Updated: Jul 3, 2022
Yoga is all about community. Building a place where others feel welcome and safe is key to any healing arts place of practice. Sun Salute Yoga was my studio for five years. Four of those years we were voted 'Best Of' by our community. When a group of powerful individuals meet together in a shared space and have a common experience it can build an indelible bond. When configuring our studio, I took into mind creating a sense of belonging and safety. o
A safe place is where others can be free of self-doubt, worry and fear. We have all been in a place where we felt different, not fitting in or one of the 'it crowd'. I could be at work or socially. At those times we did not feel safe to be our authentic self. I hoped to create the opposite of that at my studio. To do this it would require freedom from expectation and judgement. Two very challenging practices to put into place. However, it was key to creating that community feeling.
In Yoga Nidra teacher training at the Amrit Institute, it was taught that in order to relax, one had to feel safe. Once one had relaxed, transformation could occur. I helped facilitate that at the studio by many means. One of the most helpful was studying how to be an effective team builder. Working with people rather than trying to lead them. The students felt ownership in the studio. It was their studio and students where meeting outside of the studio for social groups and building friendships.
Taking the time to speak with someone, engage them in a conversation, even though you only see them at the yoga studio is an investment in your community. We cannot do life alone. At some point we will need community. Folks to help us when we need it, even if we don't know how to ask for it. We all need someone at one time or another to keep us feeling lonely, even if most of the times we tend to be independent.
It is traditional to have the room quiet before a class begins. With respect in mind, I disagree with this. I was a busy room, where the community is visiting and catching up. People are hugging and laughing. We can be quiet during class. Let's get to know each other, see what we have in common, how we can help each other. Life is cumbersome and awkward. We need others around us that can share the feeling that were not alone. We have a community of others that we can help and who can count on us. It just takes the right environment and that feeling that it is going to be safe to open up to others.
To me, this is community and what I try to create in my work and recreation.
What to you do to create this idea of a community?
What can you do?
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