woman with headache by Mislav-m via Flickr

Ever have a class that made you feel defeated or unsatisfied?  Or maybe you have had a few students who were emotionally draining, causing you to overanalyze and second-guess your decisions.  There are many ways in which a teacher can have a rough class and leave with unraveled emotions.  Here are five ways to prevent an emotional burnout. Take a moment to wind yourself back up by processing or reflecting, without sucking the energy from your loved ones.

1  Write it down…

When students are emotionally demanding in class or overly rambunctious, it can drain you internally.  If you feel defeated when leaving class, questioning your very purpose, it is always best to write it down. Write down what triggered your emotions and why you feel attached to the experience of the class.  When something or someone hits a nerve, process it by bulleting your emotions or for some, re-telling the experience in story format helps.  Not only is it an immediate form of therapy but it can be a great reference for future classes. If you start to see a pattern, you may be able to hone in on why you become drained or feel emotionally unstable in specific situations.  This reflection will make you a teacher who is in turn, more emotionally available, more often.

2  Incorporate music…

Weather you enjoy playing music, singing along to music or dancing to music, take the time after a class to shake out your stale or unwound energy.  Based on the class, we can feel flighty or too grounded – making it important to release unwanted energy and reel in positive or balanced energy.  Music is a therapy for me and provides release, creativity and a personal connection that undeniably helps to process.  If you notice that certain genres of music uplift you or calm your energy, then choose depending on your needs.  You could even make an “After-Class Mix” that helps to center your spirit.

3  Take a walk…

If you teach yoga as a service in a group home, shelter, hospital or school facility, the spaces can be limited.  Sometimes there are no windows or clean floors and you have to make do with the environment handed to you.  Try to take a walk after such classes to circulate your breath buy phentermine 37.5 with fresh air and generate natural thoughts as they come.  If you teach in confined spaces, do the opposite and go for a run around the lake or take a walk up the hill to regain your own sense of space back.

4  Get creative…

If you enjoy arts and crafts of any kind and don’t find the time, now is your chance.  Along with your “yoga bag,” containing your notes, mat, water bottle or yoga CD’s, etc., try adding a box of crayons or markers and a coloring book.  Spend ten minutes coloring after class. Notice how your breath starts to wind down, you begin to focus on the colors, how the lines shift and the design comes to life.  Sometimes not even thinking of the class but just organically releasing creative energy onto the paper, can help you subconsciously to process any thoughts that could turn into anxiety or self-judgment.  A personal favorite is my Wonder Woman coloring book.  It is a children’s book with positive statements in bold letters geared towards female empowerment, which is always validating.  If you knit, carry a project hat or scarf or even a book of Sudoku for the less enthused.

5  Home spa…

When applicable, head home after class and turn on the bath.  Add a few sea salts or essential oil to the running water and heat up the tea kettle.  Steep a nice lavender-chamomile blend to help your nerves wind down; turn on your favorite tunes for relaxation and even burn a candle or incent for added bliss. The moment your toe touches the warm water, start the “me-time” clock and take the biggest exhale of the day. Sip some tea and layback with an eye-mask, letting go of all the stored tension.  This is important to do because, as adults, we tend to store our emotions deep inside and they begin to form into physical tension and pain.  Take the time to physically process the mental emotions before they setup camp in your muscles and nerves.

Share with us below:  What are ways you process emotion after a tough class? How do you enjoy “me-time” and hug yourself off the mat?  If you want to know more – check out our future caregiver workshops or a teacher training.

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  1. mary machado says:

    When I have taught an emotionally draining or unfulfilling class I stay for about 15 minutes after my students have left and do a series of sun salutations. It gets me back into the moment, into my body, and out of my mind. It is an immediate rebalancing that then can allow for further actions per the above suggestions – but sometimes it is enough.

    1. Crystal Southcote says:

      Great suggestion Mary! Sun Salutation to rebalance after class is a wonderful idea – thank you for sharing a piece of your practice with us all.