notissue123Recently I’ve been feeling the excitement, perhaps the over-excitement, of life.  With so many things on the go  I got run down and decided to stop everything for awhile to get back to a healthy state.  My Mentor, Tulshi Sen, always said that when things get overwhelming it’s time to stop everything and re-connect with your hearts desire.

These wise words have guided me through some intense times although when I first heard them I didn’t believe I could stop EVERYTHING.  I now know that only by stopping can I change track both physically and emotionally.

Stopping got me thinking about how important it is for us to take care of ourselves as teachers.  If we get sick or run down we can’t do what we love to do – teach.  If we don’t acknowledge  we’re sick and keep teaching, we spread sickness around instead of happiness.

By stopping, I saw I was getting robotic, completing tasks without experiencing any joy in doing them.  I missed the signs of not eating well or not getting a good night’s sleep.

When I rested I realized three tips that were missing from the Health and Safety part of my Kids Yoga Teacher Training Curriculum.  They help us stay healthy as teachers.  These three simple health tips remind us to slow down, examine our habits, and sometimes stop altogether so we can do what we love:

  1. Wash Your Hands Between Classes
    Recently a child I teach ended up in hospital for a week with a virus.  If you teach multiple classes in a day you may be carrying a virus around from class to class.  Slow down so you can wash your hands after each class.  You’ll help stop the spread of illness from one class to the next and also to yourself.
  2. Sleeve Cough/Sneeze
    When I was a kid we were taught to cover our mouth with our hand when we coughed or sneezed.  That habit was so deeply ingrained in me it took months to change – even though it was obvious just how germ-y our  hands and everything we touch will become if we cough into them.

    The new etiquette: if you don’t have a tissue sneeze into your sleeve rather than your hand.  This keeps your hands clean for when you touch other things like your yoga props or the children.  Hopefully you know about this one, but I still see people covering their mouth with their hand – probably out of habit.  Teach this to the children you see sneezing in your class as well and everyone will stay healthier!

  3. If you are Sick – It’s time to Stop
    Teaching yoga is important but if you are sick it is a time to stop what you are doing and reconnect with what is important.  If it means canceling a class then cancel it.  I know it is hard to do, especially if you are self-employed, but it is worth it.   What amount of money is more important than good health?

Yoga and meditation help us become the Masters of our Destiny.  When we get run down we forget the power we have to change our lives.  Stopping helps us realize that we don’t HAVE TO do the things that are causing us to be run down.  The only thing we have to do is give ourselves the freedom to live a happy and healthy life.

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17 Comments
  1. Very important piece of advice..DOn’t wait till you feel sick before you start, always listen to what your mind and body says…

  2. You will see benefits in a very short period of time. In one study, participants had up to 35% improvement in flexibility after only eight weeks of yoga. The greatest gains were in shoulder and trunk flexibility most likely will see benefits in a very short period of time. In one study, participants had up to 35% improvement in flexibility after only eight weeks of yoga.
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  4. Great, great post. Even though I’m not teaching right now, it’s obviously good advice for anyone. Although I have not been sick, I recently sprained my ankle during a race. I thought about it afterward, and believed it was some kind of sign for me to slow down, and take a break. Like many, I’ve been trying to do way too much, and something had to give. The ankle is slowly healing, but I’m learning to be patient and not push it back to running too quickly. Thanks for this post, it is wonderful advice for me to hear. 🙂

  5. Very interesting topics.I am looking this type of topics, I need more informations because everyone knows “Health is wealth” is very much known to all and everyone wants good health.That means no one wants to leave this wealth. So, Let us build a food habit discipline, keep pace with work, rest and or exercise to Achieve good health, The ultimate wealth.

  6. Thanks for the comments everyone.

    It is so hard to cancel a class – this is the hardest for me. Have you noticed a change in how people react if they see you are sick though? I think the culture is changing that people don’t want to come in contact with a person who is sick. I wonder if they would rather cancel the class than risk catching something.

    Sometimes I say to myself, “I’m canceling a yoga class, not brain surgery.”

  7. I appreciate how you connect our health to our ability to really engage and share. We truly must take care of ourselves first before we are able to give to others. Recently I learned some of the symbolic meaning behind namaste hands (prayer position) that helps to reinforce this concept each time I bring my hands into this common mudra. It is a lovely constant reminder of the need to nourish and connect with yourself.
    http://yogainmyschool.com/2010/03/15/namaste-hands-celebrate-and-connect/

  8. Fabulous post! I know it’s time for a ‘break’ when I feel I am struggling to be really present with my student. As you said, like a robot. As children’s yoga teachers, it’s essential that we model and practice what we are teaching to our students – self-care, taking time for quiet and reflection, and so forth. It is only from a place of connectedness internally that we can truly connect to others and to our work. I’ve found that my physical health is directly to this as well.

    Thank you for the reminder – I’m signing off for a week to focus on my own children while they are on vacation. This post came at a perfect time! Nice to know others experience similar struggles with balance and I’m grateful, as always, for the openness and sharing.

  9. Aruna, you have posted this as I sit here coughing and coughing and getting ready to teach! I wash my hands between classes and cough in my sleeve but have a hard time with number 3! Mostly it is because I am the sole kid’s yoga teacher in one location so that finding a sub is hard to do and I don’t want to disappoint the owner of the studio. Teaching kids is different than adults. I could imagine talking through an adult class with a cold but with kids it is much more hands on and the chance of spreading what ills you is much greater. I struggle with this and will talk today with the studio owner to see what we can implement for the future. I would much rather stay home today but will be sucking on a cough drop and heading in before heading back to bed.