Yoga Teachers- Why Do They Burn Out? Tactics to avoid it

yoga teachers , yoga teaching, burn out

I recently heard a well respected Yoga Teacher describe the yoga teaching world, as being similar to the Wild West,

the image of a wild unruly time, may not be what we imagine as we think about Yoga but it totally nails how I feel about working as a Yoga teacher.

I’ve been teaching for over a decade and oh how the business of yoga has changed in that time!

Now there are lots of Yoga schools to train with but the quality varies wildly, a 200hr course can be spread out over 18 months or squished into 2 weeks.

How can they both serve and prepare new Yoga teachers well?

Once qualified, most teachers assume they must join a professional registration body and that it will  support them and offer advice in a dispute but looking at many online teacher’s support groups that support is poor.

A friend pointed out that yoga teachers are in the same band as workers for Uber & Deliveroo!

No contracts, no sick pay and gyms can lower the pay rate or drop classes.

On top of teaching you need to promote your classes.

Social media is a wonderful tool to reach so many people but now we must be a marketing, website designing and copy writing maven on top of creating ‘rocking’ Yoga classes.

A huge change from when I began teaching, relying just on flyers and word of mouth.

Although I worried about being a good enough teacher I didn’t have social media to compare myself to. Unfortunately, the benefits of practising Yoga may have got a little confused on Instagram with amazing flexibility and how many followers you have.

Becoming an ‘Instagram sensation’ can lead to guest teaching around the globe but having thousands of followers doesn’t neccessarily mean the teacher is experienced in leading multi level classes or even that they teach offline at all.

There are wonderful, wise teachers out there who are ignored by the magazines and not often found online because they’re not comfortable with it or they choose to avoid it.

Which is a great shame, I still want to see more diversity! How long before the Yoga magazines feature a cover model over 50 without it being a special issue??

What has this got to do with Yoga Teachers burning out?

Money or lack of it, Hustling for work, Competitiveness & Isolation

Feeling burnt out or flat feels like, loss of inspiration, lack of energy, recurrent illness, perhaps a dread before teaching or feeling angry.

It’s such a shame that this should happen to people offering such a valuable service that aims to help people feel well physically and emotionally.

I have gone through phases when I’ve felt drained and considered giving up teaching altogether.

How to deal with hitting the wall

Shit happens, hopefully you will become more in tune to your needs and have a coping strategy to call on when you feel the stirrings of burning out.

Here’s what works for me

Unplug- from computers, social media. Even for one day,

Talk to someone – Talk to someone you know who has your back, who will listen, let you rant and  give you helpful feedback.

Baby steps – If you are immersed in overwhelm, what one thing is a priority to do today?

Nurture yourself – so, all of the steps above and make time to eat well & sleep

Celebrate your successes! We forget how much we’ve already achieved. Keep a file of all the lovely messages you receive from your students(if it’s verbal,write it down)to remind you what you love about the experience of being a Yoga teacher.

Practice Yoga & Meditation- Forgive me for reminding you but that thing that helped you want to teach is quite good at soothing an overworked mind.

So dear Yoga teachers, if things are not quite as you assumed they would be, take heart you are not alone. Try the tips above and if there is one thing tipping you into burn out please email me and I’ll try to offer suggestions that might help.

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