By Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

Anyone who decides to become a Yoga teacher gives quite a bit back to the local or world community, through selfless service. In fact, giving is very rewarding when you have the ability, or the time, to contribute to a student’s well-being or give to a worthy cause. You can be so caught up in other peoples’ lives that you tend to forget about your own well-being.

From the outside, looking in, Yoga teachers might appear self-absorbed. The student, who becomes a teacher of Yoga, has taken the practice to a different level; and sometimes, places physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual development, on the “back burner.”

It is important to stop, “smell the flowers,” and take time for self-reflection, once in awhile. It is difficult to “pull your head out of the books.” Many Yoga teachers are researching, finding solutions for their students, or reading scriptures. These are valuable contributions, but we must also find balance in our lives.

After all, we talk to our students about the importance of balancing physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. We are supposed to “walk the talk,” but we are still human. Yet, the time you take for self-analysis and proper direction is valuable.

This reminds me of a story my grandfather used to tell me about a carpenter who never had time to repair his own house. He was always busy making money repairing somebody else’s house. His wife had a list of home repairs, but he was still too busy giving estimates at night. Finally, she hires a handyman to repair her house and falls in love with him.

My grandfather was a jovial general contractor, so he enjoyed telling a joke or story as much as we enjoyed listening. Now, what does this have to do with Yoga? Life is a matter of priorities. You might say, “This sounds like a time management problem to me.”

To be honest, improper time management causes a lot of stress and anxiety. To manage time correctly, you need a system, but you also have to plan “free time” for yourself. You will need to balance time for family, friends, work, co-workers, and students.

One simple method is to plan the day ahead on the night before. This gives you a short-term view of the upcoming day. I still like to write it down with a pen on paper, because I can still envision the handwritten list in my mind later on. However, a lap top, personal digital assistant, or PC will also do.

Another method is to go to bed an hour early, and then wake up an hour earlier. If you are a “morning person,” you can get so much done in the morning, while the world is at rest.

Now, if you become very successful at planning and completing your daily tasks, please do not fill your day with work. Allow some time for family, friends, students, personal Yoga practice, and a little free time to smell the flowers.

© Copyright 2008 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications

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