It is important to move on while you're still near your peak.
The best sports people know this, and duck out while they are top of their game.
The best politicians and leaders should know this, but often get sucked in by ego and stay beyond their welcome.
Finishing Yoga Teaching
I've taught yoga for over a decade, and I hope my teaching has improved during that time.
It's not all selfless of course, because the best way to learn something is to teach it, and my personal practice has improved enormously. I won't be teaching now, but I hope to practice regularly for the rest of my life.
But after 13 years, I have realised that I have given most of what I can give. The Pareto Principle - the '80/20 Rule' - applies here. I could go on learning more and teaching more, but we're into the 80% of the efforts to teach 20% new things.
So with an exciting project on the cards for me, taking me back to my passion of systems design and programming, it's time for me to go before I start to bore my students.
It was important not to leave my students in the lurch (and this applies if you are moving on from corporate jobs too). So I've found replacement teachers who I'm sure will move onwards and upwards from where I left off.
Students' Kind Farewells
I will really miss all of my students, many of whom I now regard as friends. It made me quite emotional after my last class, when I received so many kind comments in cards and emails.
I'm recording many here, so I can look back with happy memories of it all being worthwhile.
"Thank you so much for your teaching over the last year or so. You totally reignited my love of yoga and generally reminded me of my preferred approach to life. I was very lucky to find your class and I have benefited from it hugely."
"I just want to thank you for your amazing classes over the years. You are a truly brilliant teacher and your classes have been the sanctuary that I have needed."
"It was the best thing coming to your class. I have learned so much and improved my practise no end... I will miss your superb teaching and care."
"Without embarrassing you... you are completely brilliant. There is absolutely no way myself or others would have enjoyed or learnt so much without you. Quite simply twisting myself in knots has become a rather indispensable part of my life. Thank you so much for your patience and kindness and although I very much hope you find someone to take over our class they will not take your place."
"I just wanted to tell you how sorry I am to hear that you are stepping back from yoga teaching... I thoroughly enjoyed your classes and can genuinely say that you are the best yoga teacher I've had, and there have been many!"
"I couldn't let you finish yoga without saying a big thank you to you for being such a fantastic yoga teacher and I always felt very privileged to be in your class. I have been dedicated to yoga ever since."
"Thank you so much again for your amazing teaching."
"Many thanks Nick for your inspirational yoga teaching."
"Thank you for your inspirational teaching. After practising yoga for 20 years now, and Iyengar for 15, you've really made me make quite a break through and reinvigorate my practice."
"Really sorry that you're leaving us. When I started doing yoga I did so thinking that I needed to do some kind of exercise to stop my joints seizing up. I had no idea what yoga was. Over the years you have enlightened me and now it is a part of my life which is essential to my well-being. As you know I struggle with health problems and sometimes I could give in and not do practice but I know that this is not an option for me, so I've learned to modify what I do. I shall continue to do yoga for sure, whether at Blagdon or elsewhere. Many thanks for inspiring me."
"I will miss dearly your teaching style and approach... The great thing is that you’ll be no less a great Iyengar teacher by your career change... I’m personally grateful for your support over the years and thank you for helping me through various ailments (more than I’d bargained for!)"
"Oh no ! What a massive shame... i had only just started!! Good luck though - you’ll be brilliant at whatever you do -you are ace!"
"Many thanks for the past 3 years of great classes which have challenged us and kept us moving."
"Nooooooooo! We’ll miss your classes hugely. You’re such a good teacher!"
"I'm very sorry that you have decided to stop teaching yoga. Many thanks for all your help and encouragement over the years, I have enjoyed every class and know I have definitely improved some of my postures and retained my general well being."
"I've really loved your classes Nick - I've learned a lot in the short time I've been coming."
"Thank you for all your patient teaching. You have made a real difference."
"What a bombshell Nick! Is it really 13 years? I can remember… all sorts of lovely people, who have come (and gone) or come and stayed… I shall miss you and your lessons enormously."
"Thank you for your superb teaching and care."
"Thank you so much for the introduction to yoga - it has made a massive difference in so many ways."
"I have really enjoyed your classes and the company of the other students, and will miss them. Yoga has been great for me, unlike a few failed attempts at going to a gym in the past! Thank you so much."
"I just want to say how sorry I am that you are stopping, but thanks for staying so long! I have so enjoyed your classes. They are friendly and just challenging enough without being pushy. My back has really improved since I’ve been coming, so that I don’t need to keep going to the osteopath. It has been a pleasure to be with such a lovely bunch of people."
"Thank you Nick for your patience and encouragement over many years."
"Sad that it has only been a short time working with you, but thank you for setting me on the road again. I can see why the entire class is so sorry to see you go."