Let's talk about community. It's a buzzword in today's workplaces, churches, and families, but what is it and why is it important? One definition of community is "a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common." For us, our commonality might be our yoga practice or our studio space. Communities are made up of close relationships where people uplift and encourage each other, advocate for one another, support and inspire each other and grow together. In this way members feel a sense of belonging.
We were created as social beings with the need to relate to others. It is essential to our wellbeing! Community can save us from isolation, loneliness, depression, the effects of stress, and the daily struggles and chaos of life. In Hebrews 10:24 in the bible, Paul writes, "And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another.".
Sometimes it can feel like our culture encourages the "lone wolf" mentality, praising individuality and the go-it-alone life. Social media and other constant-contact platforms (like email) can also foster this individualism, as we can feel close to or liked by many people, but share very little intimacy and closeness with people in real life. Studies have shown that online communities translate less and less to actual physical relationships. And people have fewer close relationships than they did 20 years ago.
How can you, as an individual, help foster relationships in our Kula?
Be consistent. Few close relationships grow without regular and frequent contact. Try attending regular weekly classes with the same teacher or the same format to get to know the teacher and the other yogis in the class better.
Step out of your comfort zone. When you're taking off your shoes or rolling out your mat before class, say "Hi" to that yogi you've seen a million times but never talked to. Ask them their name and how long they've practicing or coming to the studio. Try creating a conversation around something that you both have in common. Don't feel like you have to be creepy about it... sometimes people like their quiet time in the studio and that's okay!
Volunteer. Serving others can be a great way to get to know people better. Contact me or the front desk team if you have a skill/passion/hobby (running, reading, knitting?) and let's arrange a gathering with other like-minded people. Also, we're always looking for help keeping the studio clean, stocked, and tidy. We could also use help with our front desk if you have customer service experience and an attention to detail.
Let's be real. Sometimes being in a community can get messy, complicated, awkward, and confusing. I'm sure we've all experienced that at one time or another in our families. More on how to navigate this part of community next time...
See you soon darling,