An Interview with Nona Jordan

After ten years working in financial management for publicly traded companies, Nona Jordan jumped ship from the corporate world and went with her long-time dream of becoming a certified Yoga teacher. At the intersection of her passion for Yoga and her background in business, Nona found her calling to work with women entrepreneurs. In this interview, she talks about helping Yoga teachers and studio owners move toward enlightenment in body, mind and business.

Integral Yoga Magazine (IYM): What inspired you to create your coaching service and become the Business Yogini?

Nona Jordan (NJ): I wanted to be a coach and a Yoga teacher, and I got into a circle of women who were doing body work and teaching Yoga, and we were all daunted with the idea that we would be business owners, charging money for what we were doing. How can we charge money, we wondered, if what we are doing is a spiritual calling? The Business Yogini was born out of my own process of working through that quandary and stepping into the idea that to be of real service we have to make enough to meet our own needs. Most female Yoga teachers are householders with bills to pay and kids to raise; we have to support our families and ourselves. I wanted to help women entrepreneurs embrace that and make that connection between making a living and making a difference.

For many women, the resistance to business is a manifestation of not wanting to step into the messier parts of their psyches. You come up against all that resistance and confusion over what it means to be spiritual and a helper. It is a fundamental resistance, an inability to lean into what may feel uncomfortable. I look at it like an asana. You have to ground into a posture in order to fully express it. If you aren’t comfortable with charging money or, with the running of your business, you can’t fully express your gifts in the world. So many of us give up, step away and do something different because we can’t wrap our minds around being in business.

Women are so often intuitive healers and have much to give the world, but we labels things: I’m not good at business; it’s not me, it’s not part of my persona. When you are learning how to do Yoga, you push your limits, bit by bit. You stay present with the discomfort and, little by little, you work to fully express yourself into the pose. I tell my clients that, if they want to reach people, they must embrace this. It’s all part of your experience. To me, being a Business Yogini is about letting your business become a path of awakening. By doing that you are illuminating the path for those with whom you are working. It’s a path of healing for you and the people you serve.

IYM: Why is charging money so hard for some Yoga teachers and bodyworkers?

NJ: Money is a big bugaboo. The three biggest challenges for us yoginis are charging money, marketing authentically and creating a business system. It’s never the counseling, the Yoga teaching, the massages—it’s this other stuff that takes people down. In Yoga, we talk about fundamental wholeness, being open and present to all of life, but then we shut down when it comes to business. We need to learn to market ourselves authentically, to run our businesses, to step into our power and to ask a price that represents a fair exchange of energy.

IYM: How can we deal with the resistance?

Read the rest of this article in the Winter 2011 issue of Integral Yoga Magazine.