It's easy to get wrapped up in something near and dear to our hearts especially when we are just starting out in a particular hobby or when we make the hobby our career. Yoga is no exception as a beginner I found myself trying to soak up as much information as possible. There was so much to learn and not enough hours in the day to learn it all. I found myself reading all the books, magazines, and websites I could find on the various yoga related topics that piqued my interest. After becoming a certified teacher when I wasn't studying my new career I was on my mat building sequences and learning from my body. This led me to become a teacher training junkie.
While there is nothing wrong with studying, practicing and taking additional training in itself; it's important to find balance in the way that we go about our learning journey. As I immersed myself further into the journey I found I was prone to injury from exhaustion and over training while maintaining my intense teaching schedule. There was no cross training to help balance what I did on my mat. I found a few ways to help fend off the burnout I saw fast approaching.
1. Cross Training
Especially in the yoga world there are certain motions we simply don't do. For me, I found weakness in my back body and any pulling motion. Upon finding Stand-up Paddle boarding I realized the pulling motion during paddling coupled with the cardio aspect made it a perfect and enjoyable cross training activity. Shortly after I picked up resistance training again after many years, but this time around it was coupled with my yoga practice to maintain flexibility.
2. Get Creative
Creating yoga sequences has a creativity in and of itself, but I found the less creative I was in other avenues the less creative I became on my mat. Without indulging my creativity off the mat my classes became stale and uninspired. Turning back to other creative aspects like knitting, sewing and spinning allowed my mind to find rest in rhythmic movement. Much like yoga it allowed my mind to free itself of the demands to create under pressure, and in turn my sequence creations came more naturally.
3. Reconnect with Community
This may seem like a no brainer, but I found it harder to connect with our community while teaching in the studio so frequently. What I loved was becoming a chore. That's when I decided to take a step back and attend a teacher gathering that my home studio holds monthly. Taking time just to eat and chat with my fellow teachers helped to reignite what I love about my career. Knowing I may not be the only teacher feeling the way I did helped me to realize I had support when necessary.
I would love to hear of different ways you've found to help avoid burnout when you find yourself on your mat maybe a bit to frequently or teaching to many classes. What ways are you cross training, getting creative, and reconnecting with your community? Comment on Facebook to join the conversation!