Wednesday, October 27, 2010

(Overly) High Expectations

I've felt a little stressed out over yoga lately. I know, it's a big joke. Who gets stressed out over YOGA? But, if you haven't noticed, I take my yoga pretty seriously. For me it is a career and total passion. And even though I only teach 3 times a week, it is really a full time job.

So, here's how teaching three 90 minute classes a week becomes a full time job....

My teacher, Ann, told us at YTT that in the beginning she spent 5 hours in preparation for each class she taught. You may think this is totally crazy, but honestly I find it takes about that much time for me to feel really fully totally ready to teach. The 5 hours includes deciding on the action, the sequence, the pinnacle pose, the theme, thinking of and rehearsing my personal story, relating it back to the big picture of yoga, and then working with imagery and heart theme ideas. When I am able to devote time to doing all of these things my classes really go well. And I feel well prepared as a teacher.
SO, 3 classes a week at 5 hours a class puts us at 15 hours + the actual teaching time of 4.5 hours and already we're at almost part time hours =19.5

Now, let's add in my personal practice. I allot about 2 hours daily for personal practice. I would love to do more, and sometimes do less, but the 2 hours covers asana (at home or in class), pranayama, meditation, and sometimes journalling.
SO, 2 hours a day and 7 days a week adds 14 more hours = 33.5

The rest can fall under misc support for the practice and teaching of yoga asana. Reading almost nightly, reviewing video of John, study of anatomy/general pose awareness, Yoga Nidra, supported savasana, BLOGGING, keeping up the Richmond Anusara Kula facebook page and emails, keeping up my website, staff meetings, personal meetings, commute time, talking with and supporting students, developing workshops/series/private practice ideas, supporting Certified Teachers coming to town.... and anything else that comes with being the Anusara-inspired lady in town.
SO all of that we'll make it 7 hours a week ... 1 hour a day x 7 days a week is actually probably really low but let's keep it there.

Grand total:
  • 15 hours planning classes
  • 4.5 hours teaching classes
  • 14 hours personal practice
  • 7 hours misc teaching support
40 ish hours a week.

Do you have 40 free hours in your week? I didn't think so, neither do I. When I look at this I realize two things. 1. I have very high expectations of myself and 2. This may be why I've felt a little stressed out lately. Somehow I seem to think all of this is totally possible each week with no downtime, and while also being the primary care person to a 2 year old and the CEO of our household (I could make another list of responsibilities that would knock this list out of the water for the CEO and Mom jobs, but let's not depress ourselves further). Yeah. Hmmmm. Maybe not.

So, after about a month of driving myself like a madwoman, I'm stepping back and realizing I may need to tone down my expectations of myself. Well, not really my expectations of myself, but my expectations for what can reasonably be accomplished in a day. When I'm over extending like this I like to remember a blog post by Amy Karol at Angry Chicken (a crafting blog) where she created a NOT To Do List.
What a perfect idea. Here are all the ideas I have that I'm NOT going to do today. What a relief. I'd love to do it, but I'm NOT.
Today, hard driving asana went on the list and I had a great restorative practice instead. Who knows what will go on the list tomorrow? What I do know is that when I lift the pressures I place on myself, I'm actually more productive and creative. And, I'm happier and my practice feels better. It's worth a shot at not doing all that I thought I could, just to feel a little better each day.
Contemplation: Where do I set my expectations too high for the reality of my situation? What am I NOT going to do today?

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