Many of you may already know that I am making some changes in my business, the structure of my classes and how I will be teaching. Teaching a regular weekly schedule of group classes has been a wonderful experience for five years. I set out to create a safe place for people to practice accessible yoga and I believe I've accomplished that. I tried my best to make a living at it, but the yoga business is flawed. Someone else's words, but I agree. It has become more about Groupons and Gimmicks and unrealistic images just to get people in the door. It's becoming a revolving door of students and teachers, leaving little opportunity for true connection to ourselves and to each other. I've never wanted to teach large groups and have always considered my business a "boutique" in a world of "big box stores". There's nothing wrong with that business model and there are many people who prefer that. However, trying to be a "boutique" in that world is impossible for one person. The structure just doesn't work. The educator in me wants to share way more than asana, sharing the full experience of yoga and meditation on a deeper level. Unfortunately, our society wants everything fast and cheap. We want the best deal and that has boiled over into the yoga industry also. Let me also say, I'm one of the lucky ones. I have the best students and I've been fortunate to share with them for over five years, while many struggle to get going. For that I am so grateful!
The first piece of advice I received from one of my teachers who was very established was, "You will have to let go of attachment to who comes to your class." At the time, I thought I could be different and make the experience a personal one for each person. Getting to know each person and helping them heal. Over the years I did just that in every class, with every meditation and with every healing touch I truly cared and prayed for each person to find ease and peace on their journey. I have held space for my students as they've gone through cancer, divorce, death of a child and spouse, surgeries, chronic pain, addiction, injury, trauma and uncertainty in life. I've sat with two people as they transitioned and I've made more hospital visits in the last five years than I did in the 43 years prior. This is the gift that God has called me to share. It is who I am and I've tried to honor that part of me and to honor my students. Thinking back to that advice and even hearing it again last week from another teacher saying she stopped caring about who showed up a long time ago, just doesn't fit who I am. I do care and I'm not interested in changing who I am just to make a buck.
There is definitely a market for asana classes with large groups, fancy music, gimmicks and flashy production. As a one woman show, this is not my place. I cannot compete nor do I want to. Being a teacher has been a huge part of my journey. It continues to help me peel off the layers of the false self. When I teach, I'm present, connected and vulnerable. As I move through this season of change, I know that I'm creating from an authentic place and because of that I have no doubts. Change can be difficult, but life is about change. I am going to continue to create from what God has called me to do. I'm not going to stop caring. I'm not going to detach myself from the people who come to me for healing. And I'm going to live my truth regardless of what others may say. I will TAKE THE JOURNEY, TRUST THE JOURNEY AND BE THE JOURNEY!