Monday, February 4, 2013 at 11:52AM

In keeping with the theme of love this month, I’d like to offer some thoughts on COMMUNITY.  Sanskrit offers many words for community. Satsang means to be “in company with the wise” and according to yogic texts, being in spiritual community with our teachers is a true cornerstone to attaining bliss and liberation. I’m sure we have all experienced the power of collective energy to ground, uplift, or calm. This is why we go to class, right? Not just because we are too lazy to do it on our own, but because our practice is exponentially more potent when we become open to the thread of universe (and all it offers) through our connection to others. Just today I got an email from my good friend, experienced yoga teacher Tina Tazian illustrating this exact point!

 "I had a really beautiful moment in Yoga class yesterday.  I had a group of various levels and we were doing balance poses (warrior III, tree into tiptoe, etc). I always love how when you do a series of balances in a row the concentration gets stronger.  At one point, I felt it very strongly so I talked about how when we focus this helps to focus the person next to us and so on.  This helps all of us balance together.  We are SUPPORTING each other.  Although each of us is at a different level and doing a different variation of the pose, we are individuals but we are influencing and connecting in a ‘web’ of support.  No one got off their mat to ‘help’ the person next to them but yet they did help them simply by being deeply connected in what they were doing. It’s an energetic thing.  We lift each other up simply by doing our own best work in a humble manner.  We lift each other up simply by being deeply connected to the flow of life, by living in the moment and being in the body and the breath."

How cool is that?! We stand stronger just by standing together. Let that sink in.

This is kula! Kula, another Sanskrit word, is defined as a community of the heart; a group coming together of its own free will; a family; clan; the experience of union between Shiva and Shakti, God and goddess, power and consciousness.

Can you take that on fort wayne yogis? Students and teachers alike--can you willingly and wholly participate and contribute to our kula? Are you ready to unite your heart and consciousness to others in this city, to make them stronger by standing with them as one family (whether or not you agree with, relate to, or even “like” them?).

I think we can and are—but lets make a collective and conscious effort this month!  Yoga in fort wayne has grown so much! We have quality instruction, myriad venues, and willing students all contributing to this expansion. It is now available not only in studios but in most gyms, schools, churches, and parks. I love it! By nature of this growth studios and teachers have had to let go of any urges for competitiveness. Humbly, we do this with the knowledge that we can’t possibly reach everyone who needs yoga. We do this with the knowledge that we can trust our peers to offer what we offer (even if in a different style). In a way, we’re *forced* to support each other—to recommend each other, consult each other, or to redirect our students to those teachers with special gifts and knowledge (or just more convenient hours).  

This is the kind of support that our world needs in general; respecting and honoring those around us—even our differences--in the common effort to maintain civility, awareness, and peace. And guess what? We all benefit from it.

This gift of satsang and kula (whether you practice yoga or not) will undoubtedly have positive effects on the city—on our entire community. The things that bring us together—especially when coupled with ideas of love, kindness, and awareness—help to keep our world small enough to experience the impact of our existence. That is, we sense the power of our presence in the lives of others, the power of our voices and opinions to create change and growth, and the power of support and guidance from our neighbors.  Through this we are reminded that we are not alone on this journey.

I embrace you all as part of my kula. I stand offering to help you stand and ask you, in the words of the late and great Mr. Rogers (one of my idols of childhood) "please won't you be my neighbor?" And this month I offer the collective intention for all of you yogis to contribute to and become aware of this community of the heart! In other words, spread the LOVE!!! Support the interest in yoga, support your practice, support fellow teachers. Oh, and get to a class! I hope I see you there. Xoxo Much love!! G