Through each of these posts in my 12 Years of Yoga series I have found a little more of myself and understood a little more about how much I need yoga each day. It is also helping me achieve one of my goals for this year, to write more. But today’s post also involves one of my other resolutions.
Earlier this year I wrote about letting go of a friendship. That was with Julie. Julie was an instructor at UCCS where I was teaching yoga at the campus rec center as a GA. She started coming to my yoga class after I was certified through YogaFit. In that YogaFit workshop I learned a lot about myself and it also built my confidence in many ways. I learned that I was doing a lot of the postures correctly and had more flexibility than I had been giving myself credit for. I learned how to sequence poses and build a class without doing the same thing repetitiously each session. I also learned about the emotional release that can come with yoga.
We were cautioned in our yoga training to avoid competition. We were taught to create an inviting environment where each person worked to their own ability. Yoga is a practice. That has stuck with me since my training, as has the idea that it’s okay to cry in yoga class.
During one class I was teaching it happened….Julie started crying. I talked through the experience and tried to make her feel as normal as possible about what was happening. And after class she came up to me, thankful and distraught. I wish that I could have her write the rest of this for you to read. I wish that I could explain what she was going through in a way that would be as moving as how she could tell her own story, but I can’t. I can’t do either of those things because Julie is no longer a part of my life. All I can tell you is this.
Julie came to me at a time in her life when she was suffering a lot of pain both physical and emotional. I was done teaching for the semester and wouldn’t be offering classes over the summer, so I took her on as a personal training client right before I was to leave UCCS. Our friendship grew quickly and she made amazing gains in so many ways. She was glowing, filled with happiness, yoga and fitness when I left Colorado. She seemed on her way to great things.
But life changed quickly for Julie. She had work issues, relationship problems, and eventually some serious health concerns to deal with. I tried my best to keep her in my life, keep her on the path I had helped her to head down, keep my friend shining. Julie went and took a teacher training too with the hopes of giving back to the yoga community in the way that she said she had received from me.
That was one of my proudest moments as a teacher….knowing I had touched someone in a way that made them feel the urge to provide yoga to others.
She enjoyed teacher training, but never ended up teaching. She lost her yoga way. I struggled for the last few years with how to maintain this relationship with her. I felt a deep connection and as if I had invested greatly in her. I felt that she would get back to yoga and I wanted to be there for her when she did. Julie went on to move out of Colorado and I visited her once in her new home back in November 2014. However, things were different. Her health and her situation had changed her physically, emotionally, and personally. Our friendship was strained and awkward.
She got married in 2015 and I tried very hard to let her know how happy I was for her, but I could tell that I was now part of an old life that she was trying to leave behind. I know that once she moved she did reconnect with her yoga, but that I was no longer a part of that. So, Julie became another step in my real life yoga journey…..another way to learn to let go. The friend I had to let go no matter how much I wanted to hold on.
What is the hardest thing you’ve let go of this year?