Have you ever walked into a yoga studio or event and felt like the kid in the lunch room holding their tray and looking around to see if anyone would welcome them?
My introduction to yoga was with teachers that were very down to earth and welcoming. I have tried to instill that in my classes. One of the things that drew me to yoga was that I did feel a sense of community, a sense of belonging. We need more of that in this time of disconnection and lack of verbal communication. Walk into a coffee shop and see how many people are talking? Not many…most are in their phones, tablets and laptops.
I have also experienced the opposite in yoga: that disconnected and distant attitude that permeates our society. I suppose underneath it all is fear. Fear of what is the thing to figure out.
Yoga is NOT…I repeat NOT…about being hip. I don’t care what kind of clothes you wear to class. I don’t care if you have tattoos or not, or if you have interesting beads or not. And I particularly don’t care if you can do an advanced pose or not. What I try to impart is a sense of feeling grateful towards yourself just for showing up and letting go of any idea of having to be an accomplished “yogi”.
Don’t get me wrong. I have some students that have really wonderful yoga clothing and it ads to the beauty of the moment but they are also very welcoming to others. These aren’t mutually exclusive: having a little style AND being friendly. But it’s the sense of friendliness and compassion that is the most important thing one can bring to class. Compassion for self and others.
What I hope to see are yogis greeting each other, laughing when they fall out of a pose, having conversations with each other…but quietly, so as to keep the calm vibe in class 🙂
I encourage you to find a yoga place where you feel welcomed…where you feel connected. Because that is DEFINITELY hip!!!