So it’s been a while since I’ve posted on the blog. I’m unsure if this is due to lack of time or fear of what to say.
I completed my 200hr Yoga Teacher Training course at the end of September and then began my Masters degree in Advanced Theatre Practice at the beginning of October. For some reason, I thought that alongside my full-time taught MA course, I’d also have time to set up my own yoga business (in addition to working another part-time job). In hindsight that sounds ridiculous, but that was the challenge I’d set myself. As you can imagine it just hasn’t been possible; there simply are not enough hours in the day.
It’s taken me a while to write this post because I truly felt like I’d let myself (and others) down. I wanted to start teaching so badly and to earn a living by sharing the joy of yoga. A Masters course however, requires serious dedication and focus – not to mention time and money – and if I’m honest, after the first week of my MA program I realised that yoga teaching was going to have to take a back seat for a while. The problem was that I’d already been gathering prospective students and advertising a class that I was yet to set up (a rookie mistake!). This meant that I was immediately under pressure to find & book a suitable venue to begin classes; telling friends and fellow students gave me no time to step back and assess the situation.
I have a terrible habit of taking on too much in life and this situation is a classic example of that. We all want to do our best and it often seems that you have to take every opportunity presented to you, for fear of ‘missing out’ or ‘falling behind’ or ‘not reaching my full potential’. The problem with this way of thinking is that it leaves no room for anything else. You end up buried under layers of expectation and responsibility, like a huge pile of Autumn leaves which are falling too fast to sweep away. This was exactly the position I found myself in after starting drama school. The leaves of responsibility were falling so thick and fast that I was wading through them and slowed down by the time it took to sweep up the mess. In short, I had taken on too much and by spreading myself so thin, I wasn’t able to meet any of the expectations I’d put upon myself. I wasn’t achieving anything to the best of my ability and my old friend anxiety was beginning to rear its ugly head.
So, I’ve decided to take a step back and let teaching come in its own time. I cannot teach to the best of my abilities under stress, with insufficient preparation time and neither can I achieve my full potential on my MA course if I am distracted by other projects. I am firstly going to address my own personal yoga practice and get back to a place of strength both physically and mentally before I even think about teaching others. I will then look into running one-off workshops during my Winter & Easter breaks from university, which will give me the opportunity to teach without the pressure of establishing a regular class right away. This will also give the friends and fellow students who are keen to attend my classes, a taster of what to expect and a chance to thank them for their patience. I am realising more than ever the importance of self-care and that I am no good to myself or anyone else without that as a foundation.
I hope that those reading this; whether you are a friend or relative, prospective student, new teacher, experienced teacher or just a passer by, will be encouraged to take the time to ground yourself before jumping into such big new challenges. It’s okay to admit that you can’t do it all – smarter and braver even. It’s taken me a couple of months to fully realise that and I can now begin to re-build the foundations of my own practice before I decide I am ready to begin the process of setting up a yoga business of my own. It could take a few months and it could take years, but that’s okay. My training won’t be wasted as long as I continue to practice regularly and work with care and attention to be the best version of myself I can possibly be.