Image credit: Nicole Bratt. Thanksgiving Gratitude Practice, 2017.
As a teacher, I have observed that individuals have particular energies on any given day, but the community as a whole has an energetic vibe. The class could be tired, silly, friendly, internal. Whatever we start with, there is always the possibility for energetic and physical transformation and shift.
We support one another, without words, with our presence.
Your yoga kula is the place you choose to practice, and also the place toward which you contribute your own energy and inspiration.
Because energy is fluid and free, you can affect the person on the mat next to you. A friendly word, a welcoming smile can make all the difference in someone's day. We are all so skilled and practiced at looking for the negative, at suspicion, hostility and selfishness.
Our yoga kula is a place where we can inten-tionally practice finding a sense of possibility, giving people the benefit of the doubt, not rushing to defensive conclusions or making choices that increase isolation. This takes courage.
I have a vision that yoga people could become examples of emotional and spiritual balance for this struggling world. It's up to us to decide how the yoga tradition will live in the West and how it will carry on. Ideas and beliefs matter a lot. Which ideas and beliefs are you basing your life and actions on? Yoga, ultimately, is a set of practices that supports our deepest beliefs.
May we always uplift each other. May we become supremely skillful at looking for the good in this complicated and unpredictable world. May our yoga kula be a home, a sanctuary and a place of welcoming embrace.