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Yoga Hero: Teachers Podcast – Episode 39

39: How to develop a consistent Yoga Nidra practice (even with a busy life)

There’s so many things that we want to do as yoga teachers; including keep a steady practice going for ourselves and add to our knowledge and ability to keep our offerings absolutely great for our yogis (and all our other roles and responsibilities too!)…

This episode addresses the barriers to setting up and executing a regular Yoga Nidra practice, and – spoiler alert – it’s basically a repeating reminder to be kind to yourself. To refine that balance of the discipline, the tapas of setting goals and sticking to them, whilst layering in an understanding that life is busy, so how can we work with the busy in the most effective and enjoyable way.

Here’s what we’re looking at:

  • Prioritising kindness
  • Removing all barriers
  • Plan A and plan B
  • Creating a virtuous cycle

Enjoy!

Listen:How to develop a consistent Yoga Nidra practice (even with a busy life) right here:

As always, we would love to know what you think of the Yoga Hero: Teachers Podcast, do leave an honest review if you can, or drop us a message @yogahero_teachers

Listen to How to develop a consistent Yoga Nidra practice (even with a busy life)‘ where you get your podcasts:

Thank you, and happy listening!


Previous Episodes of Yoga Hero: Teachers Podcast

Episode 43: Should yoga teachers care about money?

Episode 42: Should yoga teachers demo while teaching?

Episode 41: Should yoga teachers use Sanskrit?

Episode 40: The business of teaching Yoga Nidra

Episode 39: How to develop a consistent Yoga Nidra practice (even with a busy life)

Episode 38: A Yoga Nidra for yoga teachers

Episode 37: Yoga Nidra: The art of sleeping to wake up

Episode 36:: How I Became a Full-Time Yoga Teacher

Episode 35: How to Become a Full-Time Yoga Teacher

Episode 34: Balancing having a job and teaching yoga

Episode 33: Balancing Parenting and Teaching Yoga

Episode 32: How to teach yoga workshops

Episode 31: How much to charge for your yoga classes

Episode 30: How to create your yoga brand

Episode 29: How to layer your asana classes with yoga philosophy

Episode 28: What’s your WHY as a yoga teacher

Episode 27: Setting up your own classes as a yoga teacher

Episode 26: How would you teach yoga if you weren’t afraid?

Episode 25: Do I need a yoga brand?

Episode 24: Tips for new yoga teachers

Episode 23: Define who you are as a yoga teacher

Episode 22: Yoga adjustments: Some important considerations

Episode 21: Tips for teaching yoga beginners

Episode 20: The joys of being a yoga teacher

Episode 19: Overcome imposter syndrome as a yoga teacher

Episode 18: Create your social media calendar

Episode 17: A complete guide to sequencing yoga classes

Episode 16: Do you need to teach a new yoga sequence each week?

Episode 15: Introducing yoga philosophy in to your asana classes


Transcript – How to develop a consistent Yoga Nidra practice (even with a busy life)

Hello, and welcome to For Yoga Teachers. This podcast has been created to help yoga teachers teach with passion, avoid burn out and earn a fair living.

There’s so many things that we want to do as yoga teachers; including keep a steady practice going for ourselves and add to our knowledge and ability to keep our offerings absolutely great for our yogis. And we want to run our houses and be nice people and see friends and manage our finances… Sound familiar?! There’s a few things that I think are incredibly effective for achieving basically most of what we’ve just talked about, and one of them, is Yoga Nidra. The last couple of episodes have focused on the absolute joy that is Yoga Nidra; with episode 37 focusing on what Yoga Nidra is and the many benefits, and episode 38 being a special Yoga Nidra for yoga teachers. This episode addresses the practice barriers, the every day inconveniences and hurdles to setting up and executing a Yoga Nidra practice, and then next week we’ll look at the business of teaching Yoga Nidra, so if you were thinking of undertaking Yoga Nidra training in the future, you can get an idea of the financial opportunity available for you when you graduate.

Ok. So. Back to this episode. As a mum of two and a studio owner, I 100% am in the camp of ‘life is busy, a regular practice is a luxury’. Except 1) it isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity for a vaguely sane life in my opinion and 2)let’s rethink what a regular, or consistent practice looks like. When working with yoga teachers on a mentoring basis, when yoga teachers say they’re struggling for time to practice, I’ll stay on that topic for a bit and dig a bit deeper, and often what the yoga teacher is saying is that their expectations are something like an hour of Vinyasa and 15 minutes meditation and a Restorative or yin practice on top. Yeah. This probably most certainly is not achievable. If it is, I applaud you, I commend you, you have set your life up like a boss, oh my goodness me well done, can I book in some mentoring sessions with you?

But for the rest of us, juggling jobs, houses, families, responsibilities and the teaching of yoga, our lives don’t have space like that, or at least not consistently.

So, What then?

Well that’s exactly what this episode will be addressing. The whole episode is basically a reminder to be kind to yourself. To refine that balance of the discipline the tapas of goal and intention setting and sticking with that, whilst layering in compassion and kindness and an understanding that life is busy, so how can we work with the busy in the most effective and enjoyable way, not work against the busy.

If you have the time and the headspace, I’d really recommend Tracee Stanley’s book, which is totally inspiring and practical and addresses the benfits and challenges of bringing Yoga Nidra in to your days, your weeks and your life. There’s links to buy the book in our show notes.

