Professional Advice: How to Prevent Yoga Teacher Burnout
Let’s face it . . . a career centered around being inspiring can sometimes be everything but inspiring. As yoga teachers, we are expected to provide classes to transform our students inside and out. We are asked to give our students motivation and inspiration to be better yogis and humans. But we are people too, with lives outside of the yoga studio. And while we love our jobs, we are still susceptible of falling into a rut from time to time.
Yoga teacher burnout is common, especially when you are teaching full-time. You may have noticed you’re tired of hearing yourself repeat the same thing everyday, you cannot find the inspiration or energy your students deserve, or you feel the passion you once had has faded.
So how do you continue to share what you love without the yoga teacher burnout? In short, you bring it back to the basics.
Forget creating a new playlist or inventing a new yoga sequence – instead, remind yourself why you became so passionate about yoga in the first place.
How do you continue to share what you love without burning out? In short, you bring it back to the basics.
Here are 7 tips to help you avoid yoga teacher burnout:
1. Put your yoga practice first
Whatever you do, do not forsake your own practice. There’s a good chance your practice is no longer your time to cultivate strength, healing or reflection. Maybe you’ve even put your personal practice on the back burner, but it is imperative for yoga teachers to have a consistent practice. How can we ask our students to grow, explore and connect with themselves if we do not hold ourselves to the same standard?
Suggested Read: 5 Steps to Maintain Your Personal Practice
2. Bring back the books
Revisit the yoga texts and scriptures you’ve previously studied. You are no longer the same person or yogi you once were. You have grown and developed a higher level of consciousness which will help you gain more insight from these teachings. What better way to reignite your passion for yoga than to continue to study it?
Some additional books we recommend for continuing education (and inspiration):
- Light on Yoga by BKS Iyengar
- Yoga Anatomy by Karminoff & Matthews
- Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
- The Bhagavad Gita
- Revisit the Yamas and Niyamas cliffnotes here.
3. Be aware of your relationships with students
We are yoga teachers but we are also human, and humans make connections with others. Sometimes those connections will blur the teacher/student line and this can complicate things.
As a teacher, it will often be difficult to teach a class objectively if we know a student has personal issues. You may want to change the class to fit their needs, which could do more harm than good.
4. Remind yourself of your love for yoga
Connect back to what brought you here in the first place. Invite that feeling that opened your heart and introduced you to the infinite being inside of you. The devotion for your yoga practice is still there, it’s just buried under your workshop planning, new yoga sequences and the latest yoga trend. While these are important in your teaching, you have to toss that shit out to reconnect.
Recommended Read: For Yoga Teachers: 5 Steps to Maintain Your Personal Practice
5. Meditation is key
Have you been meaning to begin a meditation practice or revamp your current practice? Now is the time. The best answers come from deep within, where you can find your pure and true self. All the things that you’re wondering about are there for you to access them.
Developing a steady meditation routine will take time, patience and practice, but you are worth that effort. When we take the time to grow our meditation practice and access our true self, we will have more to offer our students.
Need some tips to get started? Check out this article on Meditation for Beginners
6. Find your niche
Keeping up with the Joneses is a real thing, even in the yoga teaching world. It is important to not get caught up with the yoga trends and ultimately spreading yourself too thin.
While AcroYoga, Mommy and Me Yoga, Aerial Yoga, etc. all have a wonderful place in our yoga community, you can’t possibly be a master at all of them. It does not serve you well to have multiple certifications if it is not something you’re truly passionate about.
Instead, ask yourself what speaks to you from the center of your heart – what ignites your passion and fuels your desire to learn? Focus on that style, gain knowledge and experience, and allow your passion to grow. You will not only be true to yourself, you will be more able to present authentic teachings to students searching for what you have to offer.
7. Always be a student
Not only of yoga, but of life as well. When you have the mentality of a student – always seeking, open and wanting to grow – subtle ways of how to serve others will be more easily revealed. Many of us think we know how we can best serve others, but another path may be what is meant for us.
In Kriya Yoga, we practice yielding to life and humbly opening ourselves to the calling of the Universe. What you have to give and share is powerful, but if you don’t align with it, it will cease to exist. To know that we do not have all of the answers and to be receptive to another path can help you find your true calling as a yoga teacher.
Sharing yoga with others is a wonderful way to serve. But we must be sure to keep our needs met and not allow our own practice and growth to be neglected. Yoga teachers have a beautiful opportunity to serve others. I bow to you in your effort to continue to enlighten and empower all that cross your path.
Are you experiencing yoga teacher burnout? How do you feel these tips will help you rediscover your love for teaching? If you have any tips to add, please share them in the comments below – we love hearing from you!