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Diary of a Yoga NQT: Why I (almost) stop teaching yoga over the summer


It’s the summer holidays. Six long weeks with  my two children stretch before me.

At 11 and 13 years old, my kids aren’t exactly little any more, but they still need me.  Even if it’s just so that they can kick back and relax at home. So, for now most of my weekly yoga commitments have stopped, and I’m only teaching one evening class a week, instead of my usual four classes.

Why Stop?

It was an easy decision to make most of my classes stop for the holidays. I’ve been the primary carer for my kids ever since they were born and part of the attraction of being a self-employed yoga teacher was being able to dictate when and how much I taught.

The only class I don’t stop is one that I’ve inherited and the previous teachers have always kept the classes going throughout the year.  In fact, this works quite well, as it means that I can keep my hand in with one class a week, which ensures that I won’t have forgotten everything come September.

Of course, I’m very lucky that financially, we can manage as a family without the income from these lessons over the summer.  But I do continue with my work as a self-employed writer so that keeps the pennies rolling in…

The Benefits

I’ve been teaching for nearly a year now and the truth is that I’m quite tired. Fitting yoga teaching alongside everything else that happens in a busy family life isn’t always easy.

Coming up with lesson plans every week, and keeping my own practice ahead of the game is also a challenge.

By sticking to the academic calendar, with the inbuilt breaks, I’m allowing my mind and body time to recuperate and rest.

It also means I get to spend time with my children, before my son heads into Year 9 and starts his GCSE courses, and my daughter makes the momentous move from primary to secondary school.

Won’t I get Rusty?

Last summer, before I’d started my teaching commitments, I felt desperate to start teaching, as I felt as if all my skills from the teacher training were going stale from underuse. I practised as much as I could, but still felt a rising anxiety that until I started teaching didn’t really abate.

This year, with the benefit of hindsight, I feel that just stopping for a bit is going to allow all the lessons I’ve learnt to be absorbed into my subconscious – a bit like an extra long śavasana.

There are also all the other aspects of having my own yoga teaching business that take up a lot of time and emotional energy, such as keeping my accounts, working out tax stuff, maintaining a social media presence and general marketing. There are also other projects that I’d like a bit more time to focus on, such as starting my own blog on my website.

Having the time off from teaching should give me the time to make a start on other areas of my yoga career.

Doing something Different

The time away from my normal routine of lessons also means that there’s time to do something different. At the very beginning of the holidays my daughter and I went to a Summer Camp where I taught free yoga classes, in exchange for taking part in a whole range of other workshops, such as making clay cane toppers, willow weaving and drama workshops.

These experiences, that expand my creative repertoire, indirectly feed back in to my yoga teaching.

Quality Family Time

I’m also taking a break in order to go on holiday for two weeks up to Scotland. This period of time spent together as a family is what life is all about. Yoga means ‘union’ after all, and I can’t think of anyone who I’d rather spend united time with.

And – as much as I love them – by the time the six weeks are up I can guarantee that I’ll be desperate to get back to my yoga teaching again!

The post Diary of a Yoga NQT: Why I (almost) stop teaching yoga over the summer appeared first on Yogamatters Blog.

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