Oh! The embarrassment! You've just run into your yoga instructor (who does know you by name) at the local coffee shop. Greetings are exchanged and s/he exclaims that they've missed seeing you in class. You stammer out an explanation as to why you haven't been around for [insert time period here] and promise you'll be back soon. You hastily add that it's been good to see them, and flee with your iced mocha latte.
As both an instructor and a student, I see both sides of this dance. As a student, I know how difficult it can be to balance work, family, evening events for the kids, home, pets, and, well, life in general. As adults, our time is frequently not our own.
As an instructor, I've made a committment to be at class to the best of my abilities. I'm holding the space and opportunity for the students. I think I'm unusual as a yoga instructor - I do work a full time non-yoga job. It is not unusual that I have to find a sub for my noon classes due to a work conflict. I have only so much control over meeting schedules and locations. (I HEART my subs very much!) But! My current instructing schedule has been the same for the last 3 1/2 years. Pretty good, eh?
What I want to emphasize here is, when you run into your instructor out and about town, don't be flustered or embarassed because you've been missing! A good instructor, the one who knows you, will understand and accept where you are coming from or going to. When I see someone from class, I'm just happy to see that they appear to be well. They will either come back to class, or they won't, and either way is lovely.
So please, don't be embarassed when you run into your yoga instructor, or any other instructor for that matter. Come back to class when you can! It will be lovely to see you again.