Yoga Teachers & Burnout!

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I have been teaching yoga teachers as a faculty member in a yoga teacher training course and have asked yoga teachers on FB pages what was it they struggled the most with personally.

It seems that feeling burned out and having no time for their personal practice was a common response.

Newer teachers tend to commute a lot from one studio to another which adds to their feeling drained. Teachers who have been teaching longer and may have a more steady situation still experience the burn out in their own way. Either their body starts giving out and they need surgery (hip or knee). Or they feel they cannot do what they could do before.

So here are my two cents worth on the topic.

1) First, it is not their fault if they feel this way. Their experience has so much to do with the way modern yoga has evolved in our society since the 19th century under the influence of the bodybuilders which started the personal fitness movement.

2) Also, teachers and their teachers have tended to focus on the perfection of a pose form when for safety and maximum benefit, it is only meant to be a goal. And then, the yoga industry (and those who buy into it) magnified that for their own benefit by making us believe yoga is all about appearances.

3) Yoga has a body part focus which often does not agree with our whole-body intelligence and the needs of our body. Yet we push, even if gently because we think it is the way to get results. But results do not come from ignoring your body intelligence cues.

Yoga is such an amazing practice that even when we do not practice using our body in an integrated way, we still can get results which makes us keep going.

However, the time has come to explore unexplored dimensions which can help yoga teachers and their students get the best from their practice regardless of their yoga style, body type, and fitness level.

And this exploration starts by understanding that our muscles are not truly the foundation for our yogic strength, our bones and expanded awareness are. Letting our whole-body intelligence in the driver’s seat is. And it is also key to realizing that this intelligence guides the body yet, it is a higher level of awareness than our body’s sensations of “feeling good and safe” or not.

When these distinctions are part of your kinesthetic experience, you are not so likely to foster burn out, pain or injury over time when you practice yoga or when you teach yoga. They will also help you make different decisions both on and off the mat!

The trick is to know how to allow our whole-body intelligence in the driver’s seat? How to access this higher level of awareness in our body if “feeling good and safe” is not enough to do so?

And that is where knowing how to activate your postural mechanism is so crucial. It is an ambassador for your whole-body intelligence when it comes to balance, coordination and posture. Be curious about it. You won’t regret it! It can transform your practice and even the quality of your daily life. For more information, click the following link and join my FREE LIVE WEBINAR this Saturday. And if you can’t make it, sign up anyway and enjoy the recording!:)

Cecile Raynor has been teaching the Alexander Technique for over 25 years out of which came her Body Intelligence Activation Process™ (B.I.A. Process) to assist yogis in enhancing their practice towards best performance with optimal safety. She is also a Thai Yoga Massage Therapist and a Reiki Practitioner. Faculty at Akasha Yoga Teacher Training, she runs a 12 months Mastermind for Yoga Teachers with a Vision, and a 90 Day Live Online Program for trainees, new teachers and committed yoga practitioners interested in using their body more efficiently on and off the mat in a way not taught in regular training courses. She is also the author of a June 2018 publication called THE WISE WAY TO YOGA which is available on AMAZON or from Cecile if you are local to Boston!
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