BURN OUT. None of us got an idea what it feels like until you fit the profile.
I’ve been there myself and it took me years to recover and, most of all, consequently implement the necessary changes to prevent myself from ending up there repeatedly. It’s easier to fall back into old habits and saying ‘yes’ when a clear ‘no’ is much more appropriate: approximately 95% of our behavior is unconscious.
Practicing yoga increases our ability to become conscious of something. When you manage to transmit this insight and the experiences that led you there off the yoga mat into daily life, you’re on a constructive path to build a better life in good health and with reasonable boundaries.
Clients in a private yoga trajectory regularly seek relief of symptoms like sleeplessness, restless and anxiety. Such symptoms can refer to a Burn out, or the beginning of it, oftentimes accompanied by other physical complaints, moods and the inability to relax.
People know that yoga got to do with relaxation.
In a first encounter, I listen very carefully when someone shares with me what’s been going on. I pay attention to the words they choose, emphasize or repeat. I notice their mimics, their obvious and not so obvious body language and which part(s) of their story causes an emotional charge.
My verbal response is mainly based on the idea of opening windows to invite fresh wind to blow into their lives, to simplify everyday life by i.e. shortening their to-do list, clarifying their values and obligations and encouraging them to hire external support to get things done in their household or business. A lot of this is meant to save them energy and time to simply rest. Because that’s what most of them lack, physical and mentally – to DO NOTHING. Simply BE. And be content with it.
Experience has taught me what kind of yoga practice leads directly to relaxation and release. My support as a teacher is to guide them into a replenishing, nurturing and encouraging experience of yoga. All I focus on is inviting them to move and relax into the physical and mental effort that the movement requires. The movements need to rest on qualities like slow, gentle and mindful to invite a soft quality so that the armor that has been causing discomfort (of breathing most of the times), can be released gradually.
Energy has to be moved and bring them into the recognition of feeling light and free. So that i.e. tears can flow, eventually bringing an emotional release. I wish for my clients to hear the whispers of hope and trust after long periodes of suspicion and despair.
Talking to bodies is what I’m good at. I play with the tone of my voice, I weave my intention into carefully chosen words when instructing carefully chosen movements and postures. I sing a song that resonates with what my clients most urgently need. I play with their bodies, longing to express itself in a cloud of softness that eventually dissolves into an endless sea of gracefulness.
Someone who’s never learned to feel their body will most probably miss the point when recuperating from Burn out. (I believe that’s why cognitive behavioral therapy oftentimes fails here!) Learning to feel, and that can be from superficially to as deeply as possible, is a stepping stone to becoming whole and heal.Very often healing is not about doing rather than letting go and leaving things out, enjoying what is instead of wanting something else or more. Your body knows it all and we have the ability to (learn to) listen to what it is saying. I’m happy to support everyone in need in the process of learning and un-doing!