Collaboration is good

Together, we rise: why collaboration in yoga can be such a wonderful force for good. By Paula Hines

Ilike collaboration (Note: collaboration, not exploitation or taking the mickey!)
I remember an occasion a number of years ago when someone asked me to collaborate on a workshop for a good cause they were raising money for. The pitch was that I would do the first half of the workshop and they would take over for part two. However, as time progressed, in my ongoing attempts for clarity on the finer details, it became clear that this person was presuming that I would plan and teach the entire three-hour workshop with no input from them. At that point, I was out. Their response was to not go ahead with the workshop at all.
There was no reason this person could not have done a workshop on their own, so it seemed strange to me that they tried to deceive me into using my time, skill and resources for free for the benefit of their fundraising plans. Now, I am all for doing things for charity but in this instance, what irked me was the complete lack of transparency and the assumptions made (maybe because it’s yoga) that I would give up a significant amount of my time and effort for free with no question.
This to me is not collaboration.

For me, collaboration works when none of the parties involved feel they or their goodwill are being taken advantage of. When it feels mutually beneficial and everyone is uplifted. This is the best kind.
In this spirit I would like to give a big shout out to my kindest collaborator and friend Sally Parkes ( I first met Sally as a student in her classes before I became a teacher. When I did begin teaching it was a challenging time and Sally was one of the few people who gave me paid work opportunities and experience at a time when no-one else would. Cut to today and I am now a senior yoga teacher myself and I have been a tutor on Sally’s 200-hour teacher training for the past several years.
My latest collaboration with Sally is my one-day restorative yoga workshop for teachers on November 2 this year at her new Mothering Lotus Studio in Worthing…though I hope this workshop will be the first of many. (As I type, there is only one place remaining, so get in quick!).
This is the kind of collaboration that I do enjoy. May we all find and be good collaborators, because together we rise.

Paula Hines is a London-based yoga teacher and writer. Find details of upcoming events at:

Om Magazine

First published in November 2009, OM Yoga magazine has become the most popular yoga title in the UK. Available from all major supermarkets, independents and newsstands across the UK. Also available on all digital platforms.