Making space and letting go

Posted by on Oct 9, 2016 in Harpenden yoga, Honesty | 14 comments

Last Monday morning I threw up shortly before leaving the house to go and teach. At 24 weeks pregnant, I haven’t totally put aside the sickness I had earlier, but it’s much better than it was. The tiredness remains and I need a daily nap.

I arrived at the venue feeling less than great and tried to start preparing the room for class around groups of mums and toddlers glued to the floor chatting at the end of their children’s weekly dance class. I found myself sweeping grass and mud that had come loose from one toddler’s shoes. An awkward conversation with the dance class teacher followed.

As my students settled into the space and found their breath, I sat at the front of the room preoccupied. Is this all really worth it? Why am I doing this?

And then it was a lovely class. Two women had come for the first time, new to yoga, and their smiles and kind words at the end provided answers to my ponderings.

The future of my weekly classes

But having spent time this week thinking things through, I have decided to stop teaching my weekly classes at the end of this month, coinciding with the start of my third trimester.

It hasn’t been an easy decision. I’ve been teaching for over six years now, firstly in London and then locally in Hertfordshire for almost three years. It takes time to build classes and reputation and I am attached to all my students. I love teaching you. I feel a duty of care towards you. I enjoy hearing about your daily lives. But I need to let go. I need to make space for the next phase of my life.

At the end of Monday’s class, one of you said to me that I shouldn’t continue teaching on your account. I know this is true.

I had previously thought I’d take a maternity break but I’ve decided to wholeheartedly hand the classes over to another teacher. I don’t want the pressure of thinking that I need to get back to teaching every week after x number of months. I know I’ll come back – but in what form and where – who knows?

Yoga teaching is what I know. I know what I’m doing. It’s safe. But caring for a baby human? Many of you have told me how wonderful motherhood is, and I can try my best to be prepared, but it really is totally unchartered water. I need to accept that my future life will be very different. I need to make space to prepare and focus on my own practice.

My teacher Norman Blair talks about how we must stay at our ‘growing edge’: if we’re behind our edge, we get bored. Things are predictable and comfortable. Go beyond our edge, and we panic and become fearful as we’re way out of our depth. We need to stay at this edge in order to grow as a person. We need new experiences and challenges to push ourselves. Hello motherhood!

Teaching/class plans post October 2016

Niki Clark and I

Niki Clark and I

The lovely Niki Clark will take over teaching the Monday and Thursday morning classes from 31 October onwards. I know you’ll be in safe hands. I will no longer teach the Tuesday Mysore Ashtanga class fortnightly. April will go back to teaching this weekly and has her own plans for this class.

I will however continue teaching my yin workshops at BAYoga in Berkhamsted for the rest of the year (Saturday 5 November and 3 December) and you are very welcome to book a place. April will cover the yin workshops at BAYoga from January – May 2017 and I plan to resume teaching these from June onwards (fingers crossed).

April and I will continue to send our email newsletter so please look out for this for updates. If you don’t receive this and you’d like to, email April.

We will go for a cuppa after my final classes on Monday 24 October and Thursday 27 October so please feel free to come along if you’re local and available.

Thank you to everyone who’s come to class over the past few years and let’s just simply be open to what the future holds.

 

The Open Door by Danna Faulds

A door opens. Maybe I’ve been standing here shuffling my weight from foot to foot for decades, or maybe I only knocked once. In truth, it doesn’t matter. A door opens and I walk through without a backward glance. This is it, then, one moment of truth in a lifetime of truth; a choice made, a path taken, the gravitational pull of Spirit too compelling to ignore any longer. I am received by something far too vast to see. It has roots in antiquity but speaks clearly in the present tense. “Be,” the vastness says. “Be without adverbs, descriptors, or qualities. Be so alive that awareness bares itself uncloaked and unadorned. Then go forth to give what you alone can give, awake to love and suffering, unburdened by the weight of expectations. Go forth to see and be seen, blossoming, always blossoming into your magnificence.”

14 Comments

  1. Congratulations and good luck Clare. I taught Pilates till I was 40 weeks pregnant with my first child. I even battled on through, hobbling along on my crutches with SPD!! When I look back on it now, I wish I hadn’t tried to please everyone and I had put myself first. Rest up lady, motherhood awaits you and it’s a beautifully exhausting journey. Love and Best wishes. Xxx Ellie ☺

    • Thanks Ellie. Much love to you and the gang xx

  2. Clare, such lovely words and so brave of you to take the leap into the unknown. Nothing prepares you for motherhood but by removing external pressures you are allowing yourself to fully appreciate the new chapter in your life.
    All the best, Sheena

    • Thank you Sheena. How lovely to hear from you! Wener xx

  3. Hi Clare

    Your new baby is so fortunate to be dropping into this world with you as Mum .

    Your yoga will be waiting for you whenever you’re ready .

    Love and best wishes .

    Martin

    • That’s a lovely thing to say Martin. Thank you and I hope to see you soon. Much love xx

  4. A wise choice – from a proper grown up girl with new responsibilities on the way…..

    Much love as always

    Yer Dad x

    • Thanks Dad. Xx

  5. Dear Clare

    I have so much joyed your classes even though I have only started recently. I will really miss you and your lovely smile but something wonderful is coming and it is time
    to move to another part of your life. I was once told by my teacher in Suffolk that yoga never leaves you! When you are ready it will be waiting as I’m sure you know.

    Thank you Clare.

    Love
    Carol x

    • Thank you Carol, I’ve very much enjoyed having you in the class. I’ll miss your smiles in the back row! Xx

  6. Hi Clare, you are always there on Tuesday’s ashtanga classes, does not have to be physically. Such a great timing for letting go, just grab your woolly socks, coat and hat and be part of that beautiful autumn scenery, so inspiring for your new life episode.
    All the the best Clare! Jitka

    • Thank you Jitka. Sending you much love xx

  7. Wise, lovely Clare.
    Good luck with your new chapter.
    Hope to see you at BAY for one of your remaining yin afternoons?
    Laura xxx

    • Thank you Laura. I hope to see you there too. Xx

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