My day started off normal yesterday.
Wake up. Shower. Eat breakfast. Drive to work. Work for 8 hours. Rush home to get yoga gear. Eat a small snack on my way to practice. Swear a couple of times at horrible drivers. Find a parking spot. Talk to the instructor. Lay down my mat. Savasana for 5 minutes. Zone out. Become centered.
Sound familiar? I think so many of us "escape" into our yoga. We make it all about us. This is our time to have peace. To pay attention to our own bodies and forget about our job, our stresses, or the people in our lives. Time to just be in the present. And as much as I always look forward to it I'm starting to think that this isn't how it should be. Especially after last nights class.
Emilie is a fabulous yoga instructor at Moksha Dartmouth. She is great at walking us through challenging flows and really pushing us to dig deep. She is also really good at leading the class spiritually. She doesn't spout lots of spiritual mumbo jumbo but every once in a while she says something that really resonates with me. Or she does something completely unexpected.
Like partner yoga. At first it seemed harmless. She talked about how this week it was community week at the studio for the "Live Your Moksha" challenge that is going on and how we were going to incorporate that into our practice. At first we just had to introduce ourselves to our neighbours. Then we sat on our neighbour's mat, back to back to breath. Inhaling together. Feeling our partners inhale with our own. Everything is all good. Then we went to our own mats, did a few flows and the partner thing left my mind. Just when I'm starting to break a sweat she gets us to do another pose with a different neighbour. I will admit that I cheated the first time and sat with a friend. But this time I had to wrap my arms around a stranger while we did tree together. And I was surprised by how fun it was. We giggled the whole time trying to keep our balance and not knock each other over. Again this happened 3 more times throughout our practice.
I left that class with the biggest smile on my face. It was a lot of fun to enjoy some humor during practice and to also participate with the others in my class. So many times I see people, myself included, walk into the studio, not talk to anyone going in or out. I think it is important to be centered in our practice but to also acknowledge that we are sharing our energy with our neighbours as well. It was a great way to meet some of the other students that go to the studio and to have a few laughs.
So my challenge to anyone reading this, if you go to a studio, or even if you don't, introduce yourself to someone you see often. Whether that be someone at your office, at the coffee shop you frequent or someone that does adho mukha svanasana beside you every night. Share your energy with the people around you and trust me, it will make you smile.