Over the past month or so I have noticed a trend in potential students asking me to teach classes at a different time of day, on a different day or even in a different neighborhood. They are siting these three variables as a reason why they can’t come to one of the classes being currently offered. They say things like, “When are you going to offer classes in Hyde Park?”, “I am a morning person, would you offer a morning class?”, “I play golf on Tuesdays, can you teach on Wednesday instead?”, etc.
The answer to these questions (at least for now) is: no. Until my current class schedule is jam packed with students I am not going to offer new classes. And it’s very unlikely (though you never know) that I am ever going to offer classes on the other side of town.
And here’s why…
I have built my life around my home practice. I practice 6 days a week and those hours on the mat take up time. And there’s only so much waking time one has per day. I spend the hours not on the mat tending to family obligations, work obligations, and household chores, like cutting the grass. My schedule is very busy. If I add an hour round trip commute to Hyde Park, to teach once a week, that’s an hour I need to take away from one of my other obligations. I am not going to practice less and I cannot take time away from my work obligations so it would likely come out of the time I spend with my family. (And that’s not going to happen.) If I earned enough money teaching that I didn’t need to have another job then I could get rid of the JOB and teach more. But that’s not going to happen either.
I have built my life around my practice because I have found the practice of asana, pranayama and yogic principles to be endlessly challenging and fulfilling. My practice has brought me vast transformation and with that peace in my heart. But I have also structured my life around my practice because that is what I think I need to do in order to be a good teacher. (In my opinion) a yoga teacher needs to have become transformed through the practice of yoga so that they can teach students how they also can become transformed. The home practice is where the transformation occurs so therefore a teacher needs a dedicated home practice. My teaching certificate deems me fit to teach but it’s my home practice that actually makes me a qualified teacher.
If you also consider me to be a qualified teacher, and have some interest in Iyengar Yoga, then you should find a way to attend my classes for awhile. I use the word ‘awhile’ here to say that it takes awhile, at least a complete session (6-8 weeks), in order for the potential student to determine if yoga is for them and to start to see the beginning of a change.
I am not saying that the potential student needs the willingness (or even the interest) to practice 6 days a week, like the teacher, like I do. The potential student just needs the willingness to leave work on time in order to arrive on time for their one class per week for 8 weeks in a row. That is all. This could mean that the potential student needs to change their schedule in order to arrive on time every week.
So, in a sense, I could be asking you to change your schedule.