Deep in practice with a group of amazing friends, my own reasons for starting community practice with Satsangs came up. There are many. One is a podcast of Michael Stone’s (no surprises there). Before he begins the talk, he says that part of their community is experiencing a difficult time at the hospital, and that there is a card being passed around for people to write in and sign. The card will later be brought to the hospital on behalf of the community. Then he began his talk.
But I wasn’t paying attention. I was imagining the couple at the hospital and the deep turmoil and pain they must be in. I imagined the moment when they receive this gift, read the words of a group of people they have intimately connected with on a weekly basis in a completely unique way – not coworkers, not family, not friends per-se, or even really fellow hobbyists. A group of people who work together in compassion, support each other’s efforts, call each other out on their stuff, share a passion for being as whole-heartedly present and real as possible. I imagined how uplifted, if even for a moment, they would be.
Then I imagined how that would transpire at any of the yoga studios I taught at. I imagined how I would even know that something like that was going on with one of the students. I imagined how many times this very opportunity has been lost – for our yoga community to be there in a real way for each other’s lives.
And I imagined what we could do differently. Monthly Satsangs at Mala yoga are a part of that. There is still more. I believe it is possible for our yoga communities – all over the world – to step into deeper connection and relationship . I believe we all – not just teachers, although I believe teachers need to lead the charge – can evolve our yoga studios into yoga communities where we know much more than each other’s last names, number of children, and current events. Where we meet at more than partner exercises, workshops, yearly parties, and putting our shoes on. I believe in the nourishing, challenging, and uplifting effects of community – and our ability to make it happen.
“If civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationships – the ability of all peoples, of all kinds, to live together, in the same world at peace.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt