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Self-care

Hamsa2010-07-05 14:19:01 +0000 #1
Thank you, as always, Chandra, for moderating this wonderful site.

I would like to introduce a new topic for general discussion: How are yoga teachers taking care of themselves -- physically, emotionally, spiritually, in other ways?

To get the thread started: I run a full-time yoga business together with a business partner; two other teachers also teach classes at our studio. Most of my time is spent in private yoga therapy practice, generally a few hours at the "bookends" of the day, Sun - Thursday, and Friday morning.

I often find myself depleted and tired by mid-afternoon when I have a few hours off. It's difficult to pull myself together to go out and work with a few more clients, or teach another class, in the evening.

So, in terms of self-care: (a) I try not to do everything along with my classes and private students (this is helping me a lot -- I'm hoping to prevent repetitive strain injury from doing too much yoga, and I have become a much better observer of the students, seeing more because I'm doing less. I may demo briefly, and then I'm up and walking around observing and, when needed, adjusting). (b) I try to get some rest in the free hours of the afternoon, doing some gentle yoga or restorative, or taking a nap. (c) I now eat a nutritious meal in the mid-to-late afternoon, which has been giving me more energy. (d) I try to get a massage about every 2-3 weeks. (e) I make sure to meditate, do pranayama and chanting / prayers every morning, and meditate and do pranayama before going to bed. (f) I observe the Sabbath (Friday evening and all day Saturday) during which I do no work and do not take phone calls. Still, I do not feel that I am taking enough time for myself -- to just do nothing, take someone else's yoga class, go swimming, sit and read ...

I would love to know what other teachers are doing for self-care. Please share your experiences -- what has worked for you, what pitfalls have you fallen into, what solutions have you found for yourself? How late is your latest class in the evening? When do you go to sleep at night?

Thank you - I look forward to your responses.

Blessings,

Hamsa


yogalife2010-07-05 14:21:47 +0000 #2
This is a great thread, thanks for starting it!

Yoga came back into my life when I needed it most. I am a fitness instructor and "played" with yoga until a few years ago when the opportunity for teacher training came my way. Now I teach more yoga than other classes. Yoga helped me slow down, which I needed very much. When Sept 11 happened, my priorities shuffled themselves in an interesting way. I places LEISURE at the top of my list. I have always put my family first and still do, but I was ALWAYS busy! Now, I STOP and SLOW DOWN! I always make time for people. I am not doing as many classes these days just so I can spend time with the wonderful people in my life. My income is less now, but that's my choice. So I guess the answer to your question, is that I take care of myself by taking care of others. S

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