At Mountain Yoga in Johnson City, TN, we have a great community. We’ve introduced people who’ve become friends, who may have never met any other way. I love to hear students making plans to get together outside of the studio, or doing business with one another. Few of us sit on our front porches, and greet the neighbors anymore, so we have to find a way to connect with others. Yoga studios are the perfect environment. You already have something in common!
1-Talk. No, I don’t mean in Sivasana! But before class, instead of ignoring everyone in the room, smile and say hello. Comment on the mat you like, or introduce yourself. I know this isn’t common practice in some studios, but isn’t it a welcome change?
2-Laugh. Stop taking your practice so seriously. If the teacher makes a joke, it’s ok to giggle. Who said yoga has to be boring? (Refer to the book, Happy Yoga by _______________. He says we Westerners take ourselves way too seriously!) You might just catch the eye of your new best friend.
3-Stick around. Does your studio offer tea? If so, grab a cup, take a seat, and see what happens. I’ve learned so many interesting things from our post-practice chats! Plus, it’s a great way to come out of a deep meditation. Don’t be in such a hurry to rush out the door.
I can’t point you to a Sutra, or tie it specifically to the Yamas and Niyamas, but I’ve always believed that sharing community is its own kind of yoga. That personal interaction is so lost in today’s society. Try today to make a new friend at your yoga class. I’m sure you’ll have other stuff in common, too.