Lately I've run into a number of old students from the Yoga Teacher Training programs I've taught in over the years and they've mentioned that they could use some support staying fresh as a yoga teacher. Just like how the obstacles on the path of yoga are the same as the obstacles on the path to anything you want to do, staying fresh as a yoga teacher is the same as staying fresh at anything you want to do.
A few years ago I was on the Omega Institute campus talking to old friends one who was a writer and the other a midwife. The writer said, "if I have to write one more course description..." The midwife said, "if I have to say 'push, push' again..." and I was saying, "if I have to say, 'inhale arms up' one more time..." And we all laughed at how we were in the same place but in different professions.
It happens to a lot of people - when you've been at the same job for over 10 years or however long until you feel that way - you get tired of doing it. Sometimes it's just the natural process of getting older. We struggle when we're young to settle into a routine and sometimes after awhile we feel constrained by it.
What to do?
You could quit. It's at that point some people quit their jobs and find something else to do. There are pros and cons to that. If you aren't dealing with whatever are the underlying issues to your frustration, you'll run right into that again after you've been in your new job after some time.
You could take a break. Sometimes going on vacation or trying something else new will refresh you. If you haven't had a holiday in a long time, build in a break for yourself. The particular summer I'm referring to at the top of this post was one where my holiday was a working holiday. I taught more yoga while I was away and at earlier hours than I did at home. I didn't occur as a holiday at all!
You could do nothing. Just knowing there are days when you will struggle to find inspiration to do your job can help make it normal and just like the passing weather, you can rest assured it will change again.
Another thing you could do is dig even deeper into your profession. Rather than going away from it, you could get right back in there. Study more. Take new courses, get a mentor, and remind yourself of what fired you up in the first place to become a yoga teacher, writer, midwife, or whatever.
Nurturing yourself, connecting with others, exploring your profession - these are some of the ways you can stay fresh as a teacher.
Do any of you have ways that you stay fresh as a yoga teacher or other profession? I'd love to hear your comments.