We Belong To Each Other
I think everyone wants to be intrinsically motivated to always make the best decisions for themselves, but we are complex creatures, aren’t we? Even the most well-intentioned people are vulnerable to distraction, laziness, or other unhelpful impulses. Surrounding ourselves with people who share our ideals can be a safeguard against those base instincts and keep us on track.
This is why it is so important to be a part of a yoga community if you have the goal of maintaining a regular practice.
I don’t mean that you should have friends who shame you when you slip up. To the contrary, shame, in my view, isn’t an effective motivator for positive change, at least not long term. I mean that we all need partners who support our journey. We need friends who drop us a line when we’ve been M.I.A. We need people who care about our practice because they know *we* care about our practice. We need people who hold us accountable through love. Yoga is hard. We need people around us who get it. Without that, this practice, and life itself, would be too much to bear.
In that way, I think yoga is very much a communal practice. Even though we alone take the steps of our journey, our teachers and fellow students are right there with us, compelling us to keep going and become better versions ourselves. They say the practice itself is transformative, and I know from experience that is true. But I do wonder if, in the long run, the communities we become part of and the relationships we forge aren't just as much of a catalyst for growth.
After all, how many of us would even still be practicing without caring people helping us navigate the challenges we face? I know I wouldn’t be! I definitely owe my longevity in the practice not to just myself, but also to the connections I’ve made with incredible people who remind me why I practice in the first place. I *want* to be a part of the Ashtanga yoga community, not only because I believe in the method, but because I love the people and they love me back.
We belong to each other, in life and in yoga. Find people who keep you coming back.