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I led a workshop a while back for the Yoga Australia Association to address the issue of ‘yoga teacher burn-out’. It was an experiential session. We had an energetic discussion about how stressed teachers get in their lives and we tried to get to the bottom of why we behave in such a driven way at times.

While we didn’t get to any handy solutions, it made a difference to hear individuals talk about burn-out. It seems that when issues are out in the open, we’ve gone a good way to healing them.

I came up with a list of suggestions after talking to people, adding their tips to my ideas for ‘re-igniting the flame’ or better still keeping it from going out. Any long list can be daunting, so it’s probably going to be a lot more effective to implement just one suggestion over a week or so. Then, try another one.

  1. Do authentic yoga practice – that is, just for you, do practice that nourishes you.
  2. Enjoy a holi-hour. You may not have time for a holiday, but you can schedule an hour’s break, empty time, you-time.
  3. Stop the input for day or a weekend – no electronics, lights, sound.
  4. Practice gratitude.
  5. Breathe.
  6. When driving your car, listen to classic FM or pop or whatever gives you joy.
  7. Walk.
  8. Sing, join a choir.
  9. Shop for wholesome food, cook it yourself, and relish eating it.
  10. Be early for engagements.
  11. Do one thing just for you each day.
  12. Have a yoga mentor.
  13. Fraternise, mingle with your community, associate.
  14. Know your restorative poses and have them at your fingertips.
  15. Know your limits. Teach only as many classes as you enjoy. Set boundaries that are professional and compassionate. Learn to love the word “no”.
  16. Be a student. Follow DVD’s, read books, listen to podcasts, retreat.
  17. Try other styles.
  18. Create themes and curriculums for your classes to keep you and your students committed and interested: sutras, doshas, chakras, mudras, mantras, anatomy.
  19. Allow yourself regular time off. Create a schedule to take breaks periodically.
  20. Remind yourself why you’re teaching. What do you get from yoga? Share it with your students.
  21. Have yoga-free days. Cultivate other aspects of your life.
  22. Get plenty of sleep.
  23. Create or join a community of teachers and hang out regularly.
  24. Hydrate.
  25. Lighten up. Laugh.
  26. Practice vairagya – detachment.
  27. Get massaged, pampered. Find a bathhouse.
  28. Do yoga practice and teaching in different environments.
  29. Teach by candlelight.
  30. Journal. Write.
  31. Practice with others.
  32. Maintain ayurvedic balance.
  33. Think of mental flossing. Lighten your load and get rid of mental baggage.
  34. Tend to your important relationships. Gardens need watering.
  35. Have a regular date night or weekend with your significant other.
  36. Practice intimacy. Celebrate and acknowledge others and yourself.
  37. Practice yoga of the heart (Bhakti).
  38. Spend time in Nature.
  39. Create your own tips!