After I mentioned to my last teacher training group that I teach eight yoga clients on most Wednesdays, they were in shock. They asked, “Isn’t it exhausting teaching several private yoga classes in one day??”
And I said,”Yes, of course it is.”
It requires a massive amount of energy to be so intensely present for such a long day without a break.
This is not something I could have done as a new teacher. I have been teaching anywhere from 20 to 30 private clients a week since 2005. In the beginning of my teaching career, my schedule was much more spread out than it is now. I distinctly remember, as a new teacher, the first time I had four clients in one day...
I was exhausted.
However, teaching that much in one day has gotten easier for me as I build up my own resources and boundaries. As I have developed longer-term, more in-depth relationships with my clients, the challenges of teaching change. Now that I have more control over my schedule, it has shifted as well. Now, instead of teaching 4-6 clients each day six days a week, I teach 6-8 clients each day, 3-4 days a week.
It requires a lot of energy to do something new. I love my 8-Client Day (Wednesday), because I get in the zone, and I get to stay there. Everyone I teach on Wednesdays, I have been teaching for many years, and the schedule and routine is consistent and grounded. I get to be deeply present and focused with no outside distractions.
I find it challenging to move in and out of my role as teacher, into my role as friend, sister, citizen. That shift in and out of teacher mode is hard for me. If I can just get in the zone, put on my suit of armor, and wear it all day, that is easier for me than changing in and out. It has taken time and practice to build up the ability to do that, but it is very much my preferred schedule.
On Self Care Practices
I have some pretty hardcore self care practices that are part of busy days like that. They include sitting down if I’m on the phone (no walking or standing while using the phone) in order to be fully present, as well as not being in front of any screens (phone, iPad, computer) while eating.
Another question from my teacher training group: Are you conscious about clearing energy between clients? What do you recommend as cleansing rituals?
Answer: Yes I am very conscious about that.
Creating specific rituals like hand-washing before and after each client is a good start. Whatever you do after or in between sessions can be a clearing ritual as long as you’re present and intentional about releasing energy. If you are walking or driving to your next client, simple presence can make any act feel cleansing. For example, if you are driving, thinking to yourself, “I’m present for this drive, and I’m driving away from the energy of my last client.”
Whatever you do, if you do it with awareness and intention, anything can be a ritual, even if you don’t have time to fully sage yourself…ya know what I mean?
This is one of the reasons that self awareness is such a crucial component of high-quality private teaching. After a session, I use the practice of going down the elevator to leave and consciously remembering how I felt when I came up that elevator an hour ago, and then settling back into myself.
Share with me…what do you do after your private or group classes to clear the energy and disconnect/recharge? What self care practices do you implement into your busiest days?Image credit: Francesca Cervero