What happens when we leave our students behind?

As a passionate, and still fledgling yoga teacher, I am faced with leaving behind the yoga community I have built up in a small, rural Bavarian town, and moving on to new horizons.  In the culture that is inventing itself around yoga in the West, this is a growing phenomenon: teachers leaving their home-Sangha to head into the maelstrom of the international scene, to lead retreats and yoga travel or appear at international conferences and festivals. 

My reasons for moving are more modest than many of these, however the questions that arise, regardless of motivation are the same.

What do we owe to our students? 

What is the nature of the contemporary student-teacher model and the value of this relationship, that is developing in the modern, western Yoga world? 

To what extent should we stay put to nurture and guide? 

When is the right time to take flight and pursue our own growth and expansion? 

And, perhaps most importantly, how do we honor the connections we’ve made, the bonds we’ve formed and the trust that was exchanged in our time learning from each other?  

These are questions that I haven’t yet found answers to, but am turning them over, as slowly and mindfully as I can, and hoping for some answers to ripen.  The ideas I’ve had, from most obviously supplying lists with good Yoga alternatives in the area, to organizing a rollicking, heart-expanding goodbye-class seem trite in the context of even such a short time as the almost-three-years I’ve spend with these wonderful souls. 

I want to pay homage to their trust, to their willingness and to their steadfast showing up. 

I want to thank them for everything they have taught me. 

And now for their generosity in letting me go so lovingly.

I somehow want to show them how instrumental they have been in shaping the me that is taking flight now, how infinitely they have grown my heart, and how deeply they touched it.

I trust that this gratitude will reach them through the ethers, that I will let them go with as much love as they me, and that I will still throw a rollicking goodbye-class-party just in case.


photo credit: elena alger www.elenaalger.com


Lisa Dietrich

Chief Editor

Movement, travel and Yoga have been a constant and defining part of Lisa's path, which has led her, with many colorful detours in the arts, life in New York City...

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"When all was done, I felt stronger, not just physically, but also mentally and emotionally. I felt a deep sense of connection to self and to all living things. I felt refreshed, revitalized, brighter, lighter, more whole and complete." -Sally


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