Yoga teachers around the world can all agree that teaching is the best job in the world, but it can be a hard job. We take on a lot of other people’s energy, and we are also responsible for altering negative energy in our classes to reflect a more positive environment. This can be very draining. It takes creativity and stamina to conduct multiple classes in a day, and pair that with this energy drain, and you have a recipe for burn out.
When you lose your love and the enjoyment of teaching, it is important to take a step back and find inspiration. The team at Oxygen Yoga & Fitness has put together a quick reminder survival guide for staying fresh and inspired.
- Make sure you are teaching at a place you love. You should be treated with respect by other staff and clients. The doors should feel welcoming to all and demonstrate a non-judgmental environment. You should be proud of your place of work.
- Only take on the number of classes you can realistically handle. You’re a yogi, not a super hero. Say NO if you need to. Teaching too many classes takes away from creativity, leaving classes to become repetitive and stale. You will not be happy with your product and neither will your clientele. You have to remember these people are paying for an experience. They have their own stressful days and they come to yoga to let go of that and not take on your stress. Find support from other instructors or staff to help you in arranging a better schedule.
- Eat! It is so easy to go through a few hours of teaching and before you know it, a whole day has gone by and all you had was a shake and a piece of fruit! Everybody’s body is different. Our digestive systems work differently and respond differently to different foods. Keep up with your calorie intake so you have energy and nutrients to support your teaching. For heated classes, it is even more important to stay hydrated and replace electrolytes lost through sweat.
- Sleep! Muscles need time to repair, and this occurs with rest. Again, make sure your schedule is supporting you. Working late nights and early mornings is not a supportive routine. If you want a good following, you need to be producing a quality class and if you are tired and poorly rested, your class may be suffering. Yes, late nights happen but make them the exception, not the norm, not just for the quality of your class but for your personal health.
- Get inspired. Yoga instructors are forever yoga students. There will never be a time where you know it all. Take time to come back to your personal practice, learn new things, and be inspired by other instructors. Learn and develop yourself by experiencing all the great teachers out there. Be supportive and receive support from other yogis.
- Do something different. Find activities outside of yoga to change things up. Doing the same thing over and over, or only experiencing one type of exercise can cause you to lose appreciation for it. Including outdoor activities especially can be beneficial to your body. As we learn in yoga, Prana is life force and the best way to recharge is to get outside to inhale fresh air and natural light.
A quality class is only as good as the instructor, and when an instructor feels good it will show in their class. To be successful we have to take care of our own bodies and minds before helping to transform our clients. We all have stuff happening in our personal lives but we must remember that the studio is a safe and sacred place to let go of the outside world and surrender to the moment and breathe.