Supporting the Teacher

As a yoga teacher, you hear over and over that you’ve got to maintain your own practice in order to support your teaching.  This is true of any profession whether you’re a yoga teacher, school teacher, librarian, small business owner, journalist, musician, actor, engineer, financial analyst or Fortune 500 CEO.  Having a “beginner’s mind” and being in a learning environment is what supports you to do your best work.

This concept got hit home this week as I took on teaching five yoga classes in three days in addition to my regular full-time job.  The week looked something like this: work-practice-sleep-work-teach-sleep-teach-work-teach-sleep-teach-work-teach-sleep-work.  I am fried … and so grateful that I don’t have to teach another yoga class until Tuesday.  With no time to get to a studio and choosing sleep over a home practice I am in need of some yoga-fuel.  For once this week, I want someone else to tell me to inhale and reverse my warrior.

Teaching is such a source of joy for me that until now, I honestly thought that the joy alone could sustain me through these long bouts of working and teaching.  Hooo boy was I wrong!  Every last ounce of “me” I had has been given and given and given and I gotta say, there ain’t much left to give!

Judith Lasater, in her book Living Your Yoga, had a great quote where she says:

I like to say that I teach for myself and practice for my students. What I mean by this is that although I certainly pay attention to the needs of the students, I teach what is in my heart… I offer the teaching as my gift… I try to focus my personal practice as a learning experience that will allow me to share yoga more purely with my students.

So, with that in mind, I’m off to regroup, refuel and gather in, both in the yoga studio and in life.

What do you do to recharge?


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3 responses to “Supporting the Teacher

  1. Since most of my teaching is done in the university setting, I get long breaks off over summer and winter vacation. I really need this time to replenish my practice and “refresh” my voice. I can’t tell you how tired I get of my own voice by the end of a busy semester.

  2. Pingback: Why I Teach | Perusals & Peregrinations

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