So, now that you’ve gone through the list, what do you think? Did more than 3 of these things ring true for you? If yes, don’t worry. It’s better that you know about it now and can do something about it, rather than doing nothing and hoping it goes away.
Here’s what you can do:
Take a break. I know, you don’t work, you don’t get paid. But if you are seeing a number of these things, you must take at least 1 full day to yourself. If you can take 2-3 days, that’s even better.
Take class from your favorite yoga teacher. In these times, it’s critical that you connect to what it feels like to be a student. It’s also essential that you get to practice. If you can do this in a studio where you do not also teach, that may be helpful to just be able to blend into the class.
Book a massage, a session with a bodyworker, a pedicure, manicure, foot reflexology session or acupuncture. Do as many of these that you can afford. Those aches and pains in your body are a sign of overuse, muscle strain and stress.
Meet with your mentor. Don’t have one? Find a senior teacher whom you admire. Talk about your feelings and be open to feedback. If this person can take one of your classes and give you some thoughts afterwards, that’s even better.
Immerse yourself in learning. Take a workshop or better yet, schedule yourself to take a teacher training of some kind. Being around others who are in learning mode is inspiring and it often fills us with ideas for our own teaching.
Create a plan. Teaching yoga is in part inspiration, in part, perspiration and part planning (among other things). If you’re frustrated, look at the data. Review your teaching spreadsheet to look at your attendance in class. Notice trends and be forthright with studio owners about anything you notice that is concerning. If you need more training in order to offer different classes or workshops, figure out how and where to get it. If you need time in your schedule for yourself, look at the impact of dropping a class in your schedule. If there’s no way you can afford that, start looking for other opportunities to teach where the rate is higher than your current average rate per activity (these might include privates, corporate teaching or contract work).
Get your sleep! As teachers, we know that rest is critical for students. The same holds true for us.
During times like this, it’s important that you actively plan to change some of the factors that might have you frustrated but you also take care of yourself. Teaching yoga is a personal exploration as well as an occupation and things will shift as you shift in your life. Stay open to all options and see what comes up during your phase of rest and research.