Connect with yourself to connect with others.
I love having to quiet the room when I walk in to teach a class (maybe you’ve observed how much pleasure I take in ringing the gong). I know many of you have built solid relationships with the people matting up next to you. I truly cherish the community we’ve built at The Glowing Body.
After college, I decided to stick around Knoxville even though I wasn’t from here (I had my eye on a fella). At that time, I had a handful of superficial friendships mainly with people from work. We didn’t really have much in common other than the job. I found it easy to build meaningful relationships in college but a little bit harder out in the real world. Where was I supposed to meet new people with similar interests?
At some point, I found myself at The Glowing Body doing yoga and not talking to anyone. Believe it or not, sometimes I’m shy. I was loving the yoga, though, taking lots of classes and the teacher training – it didn’t take long before I felt like I’d “moved in.” Eventually I made friends. At first, we only talked about yoga, then we started sharing our lives. As I practiced the yoga of connection with myself, I began connecting more to others around me. Those people then connected me to other people, who connected me to other people, and so on. Now, I see someone I know practically everywhere I go in town. I feel incredibly connected, plugged in, and supported (something I hear is helpful when raising a tiny human).
Yoga is all about connecting. The word “yoga” actually means “to yoke” or “union.” Typically we perceive this connection happening with one’s highest Self. But just as connection runs vertically between you and that Something Greater, it also runs horizontally between you and the folks around you. Syncing up with your highest Self means having a centered base of attention from which to reach out, thus enhancing relationships with others.
I hope that you continue to reach out. Whether it’s at yoga, your kid’s soccer practice, the break room at work, or church; you never know the impact a sincere “how are you” may have on a person. For those relationships that are more established (think: the strange beings you live with and love), practice yoga to be more present. Your practice becomes a service when it allows you to listen and respond mindfully, navigating relationships with greater skill.
See you on the mat,