Yogateau is remaining true to its mission however as always, it’s changing—like it always does—to respond to dynamic, exciting conditions. What this means is that Yogateau the site will be transforming into Yogateau the newsletter.
Our Dharma, however, will remain the same.
A FEW WORDS ABOUT DHARMA*
Dharma has been described as righteousness, truth, as a sense of moral or religious duty, or a transcendental order. These definitions lean heavily into morality which cloud how specific and personal Dharma is. Because while there is the idea of “right and wrong” built into Dharma, it’s not always the same as the “right and wrong” used in Law. Dharma is more cosmically concerned with you.
Some alternative definitions of Dharma that might be more pertinent:
• “Dharma means your unique role in the evolution of everything.” —Thom Knoles
• “Dharma is your soul’s mission.” —Marc Holzman
• “Dharma is your whole reason for being on Planet Earth, dummy.” —Yogateau
In short, Dharma is your life’s purpose, the point of your being here. If that weren’t a scary enough concept, think about this: only You can do Your Dharma; no one else can. Forget about copying someone else’s homework; it won’t help. As Krishna says to Arjuna in The Bhagavad Gita, “it is better to do one’s own Dharma poorly than someone else’s well.”
SO WHAT’S NEXT?
Yogateau’s Dharma has always been to make yoga and meditation in Paris accessible, simple to find and fun to do. Along with that, our aim has been to show how these ancient yogic practices can seamlessly slide into a modern, active life.
Pursuing our Yogateau Dharma is now taking the form of a paid newsletter, instead of a constantly updated website. For several reasons:
• The website and its features have become impossible to maintain. Even before Covid-19 exploded our yoga world into a million pieces, it was taking hours and hours to revise the listings and the map. I barely had a weekend free 😿 and it was getting harder and harder to get to a class or drop in to a new studio. How am I supposed to shed light on an evolving and growing yoga scene if I can’t even participate in it?
• To help finance Yogateau, I had to experiment with native content and sponsorships. Most of these collaborations with brand partners were great (you know who you are! thank you!) but there were a few that weren’t 100% in alignment with our values. I did it for the money to be able to pay for hosting fees, a programmer and occasionally a translator (all good things) but I didn’t feel great about having to do the sponsor’s bidding.
• To increase traffic and engagement, I leaned into listicles stuffed with affiliate links and click-baity headlines. Ugh.
• As Yogateau’s audience moved from the site to social channels, we had to increase our presence there. And that took even more time. There’s a reason “Community Manager” is an actual full-time project for one person. It’s a lot of responsibility especially if you’re doing other jobs.
If Dharma is indeed our unique role in the evolution of everything then I have an obligation to adapt Yogateau to better serve the community. My soul has a mission to find an alternative financial model to ensure the work keeps going. And I have to find moments to rekindle my love for the practice and its communityt. I feel my Dharma also impels me to expand the voices and ideas represented on Yogateau, without worrying about blowback from comms people and their corporate overlords.
OK, ENOUGH EXPLAINING. WHAT WILL THIS LOOK LIKE?
Going forward, the newsletter will become a premium (paid) option and your subscription will include additional features such as subscriber-only discussion forums, Q+As, and other fun content I’ve been dreaming about developing but have neither had the time nor the resources to create.
I will send out a FREE newsletter from time to time in order to preserve the open nature of Yogateau, however that will not be the focus.
If you do decide to subscribe, your financial support will ensure that Yogateau continues sharing an expansive view of yoga and meditation in Paris and beyond. And you’ll get fun mail in your inbox 💃
You read all of this? OH MY GOD, THANK YOU! You have my most humble and sincere appreciation and a million pranams.
*There is so! much! more! to be said about Dharma especially in concert with the three other universal values (Artha, Kama, Moksha) that make up the Purusharthas which are essentially the blueprint for a fulfilled life. Such a great content idea for another newsletter, right?