Yoga Has Changed My Life but I Had to Say Goodbye

I just returned from 10 days of vacation and business/pleasure travel. Sounds weird, I know! However, I love what I do for business so much that it feels like pleasure.


Over the past year, I have gone through some pretty radical changes, both external and internal.

  • I started a new business
  • I rebranded my website
  • I have done deep personal work that has completely transformed how I am showing up in the world and in my personal relationships
  • I have honored myself and chosen happiness
  • I have taken big risks and let go to get the love I desire


  • I quit teaching yoga….

Yoga has changed my life for the better and teaching yoga has felt like a huge part of my personal growth over the past 12 years.

I’ve always known that I am meant to be a teacher and a mentor.

When I was younger, I didn’t quite understand what that meant. Most likely, I was observing, sort of like how a good yoga teacher observes a class and modifies the sequence based on what the students need. My observations were more in the sense that I needed to understand how the idea of teacher and mentor fit into my life.

When I fell into teaching yoga, I had already been practicing yoga for about 7 years. I say that I “fell” into teaching because initially when I signed up for my yoga teacher training, I had NO intention of teaching. I was a full-fledged jewelry designer at the time, selling my collection to stores all over the world.


It’s amazing how I look back and see how mentorship has had such a huge impact on my life. Not only was my path as a jewelry designer spawned out of mentoring, so too was my path as a yoga teacher. My teacher, Clayton Horton, planted a seed, told me I was a “natural” at teaching and the rest is history.

Initially, teaching yoga was an outlet and a source of inspiration for me. Ultimately, my students became my biggest teacher. Learning from them and befriending them was so fulfilling.

Even the “haters” became my teacher. I remember when I first started teaching at Equinox, there was a fitness version of Yelp and someone gave me a mediocre review and then blamed themselves for their sub-par practice. After I got over the enormous ego bruise I felt (one of my friends didn’t even think it was a bad review) I “heard” what he said. I realized that it was ok if everyone wasn’t my student because the ones who loved me kept coming back. In fact, my lunchtime class on Fridays often had 45 people! That continually blew my mind.

The Universe had a different plan for me and the sign came in the form of a torn calf muscle in mid May just a few days before my birthday.

My annual karaoke birthday was even cancelled this year, which for those of you who know me:: This is a BIG deal. I kept resisting the fact that it was time to move on and the universe spoke. So if you take anything away from this post, please listen to the signs…they are all over the place. I didn’t listen and I spent 3 weeks on crutches and 6 weeks in physical therapy.

So it’s time to move on…

Dear yoga students, thank you for being my teacher for so many years. It is time for me to hang up my yoga mat and teach another group of yogis, my jewelry designers at F&TA. You have given me so much and I am forever grateful for your love, your support and for continually coming to class.

Recently one of my jewelry designer mentees sent me a beautiful necklace that signifies my numerology. I was born in an 8 year, the year of the Phoenix. As the story goes, “8’s” undergo many transformations throughout their lifetime and have an inherent talent for rising above the ashes via this cycle of reinvention. I have never felt more like an “8” in my entire life…the Phoenix is rising over here.

Please stay in touch. If you feel compelled, leave a comment below the blog and make sure you sign up for my updates.


  1. Chelsea Bond on July 18, 2013 at 10:08 am

    Good for you, Tracy! I too have been the person to not stop something until my body finally tells me to STOP! Congratulations on this next step!

    • Tracy Matthews on July 18, 2013 at 12:49 pm

      Chelsea! Thanks so much for your support! XXOO love! Tracy

  2. Colleen on July 18, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    I think of you and your classes all the time – your creativity and strength, and positive presence. i felt empowered in your classroom. no doubt you will carry over your many amazing qualities and skills into mentoring and beyond. congrats on taking risks and sharing your journey with others!
    lots of love

  3. Tracy Matthews on July 18, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    Colleen! I miss you. Thanks so much for your support!


  4. Shannon Geis on July 18, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    Hi Tracy,
    I’m glad everything is going well. I enjoyed reading this post and glad you are getting better and enjoying life! Sun Valley sounds delightful!

  5. Melissa Holmes on July 18, 2013 at 1:44 pm

    Tracy. I wish you all the best!! Thank you for sharing your story. Even though I haven’t been a regular in your classes lately, I will really miss your teaching (and having the option to attend your Friday Soho class). You really are a special teacher and mentor and I learned so much from you. Your teaching style is a rare thing, and I feel lucky to have had the opportunity to take your classes. I look forward to reading what you’re up to next- and hopefully someday working with you on another piece of jewelry someday. Take care….. xoxo

  6. Ashley on July 25, 2017 at 3:21 am

    Hey Tracy, Thanks for sharing your story.

  7. Cristina on August 3, 2017 at 2:55 am

    Hi Tracy, As you mentioned about yoga teacher in the article. I am a yoga teacher and I can understand. How to give the shape of student career, mind, body and soul and make his/her a strong decision making person.

  8. johncooper on February 21, 2018 at 6:33 am

    Hey Tracy, Thank you so much for your story. I really enjoying when i reading your story.
    Thanks again.

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