Do You Suffer From Yoga Burnout?
Some people feel called to teach yoga, as if there is a magnetic energy pulling them in that direction. Others see it as a logical step to share the knowledge and skills they have built up over the years. Whatever brings a person to lead from the mat, it is good to be aware of a common condition that knows no bounds: yoga teacher burnout.
For teachers new and experienced alike, being a yoga teacher can be an exhausting profession. We’ve seen it time and again in our peers and our own teachers. Sometimes the pressure can cause instructors to feel depleted and unable to be the source of light they once were.
How To Tell
Some common signs that you might be experiencing yoga teacher burnout include:
- Being irritable and moody
- Isolating yourself
- Ill health and increased sickness
- Sudden changes in weight
- Poor sleep habits
If you are a yoga teacher and want to avoid burning out, we came up with some advice to help you stay true to your bright and shining self.
Set Your Limits
Yoga teachers will often overextend themselves by taking on too many classes at too many studios. The intentions are understandable, a teacher wants to build their reputation and make enough money to survive. Sometimes this means driving all around Vancouver or the Lower Mainland, or teaching late classes followed by 6 am classes the next morning. While it is great to be ambitious, if you find that you are in a constant panic or frenzy to make it from class to class, it’s a good idea to set some limits on what you can do and when.
Stay On Top Of Your Business
One common source of stress for yoga teachers is taking care of the business side of things. Invoices pile up, tax questions abound, inquiries remain unanswered. If you are a yoga teacher working for a number of studios or private clients, it can get overwhelming to keep track of your finances. You don’t have to go back to university and study business but it is a good idea to gain an understanding of how you should be dealing with the financial side of your life. Consider finding a mentor or taking a class online, otherwise the stress can quickly add up and lead to exhaustion.
Invest In Your Health
Many yoga teachers find that because they are teaching so much, their own practice suffers. Teachers often go from being dedicated students to hardly having time to attend to their own practice. To avoid this predicament, ensure that you are setting aside enough time to nourish yourself and your practice. Whether this is establishing a regular practice in the quiet of the morning or at night before bed, or committing to attending classes at a studio, your own practice is just as important as those whom you are helping.
Unfortunately, many yoga teachers get taken advantage of, especially when they are starting out. In order to gain experience and network, many new teachers will work for less than they are worth and can even end up operating at a loss. You should be well paid for your work and if a studio or client is taking advantage of you, don’t be afraid to move on. If you keep working hard, you will be able find opportunities that reward your skill and pay you accordingly. Otherwise, you will feel undervalued and burnout will catch up with you.
Sometimes we are so busy with the business of living (and teaching) that we forget to stop and give thanks for the gifts we have. Teachers, students and all humans alike can at times let the distractions of the world take away from the awe of the present moment. If you feel yourself becoming irritable or stressed out with your current situation, it’s a good idea to find some a space where you can calm your mind and offer gratitude for the world around you. Not only does this simple action act as a pressure valve, it can help put things in perspective — that you are lucky enough to follow your dreams of teaching yoga.
Teaching yoga can be very rewarding, but it is not always the easiest path. It can take a while to build yourself, your brand and your business to the point where it is sustainable and you feel like you can breathe again. Don’t forget to take care of yourself so that you can help others on this beautiful and enriching path.
If you are interested in joining the Yoga Teacher Training Vancouver program, inquire with us today!