A Google search on the term "stress amongst teachers" yields over 33 million links to articles on the topic. I would like to add to that long list by sharing how Bikram yoga has helped me to not join the millions of teachers who go on stress leave each year when their ability to cope with impossible demands overwhelms them.
I joined Bikram Yoga Langley when it first opened. In the first year, my attendance was quite sporadic and I "suffered" much chiding from Candice, which I secretly appreciated. In the beginning, I went to yoga just as one of many other physical activities I engaged in. It was not on the top of my list of things to do even though I had an in-built alarm in my right hip that would go off if I went too long without going into Cobra pose and Rabbit pose.
But it was only when the normal high level of stress I experience as a teacher shot through to the stratosphere recently that I began to realize the amazing de-stressing power of a Bikram yoga session.
I don't know which part of my usually-normally-functioning brain thought that it was a good idea to try to complete the requirements for a PhD whilst also teaching full-time in a secondary school and also teaching English to an evening adult education class, but it soon became clear that it was an idea that should never have been implemented. Or perhaps it was good that it was because the implementation of the idea led to such a dramatic breakdown of my health. I suffered severe heart palpitations and other symptoms of extreme stress that was only relieved by regular visits to the yoga studio. This experience has made me realize how very lucky I am to have discovered Bikram Yoga in August 2007.
In January and February this year, there were days when the only thing that got me through the day was the thought of just lying on the mat in class in savasana, sweating the stress away, just breathing, just being.
I am very grateful to all who collaborate to make the Bikram Yoga Langley studio an amazing place of healing and health.