Make your hobby a job. Or don’t.

Most frugality blogs say that you should make your hobby your job or monetize your hobby in some form.

Do what you love! They say. Make money doing your favorite things! They say.

I say maybe don’t do that.

I did it and it changed yoga for me forever.

I used to go to yoga classes 5-7 days per week when I was single and living in Colorado. There was a particular instructor, Gwen, with whom I connected and my practice was really strong. I loved it. I craved it. It was a huge part of my life. After much consideration I decided to do the teacher training. It was over 8 weeks in the summer and I got a lot out of it. I made great friends from all over, I learned a ton about yoga and I am now able to make money from teaching which is great.

What I didn’t know was that I would burn out hard. After doing teacher training for 20 hours per week for 8 weeks I didn’t want to practice anymore.

On the rare occasion that I went to a class I critiqued the instructor in my head during practice instead of focusing on my breath.

Yoga became a chore after I monetized it.

I wonder if I would be a different yoga practitioner now if I hadn’t done the teacher training. Maybe I would love going to class. Maybe I would find an instructor like Gwen here in Washington state and I would still go to class 5-7 times per week.

I teach yoga twice per week and I make $30/class. I absolutely love teaching yoga and I adore my students and I look forward to teaching every single class. It allows me to be creative and to teach people something that I enjoy. However, it changed my practice and my relationship to yoga in negative ways as well.

I don’t frequently go to classes despite the fact that my studio allows instructors to attend others’ classes for free. I do practice often at home but the love I once had for my practice is gone. I now practice in order to learn fun transitions for my students. It has turned into an activity that I do for others and not for myself which is hard.

I don’t know how to find that love again after monetizing my practice. I’m not saying that you should never make money from doing your hobby but I am saying that it will change your relationship with that hobby.

Have you monetized a hobby? How do you feel about it now?

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