Let it go

Losing classes and letting go. By Paula Hines

Earlier this year I lost a class. That sounds like I mislaid it, but this wasn’t quite how it went.

Self-employment can be precarious at times, regardless of the field of work you are in. Part of its nature is that work is not guaranteed and that regular work can be lost at a moment’s notice, and this is something that one becomes accustomed (or at least, resigned) to over time.

Anyone who teaches yoga classes for any establishment such as a gym or a studio most likely knows this first-hand. In this instance, the class in question was a weekly one I had taught for about five years with 20 regular students.

I was actually out of the country when I received the news: I was away for one week and had arranged class cover in my absence. It was one day after lunch when I decided to check my emails that I saw a message had arrived from the gym .The three-line email informed me they had decided to run the class internally (i.e. taught by someone on the staff payroll) .This decision was completely understandable from an economic point of view, as it would be cheaper for them.

However, from my point of view it was disappointing, not least because I was not told face-to-face (more on this later), but also because the lack of a notice period meant that I had in fact, unknowingly, taught my final class the week before and would not have the opportunity to say goodbye and thank you to the dedicated people who had practiced with me over the past five years.

For one thing, it is a lesson in non-attachment.

Because this has happened to me before, I found that this time I felt able to let go much more easily. The thing I find most sad is not the sudden loss of a chunk of monthly income, but a pattern I have discovered to be all too common: a reluctance to give news like this to teachers face-to-face. When I have spoken with other teachers, it seems most have experienced the same and would also have preferred to be told in person or at least via a phone conversation.

I get it, being the bearer of bad news is difficult, but I find that fair communication and transparency does end up being better for all involved in the long run.

Paula Hines is a London-based yoga teacher and writer (ucanyoga.co.uk)

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