I know what goes through your mind right now. Is that even possible?! How can a yoga teacher be addicted to anything? Isn’t yoga supposed to help us overcome addictions? Aren’t yoga teacher supposed to be happy and calm and relaxed?
As you can read in one of my previous posts, there is no such thing as a perfect yoga teacher. We too, are humans, with everyday problems. Especially when we are trying to run our own business.
When I decided I never wanted to do a regular job again, and that I only want to do what I really love, I didn’t realize I also started walking down a very dangerous path. I never thought that there could be a downside to turning my hobby and passion into my job. I was very naive 😊
I knew beginnings can be hard, so I dedicated all my time and energy to make it work. And without even noticing, a year has passed and I am still dedicating all my time and energy to it. Don’t get me wrong, dedication and persistence are two things I never had before, and I’m proud of myself. But at the same time, I don’t know how to stop anymore. I feel like I turned my greatest passion into something completely else. Something that doesn’t bring me as much joy as it used to.
That doesn’t mean I don’t love what I do – I still enjoy teaching a lot. It is actually the only time when I’m completely at peace. When I’m teaching a yoga class, it feels like meditation to me, and it’s a great energy boost 😊 But outside of my classes I’m stressing out and constantly feeling like I’m running out of time. I don’t know how to manage my time and errands efficiently.
When you don’t go to a regular 9-to5 job, and when your job is also your hobby and your greatest passion, it’s easy to get so caught up in it, that you no longer know how to set the limits. When I had an ordinary job, I had plenty of free time, a stable income, and a nice comfort zone. Since I started my own business, I have zero free time, I started living from one month to the other, with no financial security whatsoever. There are practically no days off, and my business is on my mind 24/7. I reply to emails and calls at all times, I teach mornings, afternoons and evenings, and I do everything else in between (website/social media editing, writing newsletters, photography editing, accounting, promotion, class planning, personal errands etc.).
That’s why I started experiencing stress and burnouts, and even if I know exactly how to handle it with yoga, I gave priority to work and didn’t take time for myself. Recently I’ve taken a few days off to go for a short holiday and recharge my batteries. And I felt like a junkie with an abstinence crisis. I had trouble keeping work off my mind, it felt strange not to be busy. I tried to meditate and I was restless, I kept looking at my phone and couldn’t stay still. It made me realize that even if I’m a yoga teacher, I’m not immune to stress and addiction. I thought this could never happen to me if I practice yoga regularly, but truth is, I don’t even take enough time for my personal practice anymore.
There were a lot of ups and downs in the past year, and a lot of times I wanted to give up. I played with the idea of going back to a regular job, but just the thought of it made me sick. That’s what gave me motivation to keep going, to keep following my dreams, even if at times it can get tough.
The good thing is, I learned a lot about myself. This experience helped me let go of some patterns and expectations. It taught me to trust and believe in myself and my path. I know now that everything is just as it should be, and I see a lesson in everything that happens to me. I’m my own boss, I am building something great and I love what I do. I have a vision and I’m following it.
So now, at the beginning of a new training season, I decided to make some changes. I will economize my time and dedicate it to things that really matter, I will make a working schedule and try to follow it, I will spend more time with people I love, and what’s most important, I will take more time for myself. This will not only benefit me, but also all the people around me, my students, my friends, my family.
It’s good to have a goal and pursue it, but being too focused on the future is what causes stress. Staying in the present moment, being grateful for everything we have right now, and enjoying right here and right now, that’s what is important. Focusing on today, because tomorrow might never come.
Let me know if you are experiencing something similar and let’s deal with it together 😊