6 Steps to Deal with a Tech-Saturated World as a Yoga Teacher
The perks and irks of this job are one and the same. On one hand, we can take our careers in so many directions that as yoga teachers; today’s world is our oyster, on the other hand having so many directions to choose from can be downright overwhelming. One of the reasons behind this is because of technology and the social network. One of my students is a social media manager and she says that I have to be posting 2-3 times a day. While a friend of mine in PR said that I have to time my posts to when people are usually on their phones. Use analytics! Don’t use analytics because you lose authenticity! From designing the website to content creation, coordinating your post schedule with that of your followers, managing all of these details while making it all look effortless… It becomes a recipe for burnout. At least that was the case for me.
2018 was a point in my life where I was starting to get recognised in my community for my work. I was starting to get a name as the teacher that gave yoga classes in dual language. Be it Aerial Yoga or Vinyasa, I spoke in English and Spanish to cue my students. Naturally, this was the optimum time to take advantage of my rising popularity. I made a website, Facebook page, and group, I linked every social medium I had to my brand. The upkeep gave me good energy and I was excited about it at first. After a while, excitement turned to good but tedious until it just wasn’t fun anymore. I got so wrapped up in making my life look good online that my actual life became a farce. It hit me that I wasn’t practicing what I was preaching anymore. If our message is finding peace within while we as teachers don’t have it or we don’t at least intend to achieve it.. there’s a problem. When I realised this, I had already gone down the rabbit hole—and so before I got to wonderland, I needed to climb myself out of it. Away from the tech, away from the big data, I needed to get my bearings in the real world back. After that, I could remember why I chose this job in the first place. Here’s how I did it.
1. Don’t Rush
Social media is a huge part of our marketing strategy as teachers. With effective utilisation of our platforms, we can monetise, gain clients, interested studios or retreats,a myriad of possibilities that gives us momentum to push for more. Let me ask you, what's the rush? The followers will be there to click or not. About a year ago I took my friend’s advice. I posted frequently making sure that everyone on my Instagram feed remembered who I was and what I was about. I was so hellbent on my mission that I forgot the essence of why I was doing this in the first place. After that, I stopped. I started creating content only when I was available for it. I prioritised my live students more. It felt wonderful. My actual pupils had better results. One small tweak in my activities was all it took to relieve the pressure. So post when you can and don’t sweat it. There will always be someone online to see you.
2. Quality not Quantity
After Yoga teacher training, I still kept in contact with my teachers. While they get their messages out there much more frequently than others, they also stick to a formula. I think I’ve mentioned this in a previous article. They would present an asana and have their own backstory to it, concluded by an inspirational quote. Even they mentioned that it was their schtick. I didn’t want that for me. I think that being oneself couldn’t simply be Fill-In-The-Gaps. So I don’t put myself out there often—simply for the fact that I feel my followers deserve something more heartfelt. When I do finally make that posting I feel good about it. The growth is slow though but I gain true followers.
3. Post for You Not For Them
This is more of an offshoot of what I just said but taken from a different angle. Firstly, because you want to produce something that captures you. Second, it's much easier to satisfy yourself than it is the internet. When we do this, It makes us feel as if a contribution to the community was made. I almost lost that with all the marketing techniques that I had to comply with. It turned out that the more I strived for my message to be heard by everyone, the more I didn’t want to hear my own words. I lost myself. The thing is—in this profession being yourself is exactly what you need to be. Authenticity is key to being happy with your creation as well as how you are received for it because positive or negative reaction, you were being real. I eventually had to re-assess my work process. I started to loosen up a bit more when it came to marketing myself and started creating things that I wanted to see, not what analytics told me to make. With that, I got myself back which for me is more important
4. Weekends are Sacred
There came a point this year when I was ignoring my actual relationships because I was so focused in generating more clients, readers, etc. I would get constant migraines, I had more periods of mental block, my partner felt ignored basically my personal life falling apart. Finally, we decided to schedule online management and classes during the week and avoid weekends at all costs. Being able to work anywhere has its advantages and its price. While you can work comfortably in your own home, you have to draw a line before the work invades your personal space. One of the ways to do that is to take your weekend. Get away from a screen! That way new thoughts come into your head, other experiences, all these pave new ways for you to create. As Monday arrives you are rejuvenated to tackle everything head on.
5. Look for Simple Tech
Writing for other platforms is very different from writing your own blogs on your site. When I write for Momoyoga I don’t have to think about the details that make an article. When I write for my site I think about the stock photos, meta tags, SEO, down to the font and its size is ultimately my decision. I become a writer, editor as well as publisher in a span of a few hours. With all of the things that we have to consider before we hit that post button, we need to find ways to make things easier for us. Which is why we choose a website builder that’s mobile ready, we use a booking app like yours truly—Momoyoga. This teacher/studio management app has the simplest interface for you to sign up your clients, receive payments, and keep in touch with your students. The fact of the matter is that technology is already difficult enough to work with so we need to invest in simpler tech.
6. Be a Student Again
Ocio. Ocio is a Spanish word that simply translates to leisure time but it means so much more than that. When you look at the root of this word which is Otium. Otium is an idea of the withdrawal from one's daily business (negotium) or affairs to engage in activities that were considered to be artistically valuable or enlightening. Since doing yoga fits within this description. We need another way to detox. After swearing that my weekends were for me and mine, I wanted to do something productive and away from the city. I needed to leave and learn something that I didn’t need for once. So after a small day trip to the nearby mountains of La Sierra Madrid, there exists a town Called Cercedilla that was full of adventures. A tree-climbing park, hiking trails, etc. By the end of the day trip, my husband and I agreed to keep coming back. Since then I’ve gone hiking, horseback riding, berry and mushroom foraging. I received lessons I never thought I needed but did.
I could go over a few more points although it all comes down to remembering that it is your real life that counts not the one you release into cyberspace. Technology is a tool that we must use effectively and efficiently to get ahead in this world but at what cost? Until we are virtually numb to what is tangible in front of us? Being a yoga teacher is one of the best jobs in the world. So how come many of us suffer from burnout? We need to practice what we preach or at least try. Whether it's a small tweak in our lifestyle, investing in simpler software, making a couple of days sacred for yourself, posting for us, not compromising the quality of your creations, being at peace about what we publish, and most of all not rushing the process. There will always be someone who will be witness to what you do.