‘Yoga is not meant to live in the vacuum of a yoga studio, it’s meant to inform the way we live with each other and in the world.’
A fellow Baptiste teacher shared that perspective and it made me think of two things:
1- THIS is why I love yoga and our PYB community.
2- I never got that from all my hours on a treadmill at the gym (no offense to treadmills everywhere).
Over and over again I see yoga fulfilling on its definition to create union. It happens on so many different levels. On my own mat in practice, I have the opportunity to bring all aspects of myself together. My breath, mind, body, and spirit. The ability to do that is such a gift. Given the pace of life in 2019 plus my ‘type A’ achievement-oriented self, this is a necessary regrouping and a chance for me to begin again from a more centered place.
Treadmill, no offense to you. You have your purpose and I honor that. We spent a lot of time together! Mainly when I was in college working out in sweatpants (Lululemon, this was before your time) wearing a yellow Sony Sports Walkman and listening to a mixed tape. Pretty much the last thing I was thinking about was informing the way I lived with others and the world. I just really wanted to get off that treadmill and move on to watching Days of our Lives with my roommates and eating macaroni and cheese out of a box. Maybe someone could have an epiphany or a moment of deep connection with you (treadmill) or the person on the next treadmill- I’m not taking that out of the realm of possibility, but it just wasn’t ever going to happen for me. Treadmill, let’s be honest- I was never that into you.
I know it was the yoga practice and community that gave me access to remembering the bigger picture I already had a sense of. One of the most amazing things about the PYB community is its mix! High school and college students, doctors, journalists, athletes, Broadway performers, moms, dads, teachers, retirees, coaches, business people and EVERYONE(!) all come to practice together and are equal on their mats. When the heat is cranking and you’re holding warrior 2 one breath at a time, everyone around you has the ability to support you as we all do the work together. Truly coming from the place of ‘we are all connected.’ There is a palpable energy in the room as we sweat and move in our own practice AND together. It doesn’t matter if the person next to me has a ‘better’ pose or a totally different background. What I get from them in those moments is their energy and who they are being for themselves and for me.
This is where yoga starts to inform the way we live in the world. What if we looked at every person as an asset, just for the human being they are? And what if I considered that I am an asset too and have a contribution to make just for the human being I am? Achievement is great, but who we are being for ourselves and for others is even more powerful. That’s yoga.