Why you’re burnt out as a yoga teacher……
I currently work with a few yoga studio owners and yoga teacher trainers. As a former yoga studio owner… I know the struggle. Last year, I shifted to teaching online only, creating courses and teaching privately. I now coach and mentor yoga teachers (among a other clients) on how to find ease in their wellness business.
Owning a wellness business is a lot of work. Owning any business is a lot of work. Most people who take a yoga teacher training do not do it to make money. They do it to be of service. But of course….if you’re not getting paid to do your work, it eventually makes it much harder to continue to serve.
Yoga is mind medicine and is transformative for students and teachers alike. It’s meant to help us find equanimity, possibility, ease and joy.
So why are so many yoga teachers STRUGGLING???
Why does a job that is supposed to represent ease, peace, positivity and joy create struggle, pain, stress, burnout and frustration?
1: The Yoga Studio Model is Flawed.
The industry is flawed. There are not a lot of yoga teachers making money out there. The yoga studio model is flawed. The only way most yoga studios survive….is because of yoga teacher trainings. Trainings that create even more yoga teachers looking for work.
Yoga studios are not able to pay their teachers very much. So the teachers may be teaching 15-20 public classes just to make ends meat, travelling between multiple studios to make that happen.
Because of this influx of yoga teachers, we begin to believe that we are in constant competition with our peers. Competition creates feelings of lack, limitation and scarcity. It’s not true that there IS lack in terms of money, work or students….it’s just the belief that many possess because of this model.
There’s a belief that we need hundreds and thousands of students to be successful. That we need a certain amount of followers on our social channels…..and it’s simply not true.It all only adds to the burnout…..and may never contribute to your success.
I guarantee you that there are more yoga students…than yoga teachers and the pool of people that need help with their bodies, minds and lives….is endless. They might not all live at your one home studio…but they’re out there.
Burnout Tip # 1: Yoga studios are not the only way
- You can teach professional privates to a small group of dedicated individuals for way more money than you would make in a public class and you will serve them WELL because they get 100% of your attention.
I love working with my private clients. I love giving them a full 90 minutes on repeat occasions to work through what ails them and co-create solutions that create a home practice program for them. It’s extremely fulfilling for me, and highly beneficial for them.
- You could create online courses or content, working when you feel like it……and choosing other work when you’re not “in it.” Passive income is an amazing way to keep teaching on your terms, satisfy your creative itch to create content that serves without making you work dollar per hour.
- You could teach virtually, expanding your student reach exponentially as you are not limited by where you live. I live in a small rural town. When I run higher value programs like teacher trainings and mentorships, I like to know that my pool of students is never ending.
- You could gather a small group of people you know personally and teach them virtually or in person collecting 100% of the profits and getting a small but dedicated group to work with in depth. This is EASE my friend. Your people are out there. There is no need to focus on needing hundreds of students. Focus on serving less people…..but serve them well.
- You’re a teacher that’s not practicing .
The fastest way to burnout? Not practicing….what….you….PREACH.
Baron Baptiste says “preach all the time…..sometimes with words.” Meaning if you’re not practicing, you shouldn’t be teaching. This is not exercise, its a way of being. If you’re not taking good care of yourself, committing to love in action and thought, serving others and really living your yoga……how could you possibly teach it well?
It’s like trying to be a health coach while you sit back smoking and eating a bag of chips.
Practicing daily keeps you in integrity.
It also gives you the same gifts you are trying to share with others. Give yourself the gift of ease, equanimity, positivity and joy that you are trying to share. If you LIVE it, you will be more excited to share it too.
Burnout Tip #2: Get practicing.
Like today. Reconnect to what brought you to this profession in the first place. Start building a home practice. Practice online with your favourite teachers. Take another training if that floats your boat….but keep going. You won’t regret this step.
3) Teach what you love, teach to your ideal student, and teach when you want.
Owning a studio meant I had to fill in all the places that weren’t filled. So I taught 3x a day, I taught at 6am, I taught back to back, I taught 8 different types of yoga and I said YES to every teaching opportunity. I taught to youth, teens, jocks, men, women, pregnant students, seniors, trauma victims, people in rehab, injury clinics and every other sub type you could think of.
The experience was lovely. It was. But now I know what I really enjoy….and I go there. You don’t have to be everything for everybody. There is a teacher for that (remember there are lots of us right?).
Now that I’m on my own. I only teach on my terms. I teach what I’m practicing and loving at the moment. I teach to students who are excited to receive my unique offerings. I don’t chase a single solitary student and I create courses and content for a need that I see in the community…..but also satisfies me in the creation process.
4) Get a mentor or a coach
I have benefited greatly from both mentorship programs and coaching. During the pandemic I threw myself into these relationships and it kept my head above water during the shut down of my yoga studio….and transition to a new way of working.
My investment in self, helped me shift through the debris and confusion. Got me clear on what I’m good at, and what’s worth delegating. It helped me be way more productive, create products that sell, relationships that serve me and prosperity in my business. Ultimately it helped me find EASE in all areas of my work.
Studying yoga, does not mean you’re an expert at business, marketing, mental health, goal setting, productivity, writing, content creation or social media. Running a successful wellness business requires that you pull in these elements. So why not let the experts help you here?
Can you do it without a mentor or coach? Of course you can. No one NEEDS a coach. It’s just leaps and bounds faster when you invest in yourself and business this way.
Ease? I’m here for it. Investing in myself took courage, especially when I was already frustrated and burnt out. AND it was worth it.
Burnout is avoidable…..and treatable. Understanding the climate you’re in, and the blueprint to get through it takes the worry out. It is within you to change, to prosper and to reignite your passion for service again.
With grace and grit,