Regardless of how long you’ve been teaching, I’m sure that at some point during your career you’ve considered quitting. I’m writing this today to convince you that you don’t need to quit. What YOU need, is a sabbatical.
Moments of Self-Doubt
Early on in my teaching career, I began to notice constant moments of self-doubt. They usually came when I felt burnt out, when I didn’t feel like I was being paid my worth, and when I felt like I bombed a class. Unfortunately, I taught a lot so this happened frequently. I would go to sleep at night wondering if I made a huge mistake quitting my 9-5 job. Or I would see a girl working at the Starbucks and think about how much easier it would be to just quit teaching and get a job as a barista (OK, to be clear, I’ve seen the shit that baristas have to put up with…that does not look like an easy job…). These feelings of doubt plagued me but I pushed forward hoping that experience would make me a better teacher and that I would stop feeling like maybe I needed to quit.
About 5 years into teaching, it’s likely true that experience made me a better teacher, but I still had moments where I wanted to give it all up. Then, I started leading big yoga retreats to places like Bali, Costa Rica and Italy. I would bring my hubby along to help and we’d usually tack on a week before or after the retreat to enjoy some down time as well. I would return from these retreats completely refreshed. My classes would be so inspired for about a month after my retreats! I would love every minute of connecting with my students. But then slowly, the sense of staleness would creep back.
Time Off from Teaching
Here’s what I’ve learned. It is impossible to continuously teach yoga. You need to take breaks from it to get re-inspired. Since looking into this phenomenon, I’ve discovered that many of the ‘rockstar yoga celebrities’ will take what they call a ‘sabbatical’. Sometimes it’s a month away from teaching. Sometimes it’s a year. In my own life, taking that much time off teaching is not realistic for me. But I’ve honestly found that even a week can make a HUGE difference. Take the time off teaching whenever you get the inkling that you need to quit. Use that time recalibrate. Sit down. Light some incense. Set goals for what you want out of your career. Take a yoga workshop and go back to being the student. Get outdoors and put your phone away. Read a book on yoga. Unroll your mat and practice for yourself, not your students. You need to fill your cup in order to inspire and be inspired.
Chances are, you don’t need to quit. You need to get inspired. And the best way to do that, is to take some time off teaching. So get your ducks in a row, and do it. Questions? Email me! I’m here to help.