Archive for April, 2010

What’s distance got to do with it?

Saturday, April 3rd, 2010

Occasionally I will have a student tell me that they are moving and may not be able to come to class any more. Now,  I do understand that when you live in Los Angeles and with the idea of driving anywhere extra, It feels like an extra burden so you just say NO.  

Regardless, when it comes to Yoga classes that you love, I still don’t have much empathy. Usually the student isn’t moving across the country, state, or city. Usually it is simply to the next town 20 minutes away.

When I first started yoga, I wasn’t teaching, I wouldn’t say that I was yet a dedicated student with any great ambition, I just knew That I loved yoga, I loved the studio and the gifted teachers with whom I was graced to meet and study.  I knew instinctively, with a primal familiarity that I had met something in my life that was introducing me to me.

When I first started yoga I lived far away from the studio where I wanted to study yoga.  I didn’t have a car at the time so I would take a bus 2 hours into Los Angeles  to take the yoga classes that I wanted. Years later, When I lived in Ireland, I knew that I wanted to experience another course with my teacher who lived in Australia, so I flew from Dublin to Sydney Australia. I also traveled to Italy twice to study with a teacher I highly respected. Once when I lived in Dublin, and again when I lived in NYC.

My journey through yoga has guided me in directions that I simply followed without reservation and I was ruthless with my desire to live out my fantasy and satisfy my yoga curiosity no matter where I had to travel to meet it.

These days there are yoga schools on every block. If a student of yoga finds a teacher that makes most sense to their experience both physical and mental/emotional, I would suggest to respect that awareness. That relationship as long as there is growth can take one student very far in their practice.

The dedication as a student that you give to your practice of yoga and the respect you give to your teacher is something that is overlooked in our society today.  Teachers of all kinds are a dime a dozen , but if you find a teacher that you feel is really great, stick with them.  Experience, insight, sensitivity, and generosity are rare and high qualities to find in a yoga teacher.

If it is only a neighborhood move, don’t be quick to discard your class for the sake of convenience.  The drive home after a great, inspiring Yoga class with a great teacher will be transformed to a stressless, timeless part of your day with little concern for those few extra miles of driving time.