Ending a Yoga Class

This entry was posted on Jul 14, 2014 by Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg.
ending a yoga classEnding a Yoga Class

When we begin teaching at a certain time, we don’t usually envision the class ending. Such was the case with my Monday noon-1:00 pm. Class I started teaching three years ago. The class was one of the first at a new yoga studio in the west side of our town where there aren’t other yoga studios, which tend to be clumped on the east side. Our hopes were high: this was a suburban area with lots of people, and surely many would want to come practice yoga in their own neighborhood.

While the yoga studio has grown and become a staple of the neighborhood, the noon-time class of mine never really took off. No matter: I loved teaching it to the one or two or four people who came, and heading out for Mexican food afterwards. It was a lovely way to launch my week, reminding me that I live, most of all, in this body. As a relatively new yoga teacher, it was the perfect launching ground to develop my own best way of facilitating yoga.

Yet I had a sense eventually I would let go of this class. Its weekday presence meant leaving my work for more than two hours, and the time beforehand—thinking through what I might focus on—swayed me from other work. I also found that many who wanted to come couldn’t leave their work in the middle of the day, and so, I switched gears: starting an evening class also. Strangely enough, I found that teaching more than one class a week didn’t fit me at this point in my life when I have so much non-yoga-teaching work. My two classes also conflicted with me attending the classes of one of my favorite teachers in town.

So this last Monday, I started my last (for now, at least) noontime class by telling the three very wonderful students who were sitting on their purple and pink yoga mats that someone else was taking over this class. They were sweet, sad to see me go but open to a new teacher, and ready to travel with me through this hour.

As we went through Sun Salutations and did Half Moon at the wall, I thought about the seasons I had experienced from the vantage point of this class. I also thought about how practicing yoga is a continual journey through balance: the balance of being in Tree when the wind of our thoughts tips us over as well as the balance of working with our edges, which can take us to that sweet spot between pushing ourselves to grow strength, endurance and flexibility, and hurting ourselves.

Living with the time we have means working the same kind of edge and seeking the same kind of balance. For me, this meant finishing a long-term class to invite in greater spaciousness for my practice other ways.

About Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg
Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg is the Poet Laureate of Kansas, and the author of 14 books, including a forthcoming novel, The Divorce Girl; The Sky Begins At Your Feet: A Memoir on Cancer, Community & Coming Home to the Body (Ice Cube Books); and four collections of poetry. Founder of Transformative Language Arts – a master's program in social and personal transformation through the written, spoken and sung word at Goddard College (Goddard College); where she teaches, Mirriam-Goldberg also leads writing workshops widely. With singer Kelley Hunt, she co-writes songs, offers collaborative performances, and leads writing and singing Brave Voice retreats (www.BraveVoice.com); and she blogs regularly at her website (www.CarynMirriamGoldberg.wordpress.com)

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