Letter to my yoga students – April 2022
Dear Yogis from Blackheath and beyond
Yesterday I realized that I would be taking a break from yoga teaching for a while. Starting now. I took over the Blackheath Yoga Studio from Kylie Collard in 2018. Many of you were with Kylie for years before I arrived. I am trusting that even more of you will continue with your yoga practice after my departure….maybe even until I come back to keep company with you again.
In the yoga room we teachers and students have a special window into each other’s lives. Our commitment to be there, and to each other means we see each other very regularly. In many ways we see the best of each other. We are there because we want to be, because we enjoy it, because we can see and feel that there is something there in the practice of yoga, in the space that it creates within us and between us that we want, or need, or hope for.
In the yoga room there is an energetic exchange between teacher and student, and between students. It’s this that makes the experience so special. During Covid we were lucky to learn how to use Zoom together, it gave us a way to connect and continue, to practice together in a more reflective way. Different to a live experience. My experience is that both are good, but that at some point we need as people, as human animals, to share a physical space.
The last three years have been intense for us all. We have weathered smoke, fire, flood, Covid, social isolation, financial stress, the realization that we are now living the climate change we once talked about. This intensity has poured into our private lives. Relationships have broken, some have healed, people have died, we live with the pain and loss, health crises have come, some have gone, and others we have had to adapt to. Our understanding of our world, and of our present and futures in it has changed. In all the years I have been teaching I have not witnessed this pace and intensity of events and change on my students lives or in my life. We have had little time to reflect on these events, they have all rolled so hard upon each other.
In this fire, this change, this pressure, new possibilities have formed. In my life this looks like a new home, a new experience of myself and my family as a single parent, a new career in social work, new friendships and relationships, and as I turned 55 this year, a vision of my next, older self. I need some time to draw my energy in, to focus on myself and the people closest to me.
I have been teaching yoga now for 25 years. Sometimes full time, sometimes part time. I have taken breaks before. The last one lasted a year. Throughout all, the practice remains, the hope remains, the trust that the spirit and energy of our being and of our universe will prevail and burst joyously from us. I’ll be in touch soon to organize practical things, and again after that when I return.
Some external events have coincided with this decision. The Upper Mountains Yoga Studio from Katoomba is relocating to the old Lotus Temple in Wentworth Street – so there will still be plenty of yoga in Blackheath!
Feel free to answer this letter if you will. Let me know if your answer is just for me, or if you would like to share it with our yoga community – I can post the letters on our website to share if you would like to do this.