This morning was one of those mornings where the yoga studio is packed! There’s about two inches between each mat on all sides. As someone who is often claustrophobic in crowds, this would normally be a huge problem for me, but today I had the fortune of having my brother in class with me, which made it infinitely easier.
There’s rarely a place you will find a room full of sweaty strangers that share as much love with one another as in a yoga room. It’s hard to love someone when they are unintentionally flinging sweat into your personal space and you don’t even know their last name (or sometimes even their first), yet somehow that’s all there is at the end of a class. Love for your fellow human being.
Yoga, to me, is a cultivation of love. It enables me to be more patient, more supportive, more positive in my relationships with not only those I’m most intimate with but absolute strangers as well. I feel the same swelling of excitement for someone whose name I don’t know as they achieve a difficult posture for the first time as I do for my husband upon news of a professional promotion. There is an excitement and support that you don’t find in a regular work-out.
I think this stems from the community that encompasses yoga. You don’t have to be at the same studio or work with the same teacher to be excited for another person and their yoga practice. You’re just excited at the possibility they might find the slightest bit of enjoyment in the union of the physical and spiritual.
I have a tendency to tell everyone I know about yoga and how it has truly changed my life. I’m sure some of my friends think I’ve run off and joined some sort of new age cult, but I can’t fathom my life without it. There’s a peace, acceptance and enjoyment than I receive from my practice, something I may never be able to express enough gratitude to properly repay what I’ve received. It’s an absence of competition, pride, avarice and prejudice that I’ve not found in any other avenue of physical, spiritual or emotional exploration.
Yoga is where I find compassion and acceptance for those that disagree with me, those who hold judgments without understanding. It’s where I find love for the angry, angsty and agitated people who would normally test my patience to it’s last reserve. In my yoga practice is where I love the world, not just the people in the room with me, but those outside my social sphere, beyond my family and in the realm of the not-yet-known.
Camicia Bennett: Founder of The Well Written Woman, Florida Native and cerebral creature, she loves her husband, yoga, red wine, potty humor, swearing superfluously and putting hats on her dog. If given her druthers she’d be surfing the web and writing randomness from someplace sunny and tropical whilst sipping her favorite vino. Oh wait, that’s exactly what she does.You can find her tweeting incessantly, randomly sharing her own brand of slightly pretentious propaganda at her personal blog, or on her mat at Hot House Yoga