The Yoga Teacher’s Mid-Quarantine Check-In
For some of us Quarantine is approaching the 40-day mark, for others we have already passed that. Maybe we’re getting used to the stillness, maybe stillness is our comfort zone, maybe the saturation of tranquility is getting us, whatever the case may be, the one thing we have in common is that we need contact. Virtual or in-person, we need to interact with people once in a while. I know that we are facing our survival with looming uncertainty each day. It seems like everything we’ve built for ourselves is tumbling down.
It doesn’t have to be that way though. Now that interaction is more important than ever to keep our minds and hearts active, we have to stay in touch with our yoga family. Not just for our business but just because it’s the right thing to do. We don’t know if our students are taking quarantine well, maybe they’re lonely or all alone trying to get by all the events that are happening around them. If I’m feeling the saturation of solitude then it’s likely that my students or more people are feeling that too. I’m not saying that we need to band together now. I know how hard it is to pick yourself up when you’re down, I’m just trying to say that we are not alone.
Giving classes is one thing, our community will see us working hard and maybe they get inspired, or we guide them through a Yoga Nidra session and this soothes some, but what about the other side of the spectrum of students or people that are struggling with keeping their emotions from overwhelming them? How do we reach out? As yoga teachers, how do we give them hope?
Remember that Yoga teachers are never just Yoga teachers
How many of us have had that student that looks up to us. Maybe there’s more of them too. The ones that have invited us to their birthday party, or maybe we have even let them into our lives to some degree. Yoga is a job that never just becomes work, our students reach out to us, with their problems, frustrations, as teachers we never just teach, do we? We leave an imprint on the community and our disappearance, whether we know it or not, will not go unnoticed.
Reach out even if it’s not about Yoga
This may be redundant but I think we need to remind ourselves that communication in any form is greatly appreciated. We may be struggling financially, still, we can’t just be thinking about our bills because we got into yoga to help people. So, even if we have nothing to gain, let’s go online. Let them know how we’re doing, ask how they’re doing. There are so many social networks that can bridge the quarantine gaps. I realized this after doing a few Facebook Live sessions. It was such a nice site to see your room fill up and receive comments that my presence alleviated my viewers. Who knows where this can translate for our careers. One thing for sure, it will be something good.
Take this as an opportunity to branch out
Now that we have all the time in the world, we can explore beyond Yoga or adjacent to it. Build our own yoga accessories, Ayurveda friendly recipes, write our book, we don’t always have to go online but we do have to get into something for ourselves. If not for anything but our own peace-of-mind. Again, we’ll never know where this will lead.
Plan for the big day
We will get out of this. 100% of my being believes that one day we can go outside and hug our loved ones. This is what I hold on to everyday. It helps because I plan many productive activities based on this belief. The simple act of working out or cooking more meals from scratch, writing my thoughts on how to maintain positivity, how I relate with my husband, it’s all gold. This is real authenticity at work that you can use. I try not to focus on the things I don’t have but on the things I have within reach. We live in an unprecedented situation that has so many new lessons to teach us. Think about the little resourceful life hacks you’ve thought of to solve a problem, or social situations you have contained, etc. Write them down. When we finally see and be under the light of day, maybe you’d have compiled something new in your hands.
Don’t sweat the lazy days
J.K. Rowling, Author of the Harry Potter series, wrote a short article criticizing life coaches for pushing their ideals on the public. You should be mapping out your next big idea right now. Shakespeare wrote King Lear during quarantine, You should be doing this, creating that, etc. No you don’t! You are not under any obligation from society to come up with something great. It is perfectly acceptable to have off-days. I’ve already had 2 weeks of them! If you are still navigating through this ‘new normal’, give yourself the time. Yoga will always be there. As long as people need help managing their stress, the yoga world will thrive.
In a nutshell, I think we, as professionals, need to remember that we wear many hats. Our profession is both objective and subjective that it is impossible not to be. Our students and other potential viewers still need to see us, if only to feel connected. This is also a good time to branch out of our usual spiel–maybe it takes us somewhere new with our careers. Try to take note of how you manage everyday. Everything you do to keep it together has value. Do all this at your own pace. You are under no obligation to put pressure on yourself.
I hope this article serves you well Momoyogis! Stay safe and let’s look out for ourselves and each other!