I’ve been practicing ashtanga with my teacher Matt since it all began in 2007. I saw him on an almost weekly basis. Sometimes, I’d make it to class twice a week if I wasn’t traveling for work. Sometimes, it would be 3 weeks away from the studio if we had a particularly busy month.
He saw me through the ups and downs of thyroid disease (twice!). He saw me through my pregnancy. I felt encouraged and challenged and supported. He’s not only my teacher; I consider him my friend. My kid is a few months older than his daughter, so we’ve been able to compare notes along this parental journey. And, ya know, he’s a pretty cool guy in general, and his wife is incredibly nice and a wonderful person too.
After next week, he’s stepping into full-time stay-at-home-dad land. I’m super sad about this (selfishly), but I completely understand and support him in this next adventure and have only the best wishes for him and his family. Staying home with 2 kids under 2 is a yogic challenge all on its own, so more power to him!
All this to say that I’ll soon be teacher-less. Not that I don’t have a plethora of very qualified and lovely teachers in Austin to learn from, but it will be different, especially for my ashtanga practice. I’ll be starting over in developing a student-teacher relationship with someone who doesn’t know my background, my struggles and my limitations. I intend to continue practicing ashtanga with his replacement because as I’ve learned from my time at the Ashtanga Yoga Confluence, there is still so much I can learn from other teachers.
Matt, if you’re reading this, thank you and good luck! I’ll keep the ugly crying within the privacy of my home. Your humor, laid back attitude and friendly approach have always been huge assets. I knew I could always bring friends new to yoga to your class – and that you wouldn’t scare them off! It’s been MY honor to study and practice and breathe with you. We’ll find ways to still hang out. Our kids haven’t gotten to go on a big first date yet after B’s vomiting instance at L’s birthday, so we’ll try again.