Graduate Blog Post-Jessica Oatway


A Day in the Life of a Yoga Teacher

Lets take Monday morning, as it is the day that I notice the biggest change since becoming a yoga teacher and have a full yoga only day.

My alarm usually goes off at 6.30am and I go to my own yoga practice class at Yoga Dublin. In the winter, I drag myself out of bed but in the summer I’m usually awake before that and can bounce out of bed. Summer is much more attuned to a yoga teachers needs!

Becoming a yoga teacher definitely means getting up early, as I have early morning classes at 7am, 3 times a week and a 9am class on a Saturday morning. If I’m not teaching then I try to get to a yoga class at least 2 times a week or I will do my own practice at home.

I then get some breakfast at Urban Health in Ranelagh or head home and have some tea and toast or if I’m really hungry a boiled egg and avocado on toast. After breakfast, I open up emails or do some social media work…which always takes longer then I expect! I might get to Sandymount and go for a quick walk as well… the advantages of creating your own timetable is that you have more time to do the things you want to do…most of the time.

On a Monday afternoon, I teach a lunchtime corporate class. These are really rewarding as you can see a difference in the students from when they walk into the class to when they walk out - Standing straighter, feeling a bit lighter with smiles on their faces.

I try to get some lunch either at home, something quick like an omelette or if I’m in town I’ll go to Tang on Dawson street. I’m also a big fan of Cinnamon and Mima in Ranelagh. A lot of my time is spent around Ranelagh just because Urban Space (above Urban Health Cafe) is my base and I could be meeting Dee the owner to discuss new projects or ideas. Since becoming more involved in yoga, my attitude to food has definitely changed. I’m more conscious about what I eat and that I try to eat 100% organic. I’m not a vegetarian but I only eat full organic meat from a trusted source. However I've noticed I’m craving vegetables a lot more then a burger. 

After lunch I usually have a few hours off until my evening classes. This involves prepping for the week’s classes, more social media, website work or unfortunately the usual drab housework.

At 5 I go to my 5.30pm class, then head straight to my 7.30pm class at Urban Health. I get home about 9pm. Grab some dinner and then I'm off to bed. I’m quite chilled after my teaching so I don't have the need to watch TV to try and relax. Which was often the case when I worked in London or when I work in my part-time job on Thursdays and Saturdays in Dublin. 

For me every day is different, which is the one thing I love. In my previous full time job I hated being tied to a desk and sitting down all day. I love travelling around to different places, meeting different people in different circumstances and having a bit more of my own free time. 

But it’s not all roses! I am less well off financially, which can be scary. I am still at the beginning of building my classes which can sometimes be hard. Some days you will have 10 students and then the next week for the same class it could be 3. Its hard not to take it personally, but you try to shake it off and just be the best, most authentic teacher that you can be. I know that I am working hard, still learning and getting my name out there. 

I would say the main thing I have noticed since training to become a yoga teacher are that my stress levels have reduced and I’m more content. I still have worries but they come with less pressure and less fear. I’m the boss and I push myself for myself. I now go to bed on a Sunday evening or wake up Monday morning without the feeling of dread. Yes, I don’t particularly love my part-time job but it supports my income, it’s not every day and it means I can teach yoga. 

Additionally, I have met so many amazing people on this journey. Starting with my fellow yoga teacher trainers who are such supportive and kind people. We have a Watsapp group that is still going strong today. I have just returned from a training in Sri Lanka with three brilliant international teachers and fellow students whom I would now call friends. I am about to go to a workshop in Ireland with amazing people who I didn't know last year. I have a retreat booked in a couple of weeks with people whom I have introduced to yoga through my classes, which is the most rewarding out of all. 

For me, while the journey is tough, the rewards are greater. I am constantly learning and meeting amazing people, and not a day goes by that I am not thankful to have chosen this change of career. Its hard to imagine going back into an office now.