Lately, I’ve been feeling particularly grateful for Twist Yoga. Like, more than normal. Although I always feel a sense of gratitude for the studio, but in general, my pragmatic disposition (code words: fear of intimacy) tends to refrain from getting overly gushy and sentimental.
But something’s different these days. Just the other day, I was headed to the studio and I saw a happy dog’s tail wagging in the car in front of me. The sweet simplicity of the scene got me all kumbaya and teary, and I arrived at the studio full of openhearted gratitude for the community of yogis who gathered there.
And I’m not even premenstrual. What’s up?
(I must admit I’m not feeling this same sense of possibility at my other job as a public school teacher, where we’re on the cusp of weeks of tedious mandatory state testing. And, I think I speak for all Edmonds teachers when I say I’d rather stab my arm with a fork than sit through yet another endless day of training tomorrow on the district’s fancy new evaluation system, The Danielson Framework.)
But at the yoga studio, the feeling of freedom and gratitude is palpable. Perhaps we can chalk it up to our recent glimpses of spring and the presence of a Shiva-esque regeneration prana floating about. But more likely, I’ve been noticing: Noticing 1) Twist Yoga’s amazing sangha, 2) the community support that exists exponentially, and 3) generous gestures that allow me to add yet another check the “faith in humanity column.”
- Twist Yoga’s Amazing Sangha: You care. You are supportive. Your presence in the studio allows people to feel. You stay after class to lend a shoulder or helping hand. One specific example is how our community rallied around teacher Yvette when she was unexpectedly widowed. Teachers asked that their pay be given to Yvette instead of keeping it themselves. Alison taught a benefit class where our students gave generously. People are still donating. Beautiful. Thank you.
- Community support: There are too many instances to list here, but one that pops into mind is sweet yogini Laura H, who, although she receives nothing in return, volunteers to keep our towels clean and folded – I’m grateful, because she offered to help when she saw I was overwhelmed.
- Generous gestures: We are expanding next door…. On a serious budget. When I asked our teachers and support staff to lend a hand in the build out process, most everyone volunteered their time to help. And, when students got wind, some of them asked to come, too. I know weekend time is valuable, and I thank you for supporting the studio. You are truly a check in the faith in humanity column.
Many times over the past 15 years, I’ve asked myself why I love yoga. Everyone’s motivation for their practice is different, but how do I define this peculiar thing I do that entails tying myself in a knot, and watching my breath and my thoughts, and then lying down on the floor to pretend to be dead?
The answers vary depending on where I was in my life, but one thing has remained constant: I began practicing, and I continue practicing, because I am looking for…something.
That “something” has sometimes been ego-based, sometimes been a deep desire to ease my own suffering, but today, now, that something is our community.
That’s what I love best.