pardon me while i get all yoga on you…
sometimes sanskrit is the only way of capturing certain sensations.
one of which, i felt after having a movie and plant-powered pizza party for friends made during our last 40 Days (of yoga, meditation and mindful eating) workshop.
what i felt was sangha,
a sanskrit term for a group of spiritually inclined people that gather and support each other’s unique way of navigating their way toward their best life.
civilians say it takes a village.
yogis say it takes a sangha.
a sacred space to check in and fill up,
with others who simply get it.
sanghas remind us we are not alone.
in them, we see our sameness, our struggles, our desire to shine within each other.
sanghas are sacred because they are rare.
they don’t only happen in yoga studios…
in fact, yoga does not make or guarantee sangha.
the people within the studios do.
sangha takes effort, off the mat.
getting together, listening, encouraging, sharing is what makes sangha.
studios certainly don’t have to organize sangha for you.
you can do that yourself.
with friends who do or don’t do yoga,
just ones who share a desire to create their best life.
sangha is essential because we can not do it alone.
our mind will get in the way every. single. time.
telling us we’re crazy for trying, we will never change, we are not capable.
we need sangha to step in and stop the madness.
a gentle reminder that others struggle too.
that this madness is normal. it’s part of the process.
a gentle nudge to simply acknowledge it and keep going.
however, sangha is not enough.
svadhyaya is kinda key too.
think of svadhyaya as self-imposed-for-the-rest-of-your-life-for-the-sake-of-becoming-your-best-self school.
it is a regular practice of consistently making an effort to observe and learn from others struggling and shining through life.
it comes in the form of books. podcasts. blog posts. workshops. and movies.
the movie of choice for our movie night.
i love that movie.
it makes me feel like i’m part of something big.
because yoga IS big.
it is powerful, useful and available to each and every one of us.
throughout every part of our life.
young. old. sick. limber. stuck. successful. injured. in jail.
(let’s hope that doesn’t happen, but if it does, after seeing this movie, you know that yoga can get you through that too 😉
i also love that it reminds me of my all-time favorite yoga lesson:
that all of this showing up and stretching
is ultimately preparing for us death.
all this breathing is really about dying.
sivasana, aka “corpse” pose, symbolizes the deepest surrendering, acceptance and hopefully, overwhelming sense of pride and well-being.
wouldn’t it be great to lie on your death bed,
truly at peace with what just transpired,
no matter what your age?
what a crazy, amazing, beyond belief adventure that just was.
and i nailed it.
on to the next one.
in every single practice (even the 5-minute ones),
we are given a chance to “practice” showing up,
being grateful for what we’ve got, where we’re at and what we’re capable of.
we have a chance to dabble, bobble, get it, not get it, then let it go.
we experience our strength, flexibility, capability and grace.
we sense we are not alone.
when it’s all over, we lie down and let the magic of all of those gifts and lessons ,
the ones that happened, right there on our mat, a moment to settle in our bones.
we feel supported. light. loved. happy. free.
thank you for being part of my sangha.
it doesn’t matter if you were actually at the pizza party.
sangha can simply be showing up for each other, via email, facebook, a chat after classs, a walk in the park, a thought, a prayer. it all counts.
(the goodness in me, sees and appreciates and learns from the goodness in you)
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