You are not alone.
The power in community is a topic that many, many writers before me have addressed, from just as many perspectives. Anthropology, sociology, biology, psychology, religious texts, and literature have all some to the same basic conclusion: We need other people. We humans, at our core, are social, interactive creatures who cannot survive without the support of another group of humans. Our desire to connect to others is one of our strongest innate feelings. It is a primal instinct that affects our behavior just like our instinct to feed ourselves, to quench thirst, and to sleep. There is a place inside all of us, most likely our most vulnerable, raw center, that is constantly yearning to be seen, validated, and mirrored. Ideally, the yoga studio is a perfect place to foster human connection and create community. We all come to our mats full of baggage, and use the power of breath and asana to release all that garbage, drop our egos, and allow that center of vulnerability to shine! Through the poses, we learn to break down our barriers to love and live authentically: imagine the power that is created when an entire roomful of people are engaged in this practice at the same time! This weekend, I was reminded of this awesome power. I've been working on my home practice quite a bit lately. After spending more than a year practicing and teaching 2-3 times a day in a studio, moving to a new city where I was not connected to a studio was a difficult transition. While it was a good practice for me to learn that I can give myself what I need, I've missed the sound of 30+ breaths going powerfully at once. I've craved the feeling of a final om. I've needed to see that others are struggling as I struggle, and wanted to celebrate breakthroughs and triumphs! Therein lies the true beauty of practicing in a studio and inserting yourself into a community of yogis. Yes, it is beneficial to have a teacher lead you through a sequence, and assist you safely into poses. Yes, you may feel like you are getting a better workout in the heat rather than at home. But what truly transforms us in the studio is seeing and feeling that we are not alone. We are touched by others' energy. We are seen. We are LOVED. Have a wonderful day yogis! xoxo Sloane Pitman