You started Kundalini Yoga because you love it. Then signed up for Teacher Training and set up a class. You need to get the word out. If you have some visual arts skills, perhaps you have an idea already of how you want to do that. Otherwise, you ask a friend who happened to be a graphic designer or maybe you had a go yourself or paid someone to put the information together for you.
But the flyer does not necessarily offer anything more than that, which may be fine. There are some students turning up for your sessions and you don’t give it much further thought until you decide to add more classes. Another possibility is that what you’re putting out there doesn’t feel quite right but you don’t know what else to do. A worst-case scenario would be that you feel it misrepresents you or is in conflict with how you feel you would like to be represented – but you don’t know what else to do. So, by default you don’t do anything or use automated systems online to design your next flyer.
But this would be missing an opportunity for the process to be part of expressing and crystallising yourself .
My exploration of corporate identity started in my career before I found Kundalini Yoga. As a student, my interest was in creative community media until I moved to London and found myself as a young photographer looking for assignments. I became involved in the visual identity of large corporations until one day – or rather I should say one Saturday night – around midnight to be precise I was taking pictures at a bank building site for a “top secret” documentation of their new headquarters. I was becoming increasingly distressed. I couldn’t get a good shot even though I’d lined up many options and taken a ton of test Polaroids. I straightened up and away from the camera crying. What followed was the realisation that it was not possible for me to get a great image. Once I saw it, I couldn’t unsee it. I was working for a client that was in conflict with my core principles and values. It was a big enough shock to pray to never again make an image bigger than my true identity again. That has been an aspiration and inspiration since – which has taken me on many fruitful journeys.
What follows here are a few pointers offered in some little way to support your journey of conscious creative communication.
These are questions you can ask yourself over a lifetime. The answers refine and some change as you become clearer about what it is you represent.
- Does this align with Truth? At a personal level, a local community level and a universal level?
- As much as a business card or website is offered to others it needs to start with you. Lead your marketing strategy from a space of meditation so that you can tune in deeply to the quiet voice within which can automatically get drowned out by social pressure. Make the process as conscious as possible so it can uplift you and strengthen your yoga, not take away time and resources from it.
- What will make it a joyful process? This will keep you motivated. What excites you to make yourself visible in the world? One of my ‘business cards’ was a lavender bag key ring handcrafted in a woman’s group.
- What areas of creativity do you want to explore for many years to come? Lead your sharing in the world with what you fo naturally anyway – if that’s sharing with family and friends on social media mainly with photographs, extend the reach to include students. If you love to write, sing or illustrate or would love to explore any of these further investigate them through exploring your experience of yoga.
- Computer graphics can take us into a semi-hypnotic mind space rather than our human heart. Experiment with hand making and handwriting – at least as a part of the process. Notice what resistance arises and the messages associated with it ‘it’s not professional enough’. Mainstream media has created a set of ‘rules’ of how we represent ourselves. Perhaps you want to push them a little…or a lot.
- The creative process is a visible focaliser for negative self-talk and belittling ‘I’m not talented’ ‘I’m not an artist’, ‘I’m not creative’ or simply and most painfully ‘I can’t’. We have an encyclopaedic library of resources to support rooting out this talk. Make your next flyer a victory walk that inspires others to the same.
- Sometimes in an old book store between the pages is a note or a photograph from 1952, 1928…. We never know how long what we share will stay in the world so what do you want to put out there for anybody to find in many years to come?
- What is the most powerful teaching you have received from Kundalini Yoga? From your life? If you left earth tomorrow wouldn’t you want to have shared that with the world? Explore ways of communicating it.
- These days we can share most of the information about events on transitional media like websites. There are a multitude of ways to customise cards with stickers so the 5000 you ordered but haven’t yet distributed don’t go out of date.
- Which is also a reminder to look at whether you want to print something in the first place, what ink is sustainable, and the paper.
- What will actually enable you to move forward with a marketing strategy rather than just talk about it? Huge plans that require budgets you don’t have is a strategy for getting stuck.
- You don’t have to spend a lot of money on a campaign or lots of advertising. Like bathing each day, and any other daily chores, it’s better to build your identity in the world with regularity.
- Rather than thinking of 1 big launch – see your marketing as a way of experimenting with expressing yourself in the world – ongoing.
- So, start with 1 little thing that is possible not only today, but as an exercise you do as you complete reading this. Gift yourself that. Let these words be an impulse for your action, and your words be the impulse for others to take the action from their soul today too.
- What are your core principles and values? How do you express them? In what media?
- Your marketing material can be re-envisioned as teaching resources. Which are the central Kriyas and meditations that you offer in class? Making a set of cards that make these available for students is a blessing in itself. Then, also include the class schedule and address. This way the emphasis is on what the student receives as a valuable ongoing resource they will want to keep.
- What words do you use? Are they borrowed from the mainstream market place or from the way yoga understands our world? An example could be noticing in a website strategy – are you identifying competitors rather than potential collaborators? Stereo-typing customers from other market research outside of our culture rich and diverse community?
- Yet who are you talking to? This will affect the manner in which you communicate. Naturally, which would be very different for a wide range of children or more specifically the clients at the local drug rehabilitation clinic.
- At the same time don’t shy away from risking bringing in your particular love or flair, cultural background and beauty. Keep language simple, but equally dare to share and explain terrain others may not have heard of before.
- Yet we don’t have to force our beauty or outstanding nature. We are all made in God.
- It’s not how much media you are getting out there either. Too much can have a far more adverse effect. It is easy to feel spammed. Is what your sharing of a quality that you are happy to have represent you and the Teachings at large?
- Is there a phrase that describes what inspires you and sums up what you do? As much as you gift this to others, as you work with your designs, you receive the blessing of this constant reminder back to yourself.
- Stay focused. Experiment with 1 step. Test it out, see what the response is. Adjust your strategy accordingly.
- Yes, this is a challenge. It’s humbling
- Remind yourself not to get disheartened. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself to get ‘it’ perfect it stalls the flow. It’s a work in progress like we are. There is a fine art to communication that flowers over a lifetime.
- It doesn’t have to be complicated. Start simple. Start small. Start now. Something that you can do today as a treasure you then gift out into the world – A seed of light to plant in the world.
Love light all ways,
Jagat Joti Kaur
If you are touched by any of the words I share, they are from my understanding of the Teachings through sitting in class with my Teacher most weeks each month each year. I am a Level 2 qualified Kundalini Yoga Teacher presently sharing in Level 3 and student of Sacred Numerology through the Karam Kriya School, a student of Shiv Charan Singh. I hold a 550hour Ayurveda Lifestyle and Nutrition Practitioner qualification with the European Institute of Vedic Studies. I set up a yoga and healing arts programme across various acute NHS mental hospitals in London in 2008 and have worked with galleries such as Tate Modern, Tate Britain and the National Portrait Gallery exploring the art of yoga and the yoga of art because I love to share what I love for myself, to write, draw, paint, sculpt, sew and cook, a creative, juicy life worth living. I was born in Cape Town, South Africa where I live as part of the international Ashram Guru Ram Das family.