You are not alone {Part II}

Last week, I wrote a post about the importance of community. A huge reason why we come to yoga is to connect with others--to show our vulnerability, and know that we are accepted and loved by the people in our lives. Truly there are not many experiences more powerful than the opening or closing om--your own voice gets drowned out in the sound and vibration of the collective voices, and you are reminded that you are connected to everyone in the room on a level deeper than you could ever explain. The Baptiste community specifically prides itself on being just that--a community of individuals who support, believe in, and learn from one another. We accept each other not despite our flaws, short-comings, and baggage, but rather because of them. We know that each one of us brings a whole load of baggage to the mat, but we learn together to drop it, and let our true selves shine. However, there is another side of the coin. When we are in a group, it can be easy to hide.  It can appear sometimes that we are really present and involved; we might come to the studio multiple times a week, know all the instructors, and most of the regulars, but be terrified by the idea of being alone. In this circumstance, we are coming to the studio not to connect, but to disappear. We fade into the group, and define ourselves by our membership to it, but once we leave, we are lost, and must find another group to disappear into. We have our "coworker-self" our "yoga/workout group-self" our "family-self" but we have no idea who our "self" is undefined by our relationships to others. The paradox here is that we cannot be a full, present, and empowered member of a group until we have a sense of who we are outside it. For many of us, this is an incredibly difficult concept to grasp. If you are alone, sitting on the top of a mountain, with no-one around, no phone to link you to social media, who are you? Are you still loved, supported, connected if you have no way of contacting another human being? HIKEThis week, I experienced this very situation. In the middle of the day, I set off for a hike. It was beautiful out--the best fall day of the year so far--and the trees were turning a thousand shades of yellow, red and orange. I realized shortly into my hike that I had left my phone in the car, and immediately was disappointed. I was going to miss out on so many great instagram opportunites!!!! What was the point of making it to the top if I didn't have a way to document it? I thought about going back, but instead, just continued on--a challenge to my social-networking addicted self. I was able to take in some beautiful sights and smells on the way to the summit, but the true beauty came at the very top. I could see miles of mountain peaks and valleys--my view was 360 degrees of pure October marvelousness--and there was literally no one to share it with. An interesting thing happened though, instead of feeling lonely, I was overcome with a sense of empowerment. I stood in tadasana, inhaled, and drank in the light. Never in my life have I felt more connected to nature and the world around me. From my toes to my fingertips I felt energy flowing, and was reminded that I AM ALIVE! Even standing on the top of the mountain, I felt loved and supported, and knew that in that moment, I was my truest, highest self. When we fear being alone, we miss out on an opportunity to truly connect with others. It is impossible to fully show up and be an active, nourishing, giving member of a community until you know that you are whole, complete, and abundant outside of that community. Yes, its true that we are never alone, but sometimes it can take learning how to be by ourselves before we can fully understand and appreciate that concept. Have a great week yogis! xoxo Sloane Follow more of my musings at http://strengthinfreedom.com
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Thank you!

Sloane Pitman on April 24, 2015

Insightful post!

Loveolution Austin on April 24, 2015

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