May 12, 2021 - Yesterday was my last day of teaching at UVM for the semester. I taught 8 classes, some of them two days/week…making for a grand total of 19 classes I was teaching per week, along with running the UVM Yoga Teacher Training. Students gave me comments like, “I learned to take care of myself.” or, the most important take away from class was “the aspect of hope.” Many students said the thing that mattered the most was physically being in the same room with other students and having time to talk about how they were doing.
I really felt like it was my duty to take care of the students and give them something that felt like school. If ever there was a time to offer students an in-person experience of yoga and meditation, this last semester was it. But, honestly, it was too much for me. It’s disappointing to admit that. I’ve always thought that the direction of teaching is more teaching…as it turns out, there is a limit for me.
It was hard going to classes each day where we all had on masks and you couldn’t see smiles or reactions. Teaching a whole semester and not seeing one smile is hard. It was difficult to be in an environment of fear of COVID, and also fear of breaking the UVM rules for COVID and getting kicked out of school. And, then on top of that there was the regular stresses of school, and students not having the normal opportunities to chill out, party, and enjoy being students.
I have never really experienced “Burnout”. I’ve talked often about it in classes, but I never really thought that is something I would experience, because I love what I’m doing so much, and, of course, that is why people often get burned out. We are doing something we care about so much that we want to do more and more of it, because it “matters’. As it turns out, we all have limits.
So, yea, I’m honestly disappointed in myself…being a person who teaches self-care for a living, and I failed somewhat at practicing my own lessons. You’ll have that on the big jobs. :-)
But, you know, from here there is only forward, and for me I often learn most from the things I don’t want to do, particularly things I do myself that I don’t want to repeat, and this is something I definitely don’t want to repeat. It’s quite humorous that anywhere you look in terms of what to do about burnout the answers are Yoga, Meditation, and Mindfulness….ah…the irony. For me, it’s less of all of those things. I look forward to finding myself, and also continuing my wonderful online classes, that have been a great anchor for me.
How about for you? How are you doing? Take care of yourself.