Yoga is something we do for ourselves — it is also something we do for other people.
Lucy Edge blogged at Elephant Journal about the yoga of friendship, writing:
I wonder if perhaps we yogis make friends so easily because yoga slowly peels back the layers of self protection – we gradually drop our notions of who we ought to be, or who we want to be, and we stop worrying about others’ notions of who we ought to be or want to be. Sooner or later it begins to transform our relationship with ourselves, and in so doing it transforms our relationships with other people.
It makes sense. While yoga is a solitary pursuit in some aspects, it is also a practice that brings us into a community of like-minded people, in a space without judgement. As we strive to do our best and move towards “unity” with ourselves, we are also cultivating the attitude and open-heartedness we need to foster unity with other people. Yoga teaches us skills that promote the forming of deep, meaningful friendships.
Many (most?) of my dearest friends are fellow yogis — whether students, teachers, or classmates. Every year Yoga Holiday With Paul brings together a mixed group of yogis, many of them strangers, and by the end of the week everyone is fast friends! It isn’t just the holiday atmosphere either. I always get a kick out seeing people hang out in the studio before and after class, taking the time to greet each other and catch up. Even when students only see each other a couple of times a week, or have a few minutes to chat, there is a real warmth and connection.
I’d love to hear your stories of friendships formed in the yoga studio! Please share in the comments.