In our Branching Out training we talk about all the ways to get new yoga classes to teach. The follow up to this conversation is maintaining balance once you achieve your goals.
Over the years I’ve seen many yoga teachers get burnt out, and I’ve come close to throwing in the towel myself. All the reasons that motivate you to become a teacher get consumed by all the hours it takes to run a business and a life.
Not only are you balancing work, family, and other obligations, you’re preparing lesson plans, traveling all over, teaching classes, marketing your business, following up with clients, and planning for the next event. I mean, I’ve given up on trying to keep my email inbox below 1000 emails.
Our times are such that it looks easy to do it all.
On Facebook and other Social Media, everyone is posting their accomplishments; it can make you feel like a slacker. What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I be doing all these cool things?
The dirty secret is, a lot of the teachers showing others how to be calm and blissful are experiencing their own burnout.
For me, my practice gets bumped by all the other work. I don’t do yoga, start drinking tea by the pot, and relax by watching TV. I start feeling lumpy and tired. Now, as I near my 50th birthday, I can’t get away with this the way I used to, my body does not bounce back the way it used to.
One teacher told me how she recently sold her yoga business. When she started working at another yoga studio she realized she had been doing the job of 5 people!
So to keep your sanity, health, and entrepreneurial freedom, and to wash away that dirty secret you may be hiding, consider these ways to keep things in check:
Yoga and Meditation
As a Yoga Teacher, you know that yoga and meditation are amazing. They help you quiet your mind, find stillness, connect to your body, be present, and speak to your higher self. You also know you need to practice often and regularly.
Here’s the catch, if your personal practice is failing, I recommend you attend a live class to help you re-boot. Just go to any class, even if you don’t connect with a teacher you’ll remember what you do like, and awaken your own practice.
Then reboot your personal practice. Start with 10 minutes of your favourite moves or breath work. Every practice is not going to make you sweat, but 10 minutes can make a difference.
Give yourself a pat on the back for the little yoga practices you can squeeze in. They count!
Food is your body’s source of energy. When you eat a balanced diet of healthy, nutrient-dense foods, you have more vitality. You also manage daily stresses better. Choose to eat natural, whole foods, and plenty of fruits and vegetables to feel energized and make sure you’re also drinking water.
Reconnect to Nature
Being in nature can have a significant affect on your wellbeing. The clean air helps you feel refreshed. Being close to the earth helps you feel grounded. Being surrounded by creation helps you feel connected to life. Taking a walk in nature is like taking a shower in green energy, you will feel renewed.
Connect with Others
You feel joy when you are with other like-minded, joyful people. Your feelings of connection make you feel good, and helps others feel good. Surround yourself with positive people and you will cope with life’s daily challenges better and improve your health and happiness. If you don’t have any other friends who are running their own yoga businesses, find connections at workshops, retreats, or online. Create a circle of support to share resources, ideas, and perspective.
You’re busy doing things.
Sometimes, it’s necessary to take time to be present. Whether it’s taking an afternoon away from your daily routines to connect with yourself, or taking a weekend off to get away from your busy life, set an intention to take time out to recharge.
My meditation teacher would say if you start feeling overwhelmed, it’s time to stop everything. It may seem counter-intuitive, but I have found stopping everything can be necessary to figure out the right next step.
Although its not always possible to stop everything, you can stop a lot. Here are some ideas to help you plan to stop everything for a while:
- get a sub for classes for a week or a month or a whole series,
- drop your least favourite classes,
- take a mental health sick day,
- splurge on a house cleaner, meal service, or extra child care (or ask for help from family or friends for a bit),
- affirm to yourself that you are in charge of your yoga business and you get to take control of your schedule and direction.
As the saying goes, if the airplane is going down, put the oxygen on yourself before you try to put it on someone else!
Let’s give ourselves much deserved oxygen a long time before the plane gets into trouble.
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