For all my amazing friends and peers who are also teaching yoga or going through a teacher training, this if for you!
If you’re not a yoga teacher and reading this, know that your yoga teacher is passionate about teaching you yoga. We usually aren’t rolling in the dough, but we love what we do.
I’ve been teaching yoga now for almost four years (with 695 hrs of training). Four years isn’t so long in the scheme of life, but it’s something. If you’re here and have been teaching for 10, 20, 30+ years, please, share with us in the comment section below something you think we should remember as yoga teachers. We’re in this together.
We all know what teacher training is like: challenging, exhausting, transformative, and a beautiful, life-changing experience. And, we know what trying to teach yoga and support yourself is like: a struggle, hectic, just like life can be, especially in the beginning. It’s easy to burn out.
Here are 5 things to remember as a yoga teacher so you don’t burn out:
1. You are still, and always will be, a yoga student. Keep learning, studying, and exploring. We are the same as the students we teach; we aren’t higher or better than them – check that ego – we are all one. 200 hours of training is the bare minimum right now to become a teacher. Go out and practice your teaching, develop your skills, get to know your strength and weaknesses, and eventually get back into training so you can go deeper. Maybe even try new styles of yoga to broaden your scope of teaching. Never forget your beginner’s mindset.
2. Prioritize your practice. I know this get’s tough when you have 25+ classes a week, other work, a family, friends, hobbies, and don’t forget about sleep. Ask yourself: what’s important to you? Then, make that your priority. What we don’t prioritize usually doesn’t happen. So, prioritize YOU and prioritize your practice so you can be the best for you and your students.
3. Adjust your practice to what you need and have time for each day. Your practice doesn’t have to include sweat, handstands, or chaturangas to be a practice. Maybe that’s not even what your body and mind really need that day. Your practice also doesn’t have to be two hours every day, either. So, see how much time you have – because we know even 5 minutes of conscious breathing and moving can make a difference – and have a conversation with your body and it’s needs. Maybe today you need pranayama and restorative poses for 20 minutes. Maybe tomorrow you need a sweaty vinyasa for 75 minutes. Flow with it, my loves, and be kind to yourself.
4. Teaching time is not practice time. Teaching time is time to teach to your students. Of course, use your breathing and presence; demonstrate when necessary and make sure your warm enough to demonstrate. But, this is not your designated practice time of your day. Watch your students and make sure they’re safe. Make sure you stay safe! You’re talking, remembering your sequence, maybe there’s music going, you’re in and out of poses demonstrating… be mindful of how you come in and out of poses so you don’t hurt yourself. Keep a single pointed focus: use your class to teach your students yoga and enhance your teaching skills. Don’t throw your practice up in that mix.
5. There is no such thing as a perfect class. Just forget about perfect in your life all together. If you aim for a perfect class or life, you’ll either go crazy in the pursuit, possibly giving up all together, or you’ll settle on something and forget about growing. Because life is all about growth… if you aren’t growing, you’re dying. Every class you teach is an opportunity for growth. Ask yourself, “What can you improve on next time? What do you want to be getting stronger and more confident in?” Also ask, “What do you feel you’ve got down? What do you feel confident about?” There’s a balance. You don’t want to grow too fast without sturdy roots.
I’d love to hear from you! Leave your answers to the questions in the comment section below? Are you a yoga teacher? What’s once piece of advice you would pass onto someone who just finished their teacher training? What ‘s your favorite part about practicing yoga?
I love you, beautiful souls!
Sending you love and support on your journey,