Here’s what we’re looking at:

  • Prioritising kindness
  • Removing all barriers
  • Plan A and plan B
  • Creating a virtuous cycle

Prioritising kindness

You’re probably expecting me to say ‘be kind to yourself if you don’t get to do your yoga nidra practice because you’re too busy’. And ok. Yes something like that. But if you want my humble view here, I know I’m much kinder when I’ve practiced Yoga Nidra. I know I am. So for me, prioritising kindness – and you could say that this is prioritising Ahimsa, is doing the practice, doing the work. Yes I’m doing it for me, I really enjoy it and feel great after. But I’m doing it for my teammates, my yogis, my family, my friends.

Let your brain think about how prioritising kindness looks like for you. Because, yoga teacher, prioritising kindness should never mean putting yourself at the bottom of your to do list. Never.

Removing all barriers

I think if I was only allowed to say one piece of advice to yoga teachers for the rest of my existence, it would be this: Remove the barriers. Make it easy. Make whatever you’re doing, and whatever you want to do, as easy as possible.


You want to set up a weekly nidra practice? Well make it easy! Some tips here could be:

  • to find a recording in advance and have a it bookmarked so you don’t waste valuable time trying to find it.
  • Having an area with all the things you need: yoga mats, blankets (plural!), pillow or bolster for your behind your knees if you’ll be laid on your back, a folded blanket or cushion for behind your head,  eye pillow if you use one etc. Get it all together so you’re not dashing about the house trying to find your supplies. Just a little aside here – consider practicing nidra after you teach a class, possibly. If the studio will be empty, you’ll most likely have access to all the equipment so it’s potentially a perfect opportunity rather than expecting you’ll do it when you get home, where you’re more likely to get tied up in housework tasks, etc.
  • Make it short. If your time poor, don’t set yourself up to fail by having the expectation that you’ll do a 45 minute nidra. Be realistic! Do 10 mins. You can increase the length of the practice in time, for now, we’re removing barriers so do what you can.
  • Be realistic in your environmental expectations. I mentioned before that pretty commonly, yoga teachers will expect themselves to be able to practice for looooong time. Another thing that comes up a lot when talking about setting up a regular Yoga Nidra and / or meditation practice is expecting the environment to be perfect. It won’t be. And thank goodness for that, because what use is it being able to meditate in a perfectly serene and silent environment. Meditation helps us live in the real world with less pain. If you can set up a meditation or Yoga Nidra practice even with next door’s dog barking or with those road works going on outside, then that’s going to set you up to be more skilled at practicing pratyahara. And I can really get behind that! So, rather than waiting for this noise to stop or that noise to quieten down or for those people to go out, can you say yourself that the experience is what it is and there’s always a value in it.

Plan A and plan B

This is something that we look at in our Yoga Nidra and Yoga Wisdom training.

Create your plan A – your realistic but ideal goal, e.g. a weekly uninterrupted 30 minute practice. You’ll put everything you can in place to achieve this. Make it a plan that’s beneficial to your life but that doesn’t cause you extra stress.

Your plan B is for those days when you just need a plan B.

So for example, plan A is a 30 minute nidra every Saturday morning. You’ll put everything you can in to making sure this happens. But for when it doesn’t, you have your plan B which is non-negotiable, maybe this is a 5 minute nidra in a chair, actually in your car in the supermarket car park! Or whatever it is.

So yogis, let’s recap so far. We’re prioritising kindness; which let’s face it, if you’re going to be kind to yourself and to people around you, this probably means you need to practice. We’re removing barriers; finding a Yoga Nidra that works for you, having an area that’s ready to practice in and being realistic about environmental expectations. With all that in mind, we’re creating a plan A – our goal, and plan B, for the days when it hits the fan.

Create a virtuous cycle

I think many things in yoga, and in life, become either vicious circles or virtuous cycles.

A vicious cycle I see a lot is having the intention to practice, in order to feel better, not getting around to it, so feeling worse because you’ve not kept your word to yourself and because you’ve not practiced, so then you feel more busy and more scattered, which means you’re even more likely to not get around to your practice, so then you feel even worse….

Looking at that another way; you have the intention to practice. Your area is ready, you’re managing your expectations around the environment and you know you can only do 10 minutes today. You do the 10 minutes. You feel – let’s be honest – smug (and why not!). You’ve cleared your head a bit so you’re focused for the rest of the day, you tick lots of things off your list which means, lo and behold, you’ve freed up 10 minutes to practice tomorrow! A virtuous cycle!

But finally, some food for thought from the Bhagavad Gita: one of the loveliest, most reassuring, most practical things the Bhagavad Gita says is that “on this path – meaning the path to ultimate contentment and peace – effort never goes to waste and there is no failure.”

So yoga teacher; if you’ve been giving yourself a hard time about not doing enough; then stop. Go back to basics. Find a realistic, beneficial way to practice Yoga Nidra, and make it happen. Prioritise kindness, remove the barriers, create your plan A and have your plan B ready if needed. Be realistic. Do what you can, and enjoy the fruits.

Yoga teacher, I hope that’s helped provide some inspiration for integrating regular Yoga Nidra in to your life. If you’d be so kind to share this episode with other yoga teachers, we’d be so so grateful!

And as always, happy teaching!