Cutting the Losses and Moving Forward


Over the years, I’ve read posts from the various Ashtanga blogs I follow where the ashtangi writes of losing their beloved teacher. Although I could never fully comprehend, the sadness expressed in their words was always palpable. Each of these ashtangis moved forward in their own way. Some moved to a self-practice, others found a new teacher/program. But life-on-the-mat, and off, did go on.

Now, it is my turn to face this dilemma. My teacher announced that she will be leaving us in 2 week’s time. My initial attempt to understand her decision went through a curious process of emotions. The morning after I heard the news, I got all choked up and teary-eyed during the morning chant, again while exiting Kapotasana, and once more while my teacher assisted me in Supta Vajrasana. The primary emotion I experienced was one of abandonment, although her decision to move on is nothing of the sort. Still, my deeply-buried hurt of my dad disappearing from our lives after divorcing my mom, in addition to the hurt from similarly painful events, came bubbling up from within. Sadness, anger, hurt… coursed through my being.

Then, it was gone.

At this point, all of us in the mysore room are wondering what will become of the program we have made our own. Will the program continue or will our dedication to “the practice” be challenged by the need to establish a self-directed home practice (or find another program in the area)? If the program will continue, who will be our teacher and what other changes can we expect? There are so many questions and not a lot of answers.

In the meantime, we are treasuring these last days with our beloved teacher.

One comment

  • Juls

    I originally wanted to title this post, “Chit[ta] Happens” — with the intent to play on a similar saying as well as describe the thoughts that flow into the mind AFTER such an ‘event.’ But it just felt wrong to do so, therefore it was originally posted as untitled. Please know that I’m trying to make light out of an event which remains a sensitive subject for me. Someday, I will look back on this and wonder what the big deal was.

    August 23, 2017

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