asana, the meditation) but not watering the tree (caring for the tradition of yoga). Western society has branded yoga as “wellness” and “stress relief” but the true value of yoga is enlightenment and dissolving of the ego.


I was also fortunate enough to hear more of the history of yoga from him during his presentation at the event. While he only briefly touches on this during our conversation, he mentioned many resources that give a more comprehensive history (shared below). There is a trigger warning mentioned as some of these resources document the brutal genocide that occurred in India.


“Where are the brown people?...They’re not there because they’re still internally colonized” - Ravi Jaishankar


It’s also important to acknowledge that yoga was not created in order to make money in a business so as Ravi mentions, if we were to truly honor yoga, then it would be antithetical to the business model of yoga that exists today.


Additional resources from leaders in the Yoga Decolonization Space: