Yoga. Such a word evokes so many thoughts and impressions. Some people might think of Yoga pants, while others conjure up images of difficult poses, hot Yoga, a rolled out mat, or sitting in blissful meditation.
Yoga can be many things to many people. Taking the concept of Yoga and simply applying it one way as a one size fits all remedy is never what Yoga was intended to do. Cultivated by Yogic sages long ago, it was devised as a technology of harnessing the body and the mind to bring a higher awareness of self and the soul spark within. Try articulating that philosophy to many people, in this day and age of Yoga being a fashionable and money-making industry, and you might get a raised eyebrow as if you are trampling on their fitness craze or latest Yoga selfie.
For most people, the Yoga mat doesn’t often get rolled out at home. If it did, it would take a willingness to set aside the time, space, not look at the dishes, not answer the phone, etc… which is not the sort of discipline most people have. The majority of people who practice Yoga crave the trip to the Yoga studio, where this is a guarantee that 75 or 90 minutes will be devoted to Yoga without interruption or distraction of home.
The process of unrolling one’s mat in a Yoga community is very sacred. It is a ritual, a mindful and purposeful act. It requires planning and setting aside the time, creating a space during the week where the concept of harnessing the body and mind for a greater self and world matters. And not only that, it is the idea that the coming together to practice Yoga in a community is a collective experience that can generate positive energy. An intentional Yoga community is one in where the practice of Yoga has an effect on each person present, and raises the collective awareness through those moments together. It is a unique and wholesome bonding.
When I see students connecting and sharing before or after a class, I know those connections come from the shared experience of being part of the Soul Spark Yoga community. For some students, they have been a part of the community for a long time. They have cultivated the discipline to regularly come, not merely because it is a checkbox of something that has to be done but also because the Yoga community gathering (versus rolling out one’s mat at home) is an enriching experience. It is safe, a trusted environment, it is friendly, and it always feels so good to walk out the door and gather your shoes with that Yogic bliss together. You can also share your transformative experience with those around you, and hear their stories. That is the intention of Yoga: to cultivate change within and share it with those around you.
One message I share often upon closing a class is one of taking the peace we have achieved or experienced within the class and bringing it out to the world. This transformative power of having an experience only to cause it to blossom off the mat is what makes a community practice of Yoga vital.
We can bring peace within ourselves and share it with the world, one Yoga class at a time. But it takes a plan, to set aside the time and know that within you will grow, you will stretch, you will hear that voice within you with more clarity and share in that experience with others on the mat. What are you waiting for? Schedule your next class online and join us on your mat. The community awaits you at Soul Spark Yoga…