Summertime is important to teachers with nearly three months off to recover from the school year and renew yourself. Some pursue personal and professional enrichment activities. Others take up summer teaching, whether by choice or necessity. Many will travel or just enjoy the blessing of having more relaxed, quality time with family and friends close to home. Most, though, find that it’s easier to maintain life balance through these months: keeping priorities in perspective, making time for oneself and meaningful activities, eating well and having plenty of time for exercise, fitness and, of course, play.
Yet as summer rolls to an end, many of us begin to tense up. We’re already feeling the pressure of the school year as we make our class plans, set up our classrooms, work out how we’ll get all of the teaching supplies we’ll need. And once the term begins, so returns the cycle where the greatest part of our days is given over to teaching, grading and planning – not to mention things like faculty meetings and parent conferences.
Then it becomes all too easy to lose the balance we achieved and thrived with throughout the summer.
We all know it’s important to keep balance. We know that in order to nurture and give to others, we must first nurture and give to ourselves. We know, for instance, the importance of a healthy, nutrient-rich diet to our health and wellbeing, including our mental health and ability to control stress. But when the pressure is on and we face rivaling demands, many of us fall to eating on the run, grabbing whatever we can – a sugary snack from the staff room, say, or a candy bar from a vending machine.
One of the benefits of sustained, regular yoga practice, however, is that it trains both the mind and body to stay calm. It instills and reinforces the mindfulness that can become a powerful force against the pressures of daily life. It rejuvenates and restores, making us better able to face the tasks and challenges each day brings. It provides an antidote against stress.
The reality of this is brought home to us repeatedly and regularly by the teachers, counselors and other education professionals who participate in Yoga Calm trainings. Not only do they tell us about how the principles and activities have a positive impact on their students; they tell us that they, themselves, benefit, as well.
We think the new school year is the perfect time to reinvest in your commitment to yoga – or invest for the first time – as a way to help you manage and deal with the inescapable pressures of the school year, find more joy in the innumerable pleasures of teaching and equip yourself with additional tools and knowledge for helping your students achieve. For yoga, of course, has proven benefits on academic achievement, just as the Yoga Calm curriculum provides for their social and emotional growth, as well.
We have a good number of trainings scheduled through this fall, including workshops in Minneapolis, Seattle and, for the first time ever, in Denver, and are in the process of working out our winter schedule right now. You can see our whole slate of offerings and register at the main Yoga Calm website.