This is just to let my friends and students know that I will be leaving New England soon and heading west where my son John has invited me into his family. It does seem that turning eighty might be a signal to retire. But I had a good run – thirty-five years teaching Yoga and meditative movement. What a blessing!

I’m happy that my retirement will now allow me time for all three daily practices of Yoga and QiGong. This wasn’t always possible while I taught morning and evening classes. So now I look forward to supper, joining the rest of the world at the dinner table instead of rushing off to classes. Still I’ll be thinking of you during my practice.

Since my keyboard travels nicely, I will work on improving my technique and, once again, commit to memory those classical pieces I’ve always loved. I will continue to write because I have to. I am compelled by my Irish genes. A love of words comes with the heritage. Writing is easy – publishing not so much.

I sincerely hope you will continue your practice, on your own or with a new teacher. Yoga truly is a Journey toward Awakening. Our awakenings enrich our lives in so many ways. I am saddened to see Yoga being reduced to just another fitness craze because the practice has so much more to offer. In this respect, Siddhartha Gautama has much to teach us. His life was a struggle and he made a lot of mistakes in his journey toward becoming the Buddha, the Enlightened One. After years of fasting and austere Yoga practices, he was close to death when finally, accepting the offering of rice porridge, he was restored for that beautiful meditation under the Boddhi tree. “All beings have the capacity for awakening”, he said as he began his teaching. He attracted many followers but that wasn’t his goal. His message was: Be your own light. I feel that, especially in our era, it is not enough to be a follower. Your time has come.

Of course I will miss you all. Carry on, be good to yourself, keep the faith and, in its truest sense:

Love and Peace,


2 replies
  1. Betty Poole
    Betty Poole says:

    Thank you Valerie for this wonderful farewell letter to all of us. I do hope you find some Yoga to teach in your new home area as you are blessing to all who meet you. How I will miss you and the wonderful classes I have been blessed to take with you. Thank you, thank you, thank you.


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