Your Energy Tank – How Many Classes Do You Teach a Week?
Sipping passion tea in the summer breeze, a Yoga therapist-in-training and I had a wonderful chat about teaching Yoga to people with physical, mental and emotional challenges. She teaches at the local military base to active personnel, as well as other places… and she sees ALOT of physical and psychological issues.
After we chatted for a bit, I felt this intense heaviness around her and moving onto me. I empathized with her emotional burden, but I found it was beginning to weigh on me. I stopped her mid sentence and asked “Where is the Joy in your Yoga teaching? I have heard you talk about all the classes you are teaching around town, and not once did I see a smile or a sense of enthusiasm about your teaching.” I know I caught her completely off-guard. She confessed that she felt drained and depleted many times after teaching. And she knew the students were grasping and pulling at her energy because they had little of their own. But, she was doing such good things in the world! Why the energetic imbalance?
I always remember the wise words of a Yoga teacher colleague of mine –“When your energy tank is on empty, you are running on fumes. How far can anything go when it is running on fumes?”
After we departed, I thought about the balancing act we do as Yoga Teachers to give our love, our joy and our energy without getting run down. Are we teaching too much? Not enough? Are we teaching to a community that drains us rather than fills up our energy tanks?
After one of my morning Assisted Living Chair Yoga classes, I realized why I especially like teaching that class. I get to see the joy and the smiles in these students that Yoga has brought out in them. It’s like our time together has unlocked a place inside of them that is peaceful, playful and joyful. That kind of connection fills up our tanks! We teach not to get depleted, but rather to fill up our tanks (and our students too!)
Sherry, Justine and Corey