A DAY IN A LIFE OF: a yoga instructor

I start my day waking up anytime between 6 and 8 am, even if I don’t have any scheduled classes, I prefer to start my day early to get some work done, to get my day in control as much as I can and the earlier I wake up the more productive I am and the more time I have to do things I want to do! I think it’s become a habit more or less, whether I don’t have morning classes or I stay up late, I still do wake up early and I’m keen to wake up early. So my typical average busy day would start by making sure I have at least an hour and a half in the morning for the rituals, to take time to freshen up and to have my lemon water and have my coffee. I really like to take my time in the morning, I don’t like to jump out of bed and rush into things at all, I always like to take my time, and I have really complicated curly hair, which requires a lot of time in the shower and a lot of time to dry out. So it’s an average of an hour and a half in the morning to get everything done, and I really do appreciate the morning showers so much, for the sense of freshness and to start the day clean and leave everything behind but of course, it depends, if I have an early morning class, I finish up my morning rituals and I start my first class right away but if I have some time and my first class is around noon, then this is when my personal practice comes in. I’m always keen to have at least one hour of personal practice and this personal practice can be 10 minutes of yoga and around 5 to 10 minutes of breathing and the rest would be more of meditating, contemplating, or even work on some new transitions or try to explore some new poses to take to my classes. So I usually have around an hour a day of physical, emotional, mental practice, and wot of it can be stuff that I do for my classes later on. I do physical practice as in regular workouts because I like to stay in shape for my yoga practices which usually takes me around 20-30 minutes

So back to the morning, I’m the morning I start with, my lemon water, coffee, shower, and then go ahead with my classes, my typical day can have an average of 5 classes which can sometimes be too much because in yoga you have to exchange energy and it’s a lot, so it’s not that I do this every single day, however, we can say that I have around four to six classes and try not to cross this number, and these classes are a mix of morning, noon, evening, and late-night classes and they have different themes, so I try to mix up my schedule so that not all classes in a given day are power/ energy classes, and not all classes are meditations and stretch ring for instants. I try to mix it up because I show the students and demo sometimes and I want to make sure that the type of classes per day doesn’t over exhaust my body. I also mix with the idea of online classes, private classes, and commercial group classes in studios, given that we’re a little bit back from being completely online due to the lockdown, so I do get that good mix, trying not to drive for so long as much as possible and that’s why for instants I have a private online class in the morning and this would be the first I do because most of my clients are either working from home, so it’s okay to push work an hour or two so that they start their day with an energizing class, a morning yoga, and then they’re free for the rest of the day to do whatever they have whether that’s work, errands, being with their family. Or they either physically do their offices, that 7/8 am class would be the perfect timing to just wake up, do the morning yoga, hot the shower and then they go to the office. In some occasions where my clients have flexible jobs, or their freelancers, so we can move the classes a little bit towards the noon, afternoon and sometimes even evening, and again it depends on what they’re working on, for example, some clients are only working on the mental and emotional aspect of yoga so our classes are very slow, very down on the mat where we mostly meditate. Other clients are working on something physical, whether it’s towards flexibility or weight loss and strength, so again it depends and I try to mix it up for them, and for myself as well, trying to aim for a good balance in life!

So moving forward with my day, I finish the first class I have and mostly it’s an online class so that I can have more time being home, being grounded. Then I move on to my personal practice or workout, depending on which day it is. Then it’s time for breakfast! I used to skip breakfast for so many years of my life but I realized that my day wasn’t as productive as I want it to be, so now I’m always keen on having a big breakfast before starting my day because my job is mainly about movement and being upside down so I wouldn’t want to affect my digestive system since the rest of my day it’s just snacking until I can get a chance to have dinner at the end of the day. Then I work a little bit after breakfast, whether it’s planning classes, fixing my schedule, think about educated social media posts, because I wouldn’t want to be another yoga instructor posting posing pictures rather than delivering knowledge as much as possible and this is actually how I decided to become a teacher in the first place. I came back from my teacher training in Bali, knowing that I want to teach all my friends who are into yoga, everything that I’ve learned because I know for sure that they’re gonna benefit from it since I did as well. I realized that we don’t usually have enough time to state everything in a one hour class, so I like to make educational posts to inform my students about things I don’t have time to state in classes and those take a big chunk of my life. Then I’m ready to hit the road, whether a physical class or an online class, I then move forward to my studio classes which can be 2 per day. I live in sheikh Zayed and I teach in tagamo3 as well as Sheikh Zayed so it takes some time to commute and restore from this commute, so I make sure I have enough buffer before I reach the studio for the class. I try to be early enough in case anyone has any questions after I set up my mat, restore my shoulders, my back, and my legs from the drive, or if anyone needs to discuss anything about their injuries or maybe anything about their own practice before we start the class. If I’m teaching in tagamo3 I usually do 2 classes back to back so I don’t get free/wasted time. Then it depends on how the night would take me, it can be just a calm night where I slowly commute back to sheikh Zayed, maybe meet a couple of friends, it depends on how the day goes and as we grow up, we realize that we appreciate sleeping for enough hours more and more

So as I started to approach the 30s, I started to meet up with my friends maybe once or twice a week, opposing to “every day we’re going out” which was normal to do then, but as now we appreciate communication and quality time more, so even when we go out, the outings are different, we just sit and chill and have discussions, we still party sometimes, but not as often. One thing that I’ve learned is that it’s not selfish to put yourself first and it’s very important to take care of your own health, nobody’s gonna do that for you. If you take care of yourself mentally and physically you’ll always be able to deal with people in a nicer way and love people more! I try as much as I can to then leave some hours between dinner and bedtime so I can digest the food I had and that would pretty much be it!

Written by: Malak El Dawy

Featuring: Laila Frouck

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