One time, years ago, I was speaking with an old army buddy of mine who is now an attorney. We were discussing how I teach yoga now and he happened to ask me how much I charge for private classes. I told him it varies on need but generally around $150 for an hour, more or less. He said, “wow, you guys really charge, huh?” I chuckled to myself and asked him what he charged per hour. He said, “well, it’s somewhere around $400 per hour but you have to understand it’s a specialty practice.” I said, “Me too.”
It’s so interesting to me, the values our society has at this time. People are poisoned by the old religious trap of “poverty is equal to piety.” There’s an idea that has been passed down that spiritual teachings should be free. I never saw an attorney help someone get themselves out of a depression. Money is an exchange, a medium of exchange. This is a world of opposites. I have to give to properly receive. The balance is made and exchange is gained. Here’s Yogi Bhajan answering a student’s question about charging money for teaching. (TCH 25-12 7/29/87) Transcript follows after video. Have a look:
Student: Why do we ask for money when we teach Kundalini yoga?
Yogi Bhajan: In Kundalini yoga you don’t teach without money. Itharashtam, kitharashtam. Nobody can come and learn empty hand. Empty hand you come, empty hand you go. And in Kundalini yoga, money is paid first. So it’s not a obligation between teacher and student. Teacher gives time, student gives the money. Media. Money is also Maya. Money is also Lakshmi, you come with a offering. You never go to teacher of Kundalini yoga without offering. It can be anything. It’s a rule of the thumb. You don’t ask money, you get it. You understand?
Student: Yes, thank you.
Yogi Bhajan: Many people I ask them… Sometime I just ask, “Hey, give me the money.” What I have to do with it? Few days later they know what I meant.