BIG NEWS!  It’s 2010! I moved to Boston in October 1999, on the cusp of the millennium, 10 years ago.   I taught a yoga class the very weekend I moved to town, even though I was sleeping on my friend Mel’s couch without an apartment of my own.   I’ve pretty much taught every week that I’ve been in town since then :)

These 10 years have flown by.   Some of you I’ve been practicing with for that entire time, which kind of blows my mind.  A lot has happened in my yoga life in this decade, and it’s been fun for me to reflect on it over the last few days.

I took my first teacher training in 1997, started teaching in 1998, and became certified to teach in 1999.  I was still pretty new to teaching when I moved to Boston, but then, a lot of people were new to yoga back then, so it wasn’t that scary to just jump in and try it out.   I *still* have the sheet of paper that I kept notes on for my first weeks of Sunday morning classes!

From 2000 to 2005, I worked part-time in public health and part-time teaching yoga.  I was very happy to have the stability of a desk job with a fixed paycheck, but the flexibility to teach as many classes as I could.  I learned a lot about teaching through those years, and did a lot of training.

In 2001, I started to spend a good chunk of the winter time in Costa Rica, with my teachers.  I got my advanced certification, and assisted in teacher trainings for a few years.   I also got away from Boston in the most frigid time of the year, which probably helped keep me here this long!   I do much better with the winters now, and though I haven’t gone to Costa Rica since 2005, I’ve continued to travel every someplace warm every winter since. I credit yoga practice with helping me realize that I have to be *proactive* in the wintertime, and find ways to not get too SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).

Finally, in 2005, it became clear to me that I was ready to teach full-time.   I spent 6 months planning with a business coach, developing a website, and visioning how I wanted my career to look.   It’s been challenging, but totally fantastic as well.   Though I’ve doubted at times, it has only been out of fear of the unknown future, not because of a bleak present.   I’ve finally just fallen into trusting that teaching ROCKS, and if it stops rocking at some point, I’ll make a new plan.

In these 10 years, I have taught in SO MANY different studios and locations, though happily, I’ve settled here in Cambridge and do a lot less travelling now than I used to.  From renting space – who remembers the church in Davis Square (actually 2 churches, 1 chiropractic office, and a basement private studio)? – to working in gyms and offices and private homes, I’ve done it all.  At least it feels that way.   I remember saying to someone once, “I think I’ve gotten to the point where you could wake me up in the middle of the night and ask me to teach a class on the moon, upside down, and I could do it.”

There’s definitely been thoughts over the years about starting a studio, but wow is it tough.  Not only is it difficult financially to pay the bills and pay your teachers well, but it’s also just tough on your personal practice.  The more you administer, the less you teach.  So, I’ve looked to projects that are a little more creative, and a little less scary than starting a studio.   The Yoga Odyssey is the big one.   I’ve been offering it for 2 years now, and it’s SO FUN.   I’m planning to offer a teacher training this year as well, and some other fun products to sell on my website.   Stay tuned!!

Two months ago, I took a business workshop.  In one part, we were doing some visioning.  With a partner, we reminisced about where we were 10 years ago.  I talked about many of the same things I’ve written about above.  Then, we visioned 10 years from now, and it was awesome to think about 2020, and where I’ll be then.   I don’t know the details, but I know I’ll be practicing and teaching yoga!

Love and light, and Happy New Year!

Barrett (on the mic playing Rock Band New Year’s Eve)