I just finished reading an article in the most recent (and actually last print) issue of Yoga International about How to Prevent Yoga Burnout. No, I am not burning out! But I woke up today with tired legs and the desire to stay asleep. Instead, I arose by 6:30 and was preparing for my back-to-back Hatha classes (across town from each other) by 6:50. I was out the door at 7:12 to teach the first one. I love teaching yoga, especially slow-paced Hatha classes with time for individual asana and student attention. And today’s classes were both really wonderful. Students seemed to be challenged, inspired, rejuvenated, and….in line with the suggested intention of each class today…..free.
Still, I came home tired. I showered, ate, started laundry, and rice & peas to accompany jerk chicken for our BBQ tonight, and allowed my 20 minute meditation to flow into an hour nap on the couch. I woke, still with achy legs, and the desire to remain legs propped up for the rest of the day. I picked up the magazine and recognized myself in the stage 1 of adrenal stress: feeling tired, having headaches, achy body, mild GI problems. Nothing serious, but all things that have happened in the past few weeks. So I decided to rest instead of share in a challenging outdoor vinyasa practice with a friend before I teach again this afternoon, attend a friend’s performance, host a BBQ at my home, and prepare to teach back to back classes in the morning. This little bit of rest is so healing. I still feel physically tired, but I am mentally and emotionally relieved. I am caring for myself and I feel good about it.
This is just another reminder of why I am so thrilled to have the opportunity to pursue a 500 Hour Ayurvedic Yoga Teacher Training this fall and winter at the Kripalu School of Ayurveda in Massachusetts. Can you picture the leaves in October on the east coast? Can you imagine 9 days at a retreat center that begin with yoga and are interspersed with nourishing meals? What I am looking forward to most, however, is learning about the ancient wisdom of Ayurvedic science and how to apply its healing properties to my life and the lives of my students. While an intense time of learning (4, 9 day courses and 10-15 hours/week of home work between October 2013 and March 2014) may not sound that healing, I simply cannot wait. I am craving increased knowledge and personal awareness that will enhance not only my personal life, but my life as a teacher as well. If I had to spend 9 full days learning, studying, listening, and applying new information anywhere, I would choose to do it with others seeking and sharing a practice of healing.
Look forward to recipes for healing throughout the next year at groundedhere.com, and not just recipes for food to put in your body, but also for how to facilitate a healing life. In his article, James Keough mentions “tak[ing] salt baths… tak[ing] 2 consecutive days off from teaching,” being a student yourself, and “alter[ing] your class routine occasionally.” All of these sound delightful, doable and encouraging. I highly recommend reading the full article whether you teach, practice, or are simply pursuing a healing life.