Monday, August 26, 2013

No More Sunday Classes

Something happened yesterday that culminated in clarity and a call to action, finally, about my Sunday class.

When I started teaching on Sundays, over a decade ago, I figured it was temporary. I was newly a single mom with a young child and I needed the work, but also, I figured I'd set up house in the future with a new partner and we'd need the weekends together. So I'd just teach that class "for now." For now turned into months and years and that class grew and became an anchor for me, and for others, who would become the regulars.

So my life went on and people and situations in my life came and went, but I always had my Sunday class to come home to. And for a long time, it was Tuesday night, Friday evening and Sunday mornings. Those classes held me in place. In a good way. But they were always meant to be temporary as I knew life would want me to go away for the weekends sometimes, and not stay out so late to teach in general.

Finally, it happened! I've been with a man for a few years whose schedule is firmly in place and the time he has off is over the weekends. That's it. So if we want to go overnight or stay out late or visit people, it's going to happen on the weekend. Having Sunday morning right in the middle of it has been mildly inconvenient, but mostly for me. There's been no complaining or pressure from him to change my schedule.

With more yoga centres opening up and more classes around Ottawa, yoga classes aren't as full as they once were, which means they don't pay as well as they had in the past, if you're talking about a place that pays teachers per student, which describes many places. So looking at how much my entire weekend is worth to me means doing some math, like will I give up a whole weekend for $80? $60? Would I do it for $30?

When it's not about money, it doesn't matter. And it hasn't been about money for the whole decade I've led those classes. But that does factor in to the overall time budget and it's just something to consider.

Ultimately the decision to stop the class came from a past promise I made to myself, which I mentioned above. When the time came that someone wanted to spend that time with me in more important ways, I would make that time available. When I didn't need to do it for money, which I don't need to anymore because business outside of the drop-in class is great, I would let that class go.

Being a yoga teacher often means having an unusual lifestyle - unpredictable income flows, schedule fluctuations, split-shifts, working evenings and weekends - many of the hallmarks of being self-employed. When I make a vision for what I want my life to look like, I see having weekends free like the other people around me. I see being at home in the evenings for my daughter, who needs me home more now at that time than she did when she was five.

So when I teach weekends in the future, because I'm still a yoga teacher and still will need to work around other people's schedules to provide services, it won't be indefinitely. It will be for specific periods, not months turning into years, over and over again.

The timing of the decision means I've already led my last Sunday class. The next Sunday will be in September and that's the beginning of a new class schedule. My replacement was swiftly found yesterday and I'll support her in taking over that class. So no big good-byes or announcements, just a new teacher will take over. I think it's better this way. It would have been a pretty uncomfortable and emotional class if I'd known I was leading that class for the last time.

Of course, if time goes by and I miss teaching that drop-in class too much, I will pick it up again somehow, someway. But for now, I believe this is a cause for a celebration. Goal achieved!

In the meantime, if you want to take classes with me, you need to sign up! Next thing coming up starts in September for 6 evenings until the beginning of October. Using yogic principles in your daily life. Check it out at

If you really want a yoga class, I happily do regular private and corporate classes during the day, so get in touch with me directly to arrange classes like that. I drive out to all of my clients these days!