Teachers are educators, leaders, pseudo parents, heroes, friends and mentors. Their jobs are often thankless, yet teachers are those amazing people that help shape the future of our world.
Being a teacher takes a tremendous amount of commitment, and commitment requires a tremendous amount of energy. Presenting concepts, math equations and scientific theories while continuing to be a positive influence in the classroom can be challenging for the tired and overworked educationalist.
Thankfully, the magic of yoga can come to the rescue to refresh, rejuvenate and inspire before burn out ensues.
Bank a second wind well before you might actually need it with these simple suggestions that can be practiced in the teacher’s lounge or in the classroom.
This is a simple, yet effective way to take the weight of the world off of your shoulders. It takes just a few moments and can be done while waiting for your lunch to reheat in the break room.
Stand comfortably. With an inhale, roll your shoulders up and squeeze them back. With an exhale, press them down and away from your ears. Repeat up to ten times.
Standing in front of the class can wreak havoc on your posture, especially when dealing with unruly students. Additionally, being seated at your desk marking papers can cause your posture to decline. Firstly, purchasing the best ergonomic office furniture will help with your posture dramatically to ensure you don’t develop a spinal curvature. This yoga pose releases the tension across the front of your chest caused by a feeling of deflation that disobedient students may trigger.
While seated or standing, interlace your fingers behind your back, with palms facing each other and knuckles pointing down. Draw your shoulders down and back while straightening both arms. With an inhale lift your arms away from your back. You may lift your head also, raising your chin toward the ceiling, as long as it feels comfortable for your neck. Take five deep breaths here to feel light-hearted and recharged.
Assisted Forward Bend
This can be done several times a day, in between classes or even during class with your students. It is an effective stretch that will decompress the spine and is suitable for all body types.
Bring your hands to a desk or a chair while standing. Take a few steps back and fold forward from the hips. The goal is to have both arms stretched fully with the hands resting on the chair while your back is parallel to the floor. The hips should be bent no further than a 90-degree angle. Hold for up to five deep breaths before slowly coming up.
One of the great things about the benefits of breathing (besides the obvious!) is that we don’t need to set aside a time or a place to do it.
The Ujjayi breath is a specific type of yogic breath that requires focus and concentration, two elements that help us remain calm. Anytime you feel the barometer of stress rising is a good time to practice Ujjayi breathing.
To begin, inhale and exhale deeply through your nose and gently narrow the passage way in the back of your throat to control the flow of air. By doing this, your breath should sound like a loud whisper, ocean waves or wind in the trees. Try Ujjayi breathing for up to one minute, as often as necessary.
“Teach the children so that it will not be necessary to teach the adults.”-Abraham Lincoln
by Jill – Yoga Instructor
Jill Lawson has been a fitness professional for 20 years, and has concentrated on yoga for more than 10 years. She has a bachelor’s degree in exercise science, and a master’s in physical education. This yogi lives in Southwest Colorado where she teaches yoga and pilates.