325: Stress of Teaching Yoga with Sarah Garden

There is a common misconception among non-yoga teachers that teaching yoga is stress-free. However, this is not true! Teaching yoga and running a yoga business can be extremely challenging and stressful and we need to be able to deal with it. Sarah Garden shares her experience from years working in the yoga industry.

Sarah Garden is the Director of Bodhi Tree Yoga Therapy and the full time Pain Educator and Yoga Therapist at The Chronic Pain Clinic in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. Sarah has been actively working in the field of yoga therapy for over 20 years and taught classes across North America and on Yoga International.

In this conversation, Sarah highlights the difference between practicing yoga and teaching yoga, and why teaching is so much more stressful than most people imagine it. She shares some of the symptoms you may notice if you are deregulated and her tips on how to incorporate your personal practice back into your life as a yoga teacher. Tune in to learn how you can do your own check in and manage the stress of teaching yoga.

Key Takeaways:

[1:16] Shannon introduces her guest for this episode – Sarah Garden.

[4:35] What does Sarah do?

[6:17] Sarah shares a little about her experience as possibly the first yoga therapist in Saskatchewan.

[8:48] Being a yoga teacher and running a yoga studio is tough. What keeps Sarah going?

“It’s not just like the work that I do going in to teach the class, but it’s all this preparation.” ~ Sarah Garden 

[14:20] There’s an assumption that teaching yoga will be just as relaxing and calming as practicing it, but that’s not the case. Why is teaching yoga so different from practicing yoga?

“The way the yoga industry runs is it’s hard to make a living as a yoga teacher. You have to teach a lot.” ~ Sarah Garden 

[19:32] We need yoga in order to keep teaching yoga but it can be hard to fit in your own personal practice around your teaching schedule.

“Full-time teaching isn’t often financially sustainable, nor is it energetically sustainable. And so, what do we do to do that? I think we have to fall back on our own practice.” ~ Sarah Garden 

[20:44] Shannon pops in with a shout out of thanks to sponsor, OfferingTree.

[23:15] What is Sarah’s advice to yoga teachers who have fallen away from their own practice and think they can’t fit it in on top of all the other demands of being a yoga teacher?

[25:14] What are some symptoms of a deregulated nervous system?

“Checking in with body tension patterns is a really nice way to notice if you’re feeling deregulated, [and] checking in with your emotional regulations.” ~ Sarah Garden 

[30:43] It may not be easy to tell when you are regulated or deregulated. Sarah shares some advice on how to discover that self-awareness.

“Relaxation or finding greater ease in your body isn’t a process of addition, it’s always a process of subtraction. We’re doing work that we don’t need to be doing.” ~ Sarah Garden 

[37:05] Sarah shares a quick check in that you can do to assess how regulated you are.

[42:45] People have the idea that a yoga practice has to be something big, but that’s not necessarily true.

[44:38] Learn more and connect with Sarah via email and social media.

[45:55] Shannon shares her takeaways from this interview with Sarah.


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