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Goodbye letter from Tara Burke

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Dear Beloved Community at The Space Above,

In one week, I’ll be heading off in two cars with my partner, our 4 dogs, and a cat to Moriarty, New Mexico. All of our belongings will be a few days ahead of us, packed and labeled and inventoried for safety in a large 18-wheeler with other people’s belongings – many families, many destinations, and much, much bubble wrap.

My partner is from New Mexico, and when we first met here in Hampton Roads almost 6 years ago, we spent a summer month exploring Moriarty, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and the surrounding, expansive landscapes between. I fell in love with the Southwest – I’ve only ever lived in Virginia – and she rekindled her love of home. As our relationship grew, we always talked about moving there to settle down, and now it’s finally happening. Career changes, life changes, home and place, people, weather, landscape, sky – all will change and transform as we uproot what we have and begin to replant. We will put down roots almost 2,000 miles from the land that has given me ground since I was born.

All of this is to say, the way I practice and teach yoga, the yin of it and the practical, yet spiritual philosophy of it, has been tested these past weeks as I’ve shared my life and destination with so many people, shared goodbyes and memories, tears and laughter and joy. I have learned so much from my family of teachers and students at The Space Above. I have seen so many of you in postures and in breath, in relaxation and in sweat, and your joy and presence has taught me how to be more awake and welcoming to each and every excruciating second of our lives. To let go of expectations. To hold the feeling a little longer. To breathe and stay, just to see what happens. It’s been tough saying goodbye to you, and to truly face the reality of this change. A change we have wanted so badly and, now that it is here, is fraught with conflicting emotions, both joy and anticipation for what is to come, and pain for what I am leaving behind.

I am leaving behind a place that has nourished me and allowed me to be who I am, so that I could encourage all of your beautiful bodies and souls to also allow. To be who you are. Nothing more, nothing less. This is what I want for us all. Not handstands or deeper twists, flatter bellies or perfect, peaceful minds separated from daily life. It is for us all to recognize the practice of simply being in the muck of it, and to know that we are all healthy and perfect just as we are. Breathe into this. Begin here. And then here. Again and again surrender. We already are that which we seek.

And to Lisa and Gayle and Kim and all the teachers at The Space, you have given me more than you could ever know.

DSC_6284sThank you. Be joyful! Throw your limbs around until you laugh and cannot stop.



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