As you all surely know by now, self-care is one of my all-time favourite things to talk about! Absolutely everyone can embrace this concept, and we all stand to benefit from it. Although engaging in regular acts of self-care is something that I encourage everyone to do, there are some people who I believe should absolutely make it an everyday necessity!
People who give large amounts of their time to others, such as parents and carers, may often find that their energy levels are depleted at the end of each day. This can quickly affect mood, happiness, motivation, and more. It is therefore super important that these people are able to reset and recharge, not only for themselves, but also so that they can continue to be their best selves for their children or dependants each and every day.
It is not only parents and carers who need to recharge due to sharing their time and energy with others. Those who have fast-paced careers, or very physically active jobs may also find that at the end of each day they are low in energy – both physically and mentally.
As yoga teachers we are responsible for guiding others to develop their practice, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Although this is of course a wonderful and incredibly personally fulfilling thing to do, it can have an impact on your energy and also on your desire to keep up with your own practice.
Teaching yoga is a wonderful experience and undoubtedly one of the best decisions I have made in my journey through life. But this career choice is not one that should be embarked upon lightly, and it is important to pay attention to your own needs as you take each step.
Throughout my career as a yoga teacher I have learnt several important lessons, and experienced my own lows as well as the highs. Today I want to impart the lessons that I have learnt in order to better equip you to be your best self as a yoga teacher! Many of these things relate to your own self-care, and also to the relationship and communication that you should be working to build with your students.
In order to truly connect with your students and provide the best possible experience for them, you have to make sure you are paying attention to them individually, regardless of how many people are in your class. Watch how each of them moves through a pose and how they are holding their bodies.
Ensure that they are breathing in time with the movements and offer individual suggestions for improvements. Always make eye contact and be as encouraging as you possibly can be! It is important to also show your students that you are an authentic human who isn't pretending to be perfect. Just be yourself and they will surely appreciate this.
Make sure that you know everyone by name and that you make the time to check in with each of them every so often. Building community is one of the amazing things about yoga, and this certainly starts with you in the classroom!
Asking your students for feedback regularly is a great way to show that you are paying attention to their needs. This is also simply a good way to improve your teaching and to give your students more of what they love.
Always Have a Plan
The longer you teach yoga for, the easier it is to become complacent with lesson planning. You may start to feel as though you can deliver a great lesson without really trying, and therefore forego any forward planning. Although you might be able to do this and still deliver a great lesson, putting some thought and planning into each session will help to ensure that it is not only great, but excellent!
Your students are trusting you with their time and their progression, and in return they deserve the very best of you.
There are inevitably going to be days when you have to deviate from the plan. Your students may all come to class feeling low on energy and clearly not equipped to get through the intense flow that you had planned, or on the flip-side they may all be bursting with enthusiasm that the restorative session you had in mind wouldn't be suitable for.
Being able to respond to what the room is telling you is key to always giving your students the very best lesson, and the more experience you gain, the better able you will be to do this – even when you don't have a back-up plan in place!
Prioritise Your Practice
I say this often, and I'm going to say it again here! If you are not keeping up your own practice as a yoga teacher, then you are going to be doing your students a disservice.
As teachers, it is essential that we continue to learn and that we continue to understand the benefit of the learning process. This doesn't necessarily always have to be at a class, and you may choose to do the majority of your own yoga practice at home. If this is the case, then be sure to occasionally get along to a class, and to find a yoga teacher that you truly trust with your own development.
Don't Over-Exert Yourself
Saying yes is so easy to do and you may definitely find it hard to turn down teaching jobs. However, taking on too much can really leave you feeling drained and de-motivated. When this happens you simply won't be able to give all of your students the experience that they deserve in each lesson.
Try not to take on too much too soon, and if you absolutely do feel as though you need to take more teaching jobs then you currently have the energy to do well, then make sure to cut back on other commitments in your life.
Lead By Example
When you are working in a role that requires you to encourage others to pay attention to their health, happiness, self-care, and self-love, then it is of course helpful you are a living example of these concepts.
When you pay attention to your health and happiness, engage in regular acts of self-care, and demonstrate love towards yourself, then this is going to become apparent in the interactions that you have with others. It will also make you much better able to give advice surrounding these concepts. It will also naturally make you a kinder teacher with an abundance of patience and positivity to give!
Listen to Your Heart
It can be easy to get lost in your own thoughts when you are a yoga teacher with a busy schedule and other obligations, such as your family and other work commitments. And when this happens, you might find that your own self-care gets put to one side, and that you don't take care of yourself as well as you know you should.
Always listen to your heart and try to understand what it is you need in the present moment. You are surely the very best guide for yourself, and your instincts will usually serve you well!
I encourage you to really contemplate and embrace the tips that I have just shared with you so that you can continue to be your best self as a yoga teacher! Doing so can also help you to avoid and escape yoga teacher burnout. This is a topic that I have spoken on previously, and you can click here to check out my past advice.
When you are building a yoga business there are so many things to consider and many different new things to learn. I have put together a downloadable PDF of 5 weekly habits that I urge you to embrace as you build your business!
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