I have made the decision to cease teaching yoga classes for July and August. It’s a multi-layered decision, which took a while for me to come to, but which ultimately feels right. I’m also going to stop attending my weekly Anusara classes, and just go to classes from different traditions, with different teachers, when I feel like it. I teach only 2 community classes per week, at the Mile End Mission and rad’a yoga, so my decision to not teach is not about time. Two hours teaching and another two hours prepping isn’t a big time commitment.
While 4 hours per week isn’t a lot of time, I also want to create a little more space in my life. It’s summer, I’m unemployed and I’d like to make room for spontaneity – for spontaneous excursions out of town, spontaneous hanging out on terraces, spontaneous bike riding in parks.
I’ve been asking a lot of questions around teaching yoga: Why am I teaching? What do I have to offer? How can I give a class without evaluating myself? I think that a break will allow the answers to these questions to simply emerge, and for me to become re-inspired.
And finally, yoga has become this big, heavy, serious thing for me. For the past 5 years, I’ve been so immersed in the practice and the business of yoga that I’ve started to identify with it. Two years of living in an ashram, then 3 years of editing a yoga magazine, and practising/teaching the whole time – I’ve started defining myself as a yoga practitioner and teacher. I’ve become attached to it. And this is contradictory and hypothetical to the ideals of yoga, which is about not identifying with the external world, and instead being with one’s inner light, allowing this luminescence to shine forth.
So just how will I spend my summer vacation? First of all, I’m going to delve into my personal practice with reckless abandon and joy (along with discipline and persistence, of course). I’m going to ease up on the asanas and pump up the mantras. I’m going to spend more time on my balcony with my cats and my herb garden. I’m going to venture off the island of Montréal and speak French with the locals (désolé in advance, peeps). I’m going to peel away the layers of over-identification and let my full inner self shine.