I have been to another shala this week, certainly with mixed emotion. The only reason I have done this is because I’m having trouble scheduling my practice to fit into the time available at AYL.

It has got to the point at AYL that almost every day I am there I wait, then only do half a practice or make a decision to get to work late. This introduces stress into my practice, which isn’t a good thing.

None-the-less, I feel very conflicted about the change. I love the feeling of community at the shala, I love H and the assistants. I suppose I feel like I am deserting my teacher and that I should try to make changes to my routine in order to fit in to what might work at the shala, but at the end of the day, I really can’t.

As I am not in the position to make other people stop practicing at AYL or make the space bigger, I need to make other changes myself for the sake of my practice. I am reminding myself that it is my practice and I need to do what is best for me. How strong should an attachment to a teacher be? It feels odd to say ‘I am not going to practice with a teacher’ only because I can’t fit it into my schedule. So, at the moment I need to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages or practising somewhere else. Does loyalty to my teacher make up for the inconvenience and unpredictability of my practice at the moment?

My experience at TY hasn’t been bad this week. On the first day I didn’t get many adjustments, but fair enough. I would expect a teacher to want to see my whole practice before adjusting. As I understand it, the teacher is only covering for the regular teacher who is in Mysore for a couple of months. He had a whole room of new faces this week, so it will take him some time too.

Today was better, being recognised as somebody who is dedicated to actually turning up to practice (most of the time!). I got a good adjustment in Supta K and was held there for about 10 breaths, and also had an amazingly strong adjust in Baddha konasana, which is rather a ‘nemesis’ in my practice.

I also had a bit of a mental revolution today and whilst waiting for assistance to drop back I psyched myself up and actually did one on my own. In the past I have shied away from trying in case I fall because I am tired. Standing waiting I thought to myself ‘why am I not doing this on my own, I know I can, ok, it hurts a bit, but lets try….

Advantages which actually don’t really weight my decision include having 6 feet of space around the mat rather than 6 inches (ok, slight exaggeration), a reasonably good temperature, being able to have my glasses close at hand when practising, and of course, having a shower on site… There aren’t really any disadvantages other than having a different teacher, and having to get on the Central line!!!

But even after writing all of this my head is saying, do you really need to leave your current teacher?

How do I make the choice?