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The Yoga Blog

The Struggles (And Strengths) Of A Yoga Teacher With ADHD

The Struggles (And Strengths) Of A Yoga Teacher With ADHD

Since I can remember, my life has felt chaotic due to what I describe as having a Tangled brain.

I have spent the majority of my life living in utter chaos. Until my late 20s, I had never experienced what it was like to feel calm or present. From the moment I opened my eyes to the moment I went to sleep, my brain was racing with a million thoughts. 

Living with a tangled brain meant that I spent most of my life not knowing who I was or what I wanted. My way of dealing with any uncomfortable feelings was just to hit things harder: the drink, the drugs and the toxic love.

Then, in the midst of a marriage breakdown and the loss of a dear friend through suicide, I found rocket yoga. This practice was stimulating and challenging enough to finally allow me to get out of my head and into my body. My love for the practice led me, as it does for many of us, to share this magical experience with others, and my yoga teaching career began.

After years in a soul-destroying corporate career, yoga became more than a passion; it became a lifeline. It gave me the freedom to help others while doing something I loved.

I couldn't wait to give this my all and get more people on the mat! 

What I didn't know was I was living with undiagnosed Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), and being unaware of your neurological difference as a yoga teacher comes with its own set of struggles and strengths. 

Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria

Sensitivities to rejection (perceived or actual) is one of the most painful conditions reported by individuals who live with ADHD. As a yoga teacher, we make ourselves really vulnerable to Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria (RSD) and the fear of not being good enough or the constant worry about disappointing students sometimes feels overwhelming. It often led me to aim for perfectionism, turning up to my classes hours early to practice my flows, which eventually led me to feel totally exhausted and, often, burned out. 

Tools to help (link to resources)

Name it to tame it. Educate yourself on RSD as much as you can. Once we build awareness, RSD will lose a lot of its consuming power. Keep a folder on your phone or laptop with positive feedback from clients to remind you of your amazing work. In those moments when RSD tries to come and tear us down, remember where the evidence of your happy students is.


Our brains need constant stimulation. We can often get 'bored' of our own flows fairly quickly and, therefore, feel the need to change things up a lot. When our working memory is impacted, trying to constantly remember new creative flows can become quite challenging. 


 'Less is more' might be a hard concept to accept when living with ADHD. But it sure makes class prepping as easy as possible. Maybe you mix up just 20% of your class and try new flows on a monthly basis instead? Students tend to actually love structure in their practice as it enables them to progress and go deeper into the poses. 

Time Blindness

Oh wow, a BIG one. Our impacted executive function means we struggle with the concept of time. It's now or never for most of us, which means we can be late to classes and misjudge our class plan times, causing us to run over. 

Give this a go

Pomodoro clocks are an ADHDer's best friend. Yes, you can have them on your phones, but I love the old-school ones. They help our brains see how much time is remaining in class. What I used to do was create my playlist in alignment with my flow, so I knew certain songs meant I needed to move on.  


ADHD awareness can really become the vehicle that enables us to live a more authentic life. This sense of embracing our differences and becoming more of who we are can really have a positive impact on the way we teach.  

I have always been drawn to teachers who approach their teaching style in a way that represents them instead of cloning others. I've seen this done with the language they use, the music they play, the humour they share, and the way they fully embrace those moments when it doesn't go quite the way we planned. 

So know that the most important job you have to do as a yoga teacher, with or without ADHD, is to COME AS YOU ARE because who you are IS ENOUGH! 

ADHD is a struggle for both yoga teachers and students. If you want to make your classes more inclusive and accessible, then why not join my further training course? 

Our Yoga Teacher Training for ADHD is designed to empower you with the knowledge and tools to create a welcoming student environment. If you run a studio, it'll help you accommodate employees with ADHD, ensuring you comply with the Disability Act.

Join Our Online Yoga Alliance Professional Certified Further Training Course starting on the 8th of November 2024 and receive a £100 discount if you sign up before the 11th of July (Payment plans available).

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