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The Importance of Community. By Meredith Hesse

Webster’s dictionary defines community as “A body of people having common rights, privileges, or interests.”  This seems like such a small definition for something that is so important to our lives.  Your community might be a group of runners that you meet up with every morning for your daily run, it might be the people you unroll your yoga mat next to everyday, or maybe your community consists of the people in your neighborhood.  Whatever or whomever you call your community, they bring you support and a place to feel like you belong.  Your community has your back and is looking out for your best interests.  The importance of my vegan community is never more apparent than around the holidays


I think we have all been there, no matter if you’re vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, or paleo, the holidays are tough.  There is always the relative that will have the joke at ready, (“How do you find the vegan at the dinner party?  answer:  “Don’t worry they will find you.”  This one actually has some truth to it…), or ask you just to try a bite of turkey (as if this might be the magical bite that changes your entire belief system) or why you’re not using butter. It always amazes me that when you stand strong in your convictions, be it dietary, political, spiritual etc., how uncomfortable it can make some people.  This is where your community comes in and gives you the support family and friends may not be able to, not because they do not want to, they just do not know how to.

I am very lucky to have my yoga community and my support in the vegan community combined.  I was also very lucky to be able to experience an amazing “Vegan Thanksgiving” with my Ember yoga community, which included some lovely yogis who were not vegans, but they made some incredible vegan food and desserts! (Thank you Greg for the amazing vegan, chocolate, burbon pecan pie.  Your sneaking a small turkey in is forgiven.) Also, Claudine Molson-Sellers at Rabbit Hole Earth Eats, created an entire menu that was centered around vegan and raw Thanksgiving foods during the week of Thanksgiving and had deliveries on the Wednesday before.  She wanted to make sure we all had options for our Thanksgiving meals.


As we move into the Christmas holiday, come to the end of Chanukah and head into the New Year, take a moment to reflect on your community and how they support you.  If you do not have a community that supports you, maybe this is the time to start looking for one.  We can only go so far on our own and to know that there are other people out there who believe in and support our beliefs can bring such a sense validation in a world that might not readily support us.  Here’s to finding your community.


Meredith Hesse :: Co-Editor, Community Lifestyle Editor, Events Director Meredith Hesse

Meredith teaches yoga, pilates, and private ballet and yoga instruction in Atlanta. When she is not teaching, she is practicing either at home or at one of the amazing yoga studios in the communities she discovers on her travels throughout the country. Meredith is also the East Coast Whole Sale Manager for KiraGrace, a women’s yoga apparel company. She cherishes her time with her her son, and satisfies her curiosities of life through reading, writing, and taking advantage of opportunities to explore the world. One of Meredith’s passions is venturing into communities to dine at local eateries. She shares her food reviews on the My Yoga Scene blog. Meredith loves being part of the global yoga community and enjoys planning events the help bring the growing community together. If you are interested in community lifestyle guest blogging, interviews, promotions, or event sponsorship and hosting, please reach out to Meredith here:


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