Simple formula for showing up to teach yoga class on time


Photo: No longer victimized by time, yoga teacher Ethel Farbstein lives the three "uals" 1. punctual 2. spiritual 3. unusual.

By Jennifer Thompson

The following formula improved the esteem of my yoga studio in our local community. My staff has stopped arriving late to teach class and all it took was basic math.

Formula for compassion

R x D + 20 min – Scheduled Class Time = Departure Time.

One of my yoga teachers, Ethel Farbstein, is very skilled and quite popular, but always arrived 15 or even 25 minutes late. The problem she said is that she, “lives like 45 minutes away.”

My compassion welled up inside of me. Sure, she was hurting repeat business, but the poor thing! It was just so sad that circumstances were so difficult for her.

I couldn’t be mad at her.  She even kept leaving early, before class was supposed to start. I couldn’t refund the students and adjust Ethel’s pay, because after all she was traveling so far! And sometimes there is traffic and that’s like an act of god.


Recalling the words of my guru, words that I can’t remember right now, I decided not to give up. I sat her down with a pencil and a piece of scrap paper and asked her to write down the following:

  • The rate of travel. How fast she will be moving, approximately or on average, during her commute? R stands for “rate” in the equation.
  • The distance that she plans on traveling. D stands for “distance” in the equation.

In her case she averaged about 20 mph. This was mostly urban driving. She lived 17.5 miles away. According to our math, it would take her about 53 minutes to arrive to class with time to spare.

  • Add 20 minutes to the estimated travel time.

53 minutes, plus a nice buffer of 20 minutes equals 1 hour and 13 minutes.

  • Subtract the above total from the start time of the yoga class.
  • Viola!

The resulting time is when it would behoove any professional worth their wages to leave for work. Her class starts at noon. So the magic number for Ethel is 10:47 am.

Phew, we got through that one.

I’m happy to announce that now she is no longer late except when she can’t find her iPod or has to wash her hair and stop for gas. Or that time she destroyed a birthday cake with ear candles.

I wish to thank my guru for giving me the calmness of perspective to grasp the tragedy of these human conditions and to find solutions to life’s most difficult quandaries, like respect and time management.

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