When I decided to start the journey of Yoga Teacher Training in early 2013 I had no intention of actually becoming a teacher. I saw teacher training as a wonderful way to deepen my own practice. Little did I know that I was opening a door to a job that I would find so fulfilling. Now I find my time teaching over and the need to reflect on why I decided to quit teaching yoga.
I'll be honest, sometimes I feel that I live a charmed life and I fully acknowledge that. I didn't search out any of my teaching opportunities; they all seemed to fall effortlessly into my life. It doesn't mean I didn't work hard to be ready for these opportunities or to fulfill the obligations that came along with them, but each of my classes fell into my lap. And I loved them, appreciated and nurtured them.
A year ago was a very different place than the terrain I now navigate each day. I had a much easier day job, a cushy 9 to 5 schedule, and a need to pad my schedule with something that gave more meaning to my daily life. Now I've landed a job that I adore but requires more from me, have plans every day and night of the week, and can't find a moment to sit and think let alone make it to my mat.
I've spoken candidly here about my Depression and I know what kind of self-care I need in my life to maintain a sense of balance and enjoyment. I found myself not enjoying teaching anymore. Not the moments of leading the practice, or taking my students to a far-off nirvana, or putting them to sleep; but what it took from me to get to the classes, to plan them, to be fully present. I was draining myself and not taking the time to fill up once again. I found myself beginning to spread thin.
I haven't spiraled into anything, had anything snap, or sunk into an abyss. But my life is made up of a series of ebbs and flows. Moments that work perfectly and then suddenly they aren't so right anymore. I can be honest with the fact that I'm ready to quit teaching and be okay with it. And I'm also willing to do it before there are any spirals, snaps, or drownings.
So the time has come. A few weeks ago I taught my last PrAna donation class and now have a drawer filled with new stretchy pants and sweaters. And this Thursday will be the final night teaching my classes at Snap Fitness in Scappoose.
One of the reasons I held on for so long was because of the students in my classes. One of the most important parts of teaching is creating relationships with your students. And I even had one student tell me once that I had become their drug dealer. The highest compliment! But I also know that I wouldn't be doing them any favors by teaching a class I didn't love anymore.
I'm not sure if this is the last class I'll ever teach or if someday in the future I'll teach again, but I do know that I'm so happy to have been able to teach so many great classes and to take the time to get back on my mat and continue this lifelong practice of yoga.
Some of my favorite yoga students hanging out before my Restorative Class at Snap Fitness.
I want to give thanks and gratitude to all my students. Even when there were only two of you in a class, you helped me become the teacher I am today. My lovely and amazing friends who let me borrow their cars to get to Scappoose and even toted me back and forth. I literally wouldn't have gone anywhere without you. To Randy and Erin, the owner and manager of Snap Fitness, for giving me the chance to create classes that were all my own. I appreciate all of you and everything you've done to support my teaching.