As a yoga teacher, I am so motivated by my students. They ask me questions to help improve their practice; they either object to what I’m offering, struggle or they surrender and let go. Observing their bodies move, their minds struggle or surrender, and their emotions flow is so beautiful. It makes me want to be a better person, a better teacher.
As a yogi entrepreneur, it is a big challenge to stay motivated and work every day, but also to find balance and not work all day every day. Through the process of trial and error, I learned a lot about how to stay on top of things – as a yoga teacher and in everyday life. From my own trial and error, I’d like to share some tips with you to stay on top of things. These (along with other reasons, which I’ll share) also helped me me decide to go for it and commit to this yoga path.
In my life there have been a few big moments that have led me to be an independent yoga teacher. At the time, these moments seemed like horrible events, but have turned out to be my greatest pushes in the right direction.
Like that time I was in therapy for an eating disorder and realized that my ‘dream’ future was no longer what I actually wanted. Or another time, in India, when Ilearned the hard way that my gut feeling, my intuition, was actually warning me for a potentially dangerous situation, and I should listen to it from now on. The burnout that helped me realize that working in an office selling some random product was not for me; I should do what makes my heart sing, instead! Or the knee injury, most recently, from which I learned I have to put myself first. If I don’t, there is no way I can take care of others in the long run.
So if you’re going through something bad or sad, don’t give up! Keep going, keep hustling, keep practicing on and off your mat. You got this!
First of all, figure out what is in your heart, what your dreams are, what you really want from your life, and what your purpose is. A great way to do this is with theIgnite Your Life Planner. With your purpose in mind, taking steps forward is much easier. Having this inner yearning, your inner fire burning to reach that purpose, helps to stay motivated for the grind, the hustle, all the little steps it takes to reach that goal.
Secondly, if it seems like every step is super hard, takes tons of effort and doesn’t happen easily, maybe it’s not the right step you should be taking. No matter how tempting certain possibilities may seem, if it’s not helping you towards that purpose, it’s not for you. To say no to those can be so hard, but it’s worth it in the end. Take a moment of meditation, a few breaths even, to tune in with your intuition and feel it out. Even when your mind is screaming to do something, if your gut says no, listen to it. Without any logic or reasoning to tell you why, your gut just knows. When you’re on the right path, actions can be much easier and take less effort. I love it when that happens!
Of course there is fear when following your purpose. I experienced this most when I was working an office job. I really wanted to go for yoga, be independent, and teach classes, but I didn’t yet have many weekly classes and to just quit seemed. . . impossible! What about the money, and the mortgage? We need to eat! And will I ever succeed? Am I good enough in a world of many teachers and classes?
Fear comes with every big decision. But fear can be a good thing! Experiencing fear is a sign you’ve found something you are really passionate about, and that means a lot to you. My advice is to accept that there is fear, but then move past it. Like on your mat, learning new poses (maybe dropping back, or an inversion, like a handstand) can be super scary. But oh man, once you breathe, accept your fear and give it a try, the results are usually amazing!
I first realized all this during a time when I took up a practice of diving off bridges. I love to dive and swim, but standing on a ledge several meters high basically froze me in fear. I can still feel it now as I write this. I would climb up, stand there, remember it is only fear, breathe and then take off. The moment I jumped, I could feel fear change into exhilaration. After diving into the water and feeling like a kickass unicorn mermaid princess, I would climb right back up there and go again. It’s that first step that’s the scariest!
I didn’t have the bravery I did on those bridges with my office job. I just stayed there in my safe office chair and worked. Worked so much until finally I couldn’t anymore; I had overworked myself into a burnout. But that burnout was the push I needed to end the office job and get back on track with my purpose. It’s not always as easy as it might seem, I know. I didn’t have the bravery to quit until I had a burnout, which took a big toll on my body, mind and relationship. But I’m so grateful for it, as it finally gave me the push I needed to quit!
Another thing the burnout brought me is to take moments and days for yourself. Do whatever you want; whatever makes you happy, excited, connected. During my burnout, I started going to my local beach, just to walk, breathe, and sit there and watch the ocean. These days, I make sure to take time for my own yoga and meditation practice, even when I’m really busy; I spend time hanging out with my boyfriend and cats, watching a movie and cuddling; We fixed up the house together as a project. And I still go to the beach! If you’re stressed and tired, you’re not going to be effective, so take some time and enjoy life.
Once you know your purpose, go for it a 100%. Don’t hold back, just dive in head first and GO! For a long time I was saying yoga was just a side business because I was afraid to fail. Instead of actually going for it and failing, I was pretending it didn’t matter to me, and NOT doing it. Isn’t it interesting how our brains work? From different (yoga) podcasts I learned that the successful people I look up to have gone for their dreams 100%, totally committed, do or die, ALL IN. This is what I’m doing now. It’s super scary but it’s necessary!
Lastly, a gratitude practice can help bring more joy into your everyday life. Writing down every day what you are grateful for, however small or big, has helped me a lot. Just to take a moment and realize what you have already is magical! Even if your whole day was shit, was there one moment of peace or joy? Like that cup of coffee you enjoyed, or the smile of a friend or stranger? If you have bigger things to be grateful for, that’s amazing! But it’s not necessary for this practice. So don’t hesitate, just start. You can write it down in a journal for yourself, or jointhis awesome Facebook group.
Do you recognize any of these issues? Is your fire ignited? Are you allowing your inner fire to lead the way? Please let me know how you feel and where you are on your path to fulfill your purpose. If you have any questions, I’m more than happy to answer them or just connect!
Roos loves to share about yoga, yoga philosophy, body positivity, and following your heart and dreams. Her aim is to help you realise what you want from life and to go after it with all your passion (even though it’s scary and uncertain)! She loves writing and photography, being outside, and going on adventures, both at home and abroad. After recovering from an eating disorder, she wants to positively empower you to listen to and LOVE your body the way it is, right now. She is passionate about taking care of our world, loves animals and is a vegan. She completed a Masters degree in Development and Human Rights in the UK and is currently an independent yoga teacher in her home town in Holland.