Thoughts on Mentoring
I’ve had a mentor for pretty much all of my yoga career.
Sometimes it’s been more to do with the physical; sometimes its been there holding me high supporting me as I celebrate some successes; yet often times it’s gotten me through the low tides of teaching – you know, those times when your inner critic is shouting out how **** your class was, what a rubbish teacher you are, and how you know nothing… Yeah, those low tides.
Mentoring to me has been invaluable. It’s at those low tides where you feel most tender – and believe it or not, the tender moments are the best. You’re raw, your sensitivity is on high alert, and that’s when you tune into a different frequency; learn a few home truths. This is the place to lay foundations, where you begin to grow.
The support I’ve felt from my mentors, their belief in me as a teacher – and above all as a person – has kept me strong. I remember when I thought being strong was to keep going; to keep at it and don’t give up. But I’ve learned through life that to be strong is to recognise when it’s time to pause, leave, or step in a different direction. That’s not giving up; that’s having the strength to say “I’ve done all I can, and now I’m going to focus my efforts elsewhere”.
Teaching yoga, especially in the earlier years, there can be a feeling of grabbing every class you can – getting your name out there, working almost round the clock etc. But this can’t last forever, and. spreading yourself too thinly can dilute the content you want to share. There’s also the very real risk of burn-out – a critical point of exhaustion that can be relative to your background and your inner make up. We all have different thresholds and capacities, and just like the yoga postures we explore, our body type has an impact on what we can do with ease and effort, and what we’ll quite possibly never do. This is where being strong comes in, as I mentioned: the strength to know when you’ve reached a peak, a crossroads, a time to redirect, refocus, make a change.
In ‘A Fresh Approach – Coaching and Support for Teachers’ – we’ll explore our strengths, boundaries, who we are as teachers, what inspires us, what gets us down, what we can learn from our personal high and low tides, and how we move through the external current and tides we find ourselves in.
Yes, we’ll look at class planning, prep before the planning, and so much more – to create nourishing content for both you and your students alike.
Most importantly you’ll understand how invaluable you are to yourself, and that you are your best teacher.