Finding a sense of belonging is necessary. Often we find ourselves feeling on the outside of things. The trick, it seems to me, is to find your place. This goes for every part of life, but I want to focus on yoga. That's what this blog is about. That said: I think the idea of belonging applies to work, social, etc.
On the Camino de Santiago there is a period of days that one feels apart. For some, this period can last weeks, but for most it's just a few days. What happens is you fall in with a group of people. It just happens. You can't - shouldn't - force it. One finds that the Way of St. James allows for a passing of people. You start on the same day. Some people walk faster. Some people have a set schedule. Some people are a bit loose in their plans. Each of these are fine ways to approach the Camino, but I strongly suggest that you allow as much time as you can.
You'll find that on the Camino, you meet interesting people. Some very much like you. Others, very much not like you. Talk with these people when you're walking. Chat with them while taking a break. You'll find out pretty quickly who you enjoy spending time with. Keep it easy. Don't jump right into, "Let's find a place to eat, sleep, drink, hang together." Just let it unfold naturally. Later in your pilgrimage you may find that a crew of people wants to find common lodging. It'll happen the way it happens.
Life, it seems to me, is the exact same way. You find yourself sitting at a bar chatting with someone new. You can tell pretty quickly if they are someone you want to spend more time with. Let the relationships unfold naturally.
Yoga, it seems to me, is a little like Camino and a little like real life. When you're in the studio, working your way through the poses, everyone is in a similar spot. Everybody's ego is there. Everybody wants to look good. Everyone wants to be competent in the poses. We all want to fit in. It just happens that way.
I have found my yoga home. It's Liberation Yoga in Nashville. The crew of teachers are all friends now. The community is strong. We go to concerts. We support each other in work and life. This did not happen quickly. It unfolded, naturally, over time. This is the way of life - and Camino - and yoga.
When I travel, I find that some studios are more open to accepting new people into the fold. Sometimes I want to get in, move through a practice, and get on with my day. Sometimes I want to sit and chat and make new friends. This is the way of life - and Camino - and yoga.
After years of leading yoga classes around the world, I've developed a notion that yoga is a great way to include people. Last year, while leading a two week workshop, in Costa Rica, I worked with my wife a and business partner, Kim Green, on a new course for our education business. It incorporates yoga and Camino. It's open to all. There are no skill-level requirements, only a desire to do the work.
I'm not sure exactly where I'm going with this thread, but I think the point is this: When looking for a yoga home - or any home for that matter - take your time. Put in the work. Show up. Talk. Share. Befriend. Open up. Let things unfold, naturally - over time.
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