When You Are Not Someone’s Teacher.


Props for practice.

It’s taken me many years and an equal amount of work on my ego, but I finally have the lesson that we are not going to be everyone’s teacher.

It was with this recognition that I stepped away from my C3, or advanced yoga class at Corepower. I wasn’t fired. I was given the generous choice that I needed to make my class to be more like the others, or find something else that was a better fit. I chose me. I am too authentic to try and be anyone else these days.

I know it was a great disappointment to many of my students because I continue to hear from you and I’m grateful. Thank you for the love and support you have shown me over the years.

But it doesn’t change the fact that my teaching has evolved to a place that is perhaps no longer a fit with the C3 format. Nearly every week the managers in my room let me know that the class was different. I knew that, but I thought it was a good thing.

To be clear: I am a rules girl and I followed the rules. I adhered to the format of the “CPY 5.” I incorporated some flow. I brought in core work. My heat was low but in the range.

But within those parameters, I offered the very best of my education and passion for yoga. I taught advanced poses including the “pretzels.” I used props which often included a tape measure. I took students to the wall so they could work on skills rather than fear. I had hoped that I was bringing something new to my offering.

However, the bottom line is always this: numbers. The truth is (and again, the work I’ve done on my ego allows me to admit this) the class was no longer very popular with students. The room was full of teachers! If I had 30 people in the room, only 5 – 10 were students.

If your offering is not a fit with a studio, then a change has to be made.

I am grateful to Corepower for putting up with my desire for perfection, with my curiosity to go deeper into the poses and with my never ending love for my students which might include a lecture if they were not listening. You have to love someone a lot if you are going to take the time to yell at them. Most of the time teachers just walk away from the non-listeners.

Now Corepower has given me a new home where I can badger my students into being the yogis they are meant to be: the C1.5 for expanding beginners. I trust this will be a good fit.

Please join me at the Cherry Hills studio on Mondays at 10:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. where I will be your worst nightmare, and you will leave being more skilled than when you entered.

Meanwhile, Kindness Yoga has offered me a space to continue an Advanced Yoga offering for seekers. For now it will be on Tuesdays at 1:00 – 2:15 at the Hilltop location. Together, we will move safely into the deep.

I am not going to be everyone’s teacher. But perhaps, if you are interested in learning more and going further into your yoga without harm, then I will be your teacher.

Michelle Berman Marchildon is the Yogi Muse. She is an award-winning journalist and the author of “Finding More on the Mat: How I Grew Better, Wiser and Stronger through Yoga,” and “Theme Weaver: Connect the Power of Inspiration to Teaching Yoga.” She is a Columnist for Elephant Journal and Origin Magazine, and a contributor to 90 Monkeys, Teachasana and My Yoga Online. She is an E-RYT 500 with Yoga Alliance and teaches Hatha Yoga in Denver, Co. You can take her classes on www.yogadownload.com.