Dealing With Yoga Burnout

Jamie Silverstein
Dealing With Yoga Burnout

A weird thing happened to me this week. I got excited to practice. Really excited.

While this might seem like your normal attitude towards yoga, sadly, it hasn’t been mine. In all honesty, I spent a few months vacillating between feeling like a fraud and just not connecting. Simply, I was burnt out.

Now, before I lose you let me explain. You see, a few years ago, I decided that this yoga thing was not only worth doing but also a thing worth sharing! I opened my first studio (The Grinning Yogi) and since then, have spent a LOT (all!) of my time in all things yoga and (eek) business. And, I love it!

To Yoga Is Also To Be Human

But…I also hate it sometimes.

You know what they say about pooping where you eat? I’m sure there is a yoga analogy for this somewhere! For me, it showed up in body-criticism, jealousy and a whole lotta ‘should’s.’

I had the wrong pelvis. I didn’t speak enough Sanskrit. I couldn’t nail a handstand. I like cheese! In fact, the things that this practice had so graciously gifted me reprieve from has come out in full force. I lost the tenderness of yoga. I found myself regurgitating classes and theming about Harry Potter. Namaste, Dumbledore?

Something had to give. I had to give.

Put The YOU In Your Practice

I relentlessly tell my students about how our practice gifts us with discernment (viveka) that enables us to connect to ourselves as love, and yet there I was worrying about my arm-balancing practice as an indication of ‘yoganess.’ Whoops! That’s not yoga.

The actual practice of yoga is not in the asana, but rather in the metaphor. The compassionate inquiry. The self-discovery.

Simply, our practice requires compassion. We don’t gain this by handstand-ing (or not handstand-ing). We gain compassion by staying. We gain compassion by saying, “I’ve been there too.” We gain compassion by lovingly refusing to believe our ego’s bullshit.

I got excited to practice when I remembered the end was me. Not my body. Not my asana. Me.