Group Hug 🤗
I wrote a post on Facebook this week as I was waiting for my Friday Yoga House class to arrive. It said this:
‘Looking forward to our toasty warm practice this morning at the gorgeous Yoga House! I love my Friday morning crew. Such a super lovely bunch of dedicated yogis and yoginis. It’s always a pleasure to share an hour with you all!’
Then when I got home later I realised that this seemed like an unfair bit of favouritism!
Of course its not JUST my Friday morning crew who i love!!!! I was just waiting for them to arrive at the point of the posting so they were foremost in my mind.
ALL the Unity Tribe are seriously wonderful. And I don’t mean to sound sycophantic by saying that. Each group has its own energy and personality, (not least when those babies turn up for duty with their own unique and powerful presence!!!).
Everyone gathers together with a true and shared intention. The unsaid mantra perhaps ‘I want to feel better’. And things don’t have to be bad for us to want them to be better! Yoga can and does work on many different levels - physically, emotionally, energetically, mentally, hormonally and also in a group setting, socially.
I absolutely LOVE the community that arises out of these spaces. When you guys relax with each other there is a truly wonderful sense of connection.
The pregnancy class are sometimes chatting so much at the start that I find it hard to get the class started! New students are welcomed by old students with the universal pregnancy ice breaker, ‘So how many weeks are you?’ and then they are off! Many mums over the years have made life long friendships through this group and that really gives me a very happy feeling.
Likewise with the postnatal classes - new mums quickly and easily find common ground and have space during and after the class to share their expertise, experiences, ideas and frustrations with each other. This creates part of the vital community that all new mums need. During the opening chat on the Friday class this week, it transpired that most of the babies had decided that sleep was for losers and so we had a lot of really exhausted mums in the room! So we discussed how difficult it was being a mum, and particularly if you don’t have adequate support from family and friends. Just sharing this helped the mums realise that they were not alone, they were not getting it wrong because they found it hard and that it is OK to ask for help.
I’ve been teaching the Vinyasa classes in Tunbridge Wells for over 12 years now, and for some reason some of my original students still come to hear me rabbit on!
Obviously every week is different, people come and go, some come and stay, but whichever class it is there is always chatter and friendliness at the start and end. Because of the intimate group sizes and the number of regular students who come, people really seem to relax within the group and new students are welcomed by the friendly atmosphere. I hasten to add that it’s not me that’s making this happen - it’s the magic of the group!
Although the practice of yoga invites us to look inward - move our attention away from the distractions outside, when we practice in groups, it’s inevitable that our attention will also be captured by the other people in the room. I invite my students to notice that this is a valuable part of the experience. To notice how the mind expands into the room, to the other people and the group energy, and it can also withdraw back into the individual experience. We use this as our meditation during the class. It’s also a good starting point to discuss the concept of all of us actually being ‘One’ anyway.
I’m delighted when students feel relaxed enough to ask questions or give feedback during the session. This sometimes takes things on a different route or opens up a point we can discuss later or it might inspire me to go away and do further research. I love the banter between the students and there are some of them who go off for coffee together after class.
People need to be heard and they need to share and they need to connect. These are basic human needs. We are all too much aware of how these basic needs, when severed from real life human interaction and immediate accountability, can become self obsessive, aggressive and destructive. I don’t need to elaborate on the terrible outcomes that are playing out on that front! But just to point out that your weekly yoga class is an opportunity to make real life connections - to yourself and also to others. Whether you decide to hide at the back and keep yourself to yourself or get stuck into the conversations, you are still part of the unique energy that each and every group creates. All working together on the simple valuable and fruitful task of making yourself feel better!
What I’ve realised this week is how much I love that Yoga brings people into a closer and healthier relationship to not just themselves but also to each other. Our classes are about being conscious of our own crazy experience of being human, but also being a human as part of a community and connecting on a real life level.
From a more personal point of view I have met some seriously awesome people and some of my dearest friends at class. 😁🙏❤️
#lovemyjob #lovemystudents #loveyoga