I used to teach 25 yoga classes per week in Perth. This is considered a lot in the yoga teaching world.
It’s not like you can equate that to 25 hours of a working week. On top of that, there’s the preparation, the driving (sometimes the impossible parking situations), the hours in between classes, the setting up and the staying back to chat to students.
I know of some yoga teachers who limit their teaching to 2 classes per day (for valid reason). But as a full-time yoga teacher, I couldn’t see how that would be financially viable. For a whole year I was teaching 7x classes every Wednesday – a combination of private yoga, group classes, and corporate wellness) from 6am to 8.30pm and it did take the life out of me. The nature of teaching is about giving, so I was constantly giving out. My greatest fear at that time was one day getting chronic fatigue.
It’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy it. Because teaching yoga (and practicing yoga) is really my favourite thing to do. My natural tendency to be there to nurture others, it fills me up, and sets my heart on fire!
What My Practice Looks Like
This year, I’ve chosen to tone it down, to instead take the time to receive. And this is where my practice takes me.
The yoga is a practice, so I liken this to mean the refinement of my everyday.
You’ve all heard it before. Everything and everyone is constantly in motion. Which means, we must also cultivate the flexibility to flow through the change that happens in real life situations.
Putting Yourself Out There
I 100% believe that especially as a new teacher, you’ve got to really take up those opportunities and teach (a lot). It’s where you can gain experience, and face those fears of teaching bodies unfamiliar to you, places not so ideal, because that’s where you build up your portfolio of adaptability.
By quitting my office job, I devoted myself to this very cause of meeting people where they are, to discover ways to offer appropriate challenges and give them tools to improve their lifestyle. So it was up to me to find out how to do that.
If you’re not a teacher, this is the bit where you put yourself out there. Go to those social events that you don’t really want to go to and meet someone new, go back to studying something you’ve always wanted to learn or take a job in a completely new industry. Let this be where your practice begins.
From all that teaching, I was then able to sift through the classes that enriched me and let go of the ones that didn’t. I was able to find more time for self-practice (and not just for the intention of figuring out what I was going to teach), I factored in time to read and make time for friends. These are just a few of my self-care boundary practices that I incorporate and although some compromise is sometimes required, it’s what helped me prevent yoga teacher burnout – an all too common result of giving too much.