Yoga Burnout

How to deal with it and prevent it.

Hannah Caratti

I’ve taught over 20 years and totally love it still!  My secret:  I just teach one or two hours per day, and have other professional pursuits to round out my life.

I enjoy my days as a musician, counselor, and yoga teacher, and we live on a 4-acre ranch with organic fruits and veggies!  When my heart aches from counseling or my back aches from harvesting, I find great peace and joy in sharing my love of yoga with my students.  It is a blessed spiritual practice.

Oh yes, about the burn-out…if I try to push myself or my class too hard, someone becomes injured, so I don’t do that.  If I take yoga classes where the teacher is leading the class in poses that are wonderful, but perhaps not appropriate for me on that day, I will invariably become injured.

This happened so many times, that I now only take classes with teachers who are aligned with my sensitive energy.  Even then, I give myself (and my body!) permission to do only those asanas that can work for me on that day.  I give myself permission to come out of the pose if it is harming my body or breath.

For me and my students, yoga is about compassion and self-acceptance, while still being there to do the poses that strengthen and stretch us, the breathing exercises that calm us, and the relaxation and guided meditation that can bring us back to our radiant, joyful, and conscious inner Selves.  Each class is a moving meditation, an opportunity to work with the mind, through intention, kindness, and the iRest practices as taught by Richard Miller, Ph.D.

Yoga is my oasis, whether on my own or with a class.  It is the calm in the midst of the storm.  Each class is a sacred time–set apart from the rest of my life–a piece of eternity that can center all of us, students and teacher alike, so that we can bring that peace with us into all else that we do.

I am a wife, a friend, daughter, and sister, sometimes checking in on elderly in-laws who need care or visiting with family and kirtan friends.  I teach yoga at health clubs, at a spa, and for a residential rehab center, as well as playing concerts, and seeing counseling clients.

My students and I share our lives together in the process of this weekly communion with each other and with Spirit.  It is yoga, union, finally being re-united with our inner Selves, our bodies and our breath.  How could we live without it?

Hannah Caratti, M.A., E-RYT 500


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