Not every day is magical and amazing in the life of a yoga teacher. Yes, yoga teachers have their “off” days too. Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been feeling a little “off” and haven’t been able to figure out why.
Maybe it’s because I’ve been busy. I’ve been on the go all summer long, packing each day with teaching yoga classes, working at the restaurant and going on as many hikes as my schedule allows. There’s been no time leftover in my schedule to either show up on my own mat for a yoga class or take a day off for rest. I barely have time to keep up on my laundry.
Maybe it’s because I’ve been letting feelings of self-doubt and fear slowly creep into my head. I’ve had some of the following questions rolling around in my head lately, causing me to doubt myself and everything I do:
Am I going to be ready to hike the PCT in April? Physically? Financially?
Am I a good yoga teacher?
Was my class theme and intention well- thought out? Did it resonate with my students?
When was the last time I made a playlist for class? Are my students sick of my music?
Or maybe it’s the sudden change of seasons. One day it’s warm and sunny here in Seattle. The next day, it’s dark and raining. I’ve been having a hard time with the abrupt change of weather and the anticipation of Fall. I’m not ready to give up my shorts and flip flops for leggings and rain gear. Summer, don’t leave me, Not yet.
Over the weekend, I was chatting with one of my students after class about a new playlist idea for my Yoga Sculpt classes. Our conversation inspired me enough to go home and start working on a new playlist. I didn’t get very far with completing the playlist for Sculpt, but I did manage to put together a new playlist for my Hot Power Fusion classes.
I woke up Monday morning excited to debut my new HPF playlist for class. That feeling was short-lived. As class progressed, I realized I didn’t like my new playlist at all. On top of that, it was a dark, cold and rainy morning. After class, I kept thinking about how I’ve been feeling “off” lately. What was making me feel this way? Being too busy? Not giving myself a day off? Feelings of self-doubt? The weather? Then it dawned on me – what if I changed my perspective? Instead of dwelling on all of the negatives, find what was positive and focus on those instead.
I started by giving myself the rest of Monday off to do whatever I wanted – make playlists, practice my sequences with the playlists, cook at home, listen to music, clean my room and pet my cat. As soon as I got home, I deleted the playlist I didn’t like and started working on a brand new playlist for my HPF class. My inspiration for the new playlist? Believe it or not, it was the dark and stormy morning! I’d been thinking about putting together a Seattle Grunge playlist for my HPF classes and had never gotten around to it. For some reason, today the playlist sort of put itself together. I’m really happy with how it turned out. I’m excited to use it in the next HPF class I teach this week.
Once that playlist was complete, I was even more inspired to finish putting together the 70’s Disco Sculpt playlist I had started working on the day before. I even changed up some of the exercises in my sequence to go along with the music. I spent the rest of the afternoon practicing with both playlists and I loved them! Those feelings of being scared to teach my next Sculpt class magically disappeared. I can’t wait to teach my next Sculpt class!
Now that I was on a roll, why stop here? I thought about what I wanted to theme my classes on for this week. What sort of intention did I want to help set for my students? Then it hit me – Change!
The only thing constant in life is change.
As much as I was trying to fight the change in my life, it was going to happen, no matter how I felt about it. So why not change my perspective about all of the change? The seasons are changing from Summer to Fall. With Fall comes beautiful colors out on the trail. The time will eventually “fall back” and we’ll get an extra hour of sleep. I’ll get to bring out the candles for all of my night time HPF classes. Snow has already started to fall in the mountains and soon I’ll be able to snowboard. And I’ll be one more season closer to hiking the PCT.
Our bodies change every day and with each yoga class we take. My own body has definitely changed over the Summer from all of the yoga teaching and hiking I’ve been doing. I feel stronger than I ever have before. I’m seeing muscles on my body that I never knew I had!
Some of us are adjusting to a new schedule, whether it be starting a new job or going back to school. I’m still adjusting to my new role as a yoga teacher and it’s been six months since I left my day job! I’ve had a considerable amount of time during the week to go hiking and backpacking. My sole focus when I’m not working has been to train to hike the PCT. Now I’ll have that same amount of time to continue my training through running, climbing stairs around Seattle and eventually snowshoeing up in the mountains. Hopefully now I’ll have more time to focus on my own yoga practice and take yoga classes.
Your life does not get better by chance. It gets better by change.
Instead of being afraid of change, I’m learning how to embrace it. There’s a lot of good that comes from change. I hope to inspire my students to do the same. It’s amazing what a little change in perspective can do.