All Yoga is Local
Imagine a place where men, women and children go to live spiritual, meditative and disciplined lives. Where the residents tend to a cooperative vegetable garden, they make a living by teaching in a yoga-centric school or by working in a community bookstore. They live together, work together, eat together, all because it supports their personal paths.
What if I told you this place is real?
It is. It’s the Ananda community in Mountain View, California. Due to the impressive success of this community, others like it are cropping up internationally, from Portland, Oregon to Assisi, Italy to New Delhi, India.
While I’m not saying that Atlanta should start one of these exclusive communities, I do feel it is important that yogis form a local community that comes together to discuss, challenge and celebrate the practice that we share. While we may not all follow the same teacher, or even practice the same style of yoga, there is a lot to be learned from talking to each other about how we meditate, why some of our postures look different and what resources we use to facilitate our personal growth.
Having a community is also good because it enables us to find friends in like minded people, it gives us people to share our goals with and it breaks us out of our comfort zone. Bringing people together provides you access to events you otherwise wouldn’t know about, teachers you otherwise wouldn’t meet, and poses you might not otherwise have done. And it’s just fun to be around different types of yogis–we are all pretty diverse, even if we share the term “yogi.”
I remember, the first style of yoga I ever tried was Power yoga, and I loved it. I took the same class from the same teacher almost every day throughout my senior year of college and never even considered going anywhere else. Upon graduating and moving away, I had to try something new and break out of my comfort zone.
It was heartbreaking at first, because all of the classes that I went to were “too easy” and I wasn’t as connected to the teachers. I tried every studio in the area and finally landed in an Anusara studio—a far cry from Power yoga. But it was through this transition that I started questioning old habits, learning the physical and philosophical nuances of a new style and forming a relationship with a new teacher. Through all of my searching and questioning, I learned a lot about myself, challenged some of the principles of my past practice and grew exponentially. And I was starting to have fun!
Now, I’m looking to continue that growth by forming relationships with you and creating a community around the thousands of Atlanta yogis.
I hope that you find the things here enlightening to your practice and just plain fun. I hope we share classes and workshops together, I hope you challenge my assumptions, I hope you share your own personal tips with the community about things that matter to you.
Do you think it’s important to have a community of yogis? Have you ever been part of one greater than your home studio?