Burnout is, unfortunately, something that most yoga teachers know well. Why is it so common amongst this particular industry of work?
Well, because typically the pay isn’t great, which means you need to work long hours in order to make ends meet. And, unlike a more corporate position, long hours in a yoga studio are a physical experience. So, full time hours- like 40 hours a week- feels like twice as much.
I’m sure you’re reading this, and thinking: Great, I just got my 200 hour yoga teacher training certificate, and now you’re telling me I’m just going to burn out no matter what.
Don’t worry. I got you.
5 Tips On How To Avoid Burnout As A Yoga Teacher
While burn out is common amongst yoga teachers, it’s not necessary. And there are some really simple tips and tricks you can implement right away, in order to maximize both your energy and your profit as a yoga teacher.
This post will outline 5 key tips for you to start practicing now, in order to create an even more successful future. The great thing about each tip is that these tools will not only decrease the likelihood of burn out, but they will likely improve your teaching skills and increase your salary, as well.
Cueing and Demoing
Like I mentioned in the beginning, teaching yoga can be a very physical experience. Modern yoga is typically strong, dynamic, and fast paced. Most students are coming in for physical reasons, and even looking for something akin to a fitness class. This can be physically demanding on you as a teacher if you’re DOING every class that you teach.
I will preach this until the day I die, the stronger your cueing is, the less you need to demo. If you ever come to one of my yoga teacher trainings, you’ll find that we don’t allow demo’ing at all. And look, I know this might seem a little harsh. Mean, even. But the truth is, it’s for your best interest!
The stronger your cues become , the less you need to use your body as a physical example. The less you need to demo, the more clearly you can actually SEE every student. And what they’re doing as you teach. There’s only so much you can really see if you’re in downdog, right alongside them.
If you don’t feel confident with your cuing, then I strongly suggest taking my online 100 hour course– as we dive heavily into this topic for several hours of lecture. Otherwise, check out my blog post on How To Cue Yoga Poses. Or my yoga podcast as free resources on the topic.
One of the great things about moving some of your classes online is that you’re able to reach more people. This is especially useful if you’re teaching at multiple studios. And you want to be able to reach students from all of those studios (and beyond) for drop in classes.
While you will need to demo your online classes, you will most likely make more money from a one hour class online than you will in person, without needing to charge your students an arm and a leg, either. Plus, your hourly rate is truly reflective of just one hour. Whereas a studio class rate is usually closer to 90 minutes, or even 2 hours once you include your commute.
If you’re unsure how to bring your classes online, check out my blog post of starting an online yoga business for some foundational tools to get started.
Now that you’re establishing an online presence, it’s important that you record classes! Remember, you can record your virtual classes and your in-person classes (with consent from your students and the studio, of course).
The benefit of recording a class is that the hour-long class you just taught will now have a value of well over an hour, as it can be viewed (and bought) time and time again. Set up a library of classes where people can purchase single classes from you at their liking.
The great thing about recording and reselling classes is that the worst thing that could happen is that no one buys the class, right? But it’s not actually a waste of your hour, because you already made money from the live version. Meaning, your time and energy won’t be wasted even if no one ever buys the recording.
Cycle Syncing and Habit Stacking
One of the best things I ever did was read Alisa Vitti’s book, In the Flo to learn how to cycle sync my life. Now, maybe you don’t have a menstrual cycle, and this won’t apply to you. But the reality is that we all have cycles, regardless of our sex.
Start to notice your personal cycles, and do your best to maximize them to the best of your ability. When do you feel the most energetic? When do you feel the most hermit-like? And when do you feel grumpy? When do you feel social?
If you can, try to schedule your classes accordingly. Remember, this won’t always line up perfectly. I can’t even tell you how many times I taught a 3 hour handstand workshop on a retreat on day 1 of my period. But the thing is that when you cycle sync your life in other ways, then your energy reserves are deeper to pull from in those moments that you can’t necessarily plan or control.
In conjunction with cycle syncing, consider habit stacking your online teaching work. If you’re unsure what habit stacking is, check out my blog for how to habit stack for success.
Higher Ticket Events
Maybe you’ve read this far, and you’re wondering if avoiding burn out as a yoga teacher has to revolve around building an online yoga presence. Sure, the online space opens up a world of opportunity- but it’s certainly not the only way to maximize your time and energy.
If you’re more interested in teaching in-person events, then working towards creating higher ticket events is a great way to earn more as a yoga teacher. Higher ticket events can be everything from: private classes, workshops, retreats, or yoga teacher trainings.
Even if you start on the smaller side simply by soliciting more private classes, you’ll notice your hourly earnings will likely triple. Suddenly, instead of needing to teach 3 group classes a day in order to stay afloat, you can teach just one private class a day, instead. Private classes are a great place to start, because you won’t have as much to plan and organize as you would for a workshop, retreat, or yoga teacher training.
All in all, you want to look for opportunities where your hourly rate is higher than your studio class hourly rate. This way, you don’t need to teach AS MUCH in order to make the same amount. Or, ideally, more.
As much as we remind others to listen to their bodies, it’s time to turn that advice inward and consider if we’re on the brink of burn out ourselves. Try on some of these tips, and watch your energy levels restore before your very eyes.
To all the yoga teachers out there, you’ve got this.