Tracey L. Kelley
Being a Yoga Tourist...Sort Of
Updated: Apr 27, 2020
It's important to try a variety of yoga styles and disciplines. Otherwise, you'll never know where "home" is.
Without question, I'll be one of the few teachers who tell you this.
Respecting the ancient lineage of yoga often means that when you start working with a teacher, you follow that individual to the end of your practice. This is critical thinking, as two of the few definitive ways to improve your practice is repetition and consistency.
There's also something valuable in expanding your knowledge by trying different styles, attending various workshops and retreats, and experiencing other teachers' methods if you'll continue moving forward in group classes.
Because yoga in the United States is, most certainly, a business (even donation-based classes relying on your goodwill to stay afloat), many teacher hesitate to say, "Go ahead! Leave and explore!" because they're concerned they won't have students. Valid point, and one I've sussed out in many ways.
Still, it always circles back to what's best for the individual. Not all styles will be your favorite--should you stay with an instructor because you like him or her but the style doesn't help you get to your point of bliss? Not really. Not if your practice is a priority for you. Conversely, a location that or teacher who might be convenient because there are more classes on the schedule that mesh with your availability--or price point--don't necessarily mean it's the right yoga for where you are in a particular moment.
I always encourage people who practice with me to try other teachers, studios, events, workshops, etc....Yes, some of them will leave and not come back. I may never even get an email or text later as a check-in, and I have to accept this.
However, it's more important to me that 1) they're practicing regularly with a teacher or style or in an environment or style which advances their practices and 2) they remember I always have their best interests at heart. If I can't fulfill your needs, find a style that or teacher who will. Your freedom in practice goes far beyond modifying a pose. And if they come back and choose to stay, then I'm certain they've found a yoga home which fits their needs in the moment. Hopefully it has less to do with the day or time of the week or a price point and more to do with how well we work with each other.
But if you've gone away, ping me and say hello! I miss you more than you know.