Practising yoga makes you more conscious about connections. You connect movement with breath, intentions to practice, your body to the ground and yourself to the universe. You connect and disconnect yourself at the same time, trying to enter the “yoga zone”. Interesting how a disconnection creates space to other connections. Digital detox can be great sometimes( I think I’m lucky because I grew up before mobile phones became a thing not to mention smartphones..)
I’m thinking of this topic for a while now, and I decided to put it in words, as I’m visiting Hungary and seeing my old friends always makes me a little bit emotional and reminds me how grateful I am to have them.
But how do I get to friendship from yoga?
Connections are important to everybody, whether it is connections to other people, places, sometimes objects and most importantly to ourselves. I had a few classes when we were offered to dedicate our practice to someone and these experiences were really special, not to mention partner yoga or working together in certain poses. I never forget when I taught a class for a bunch of homeless guys and some volunteers and in the beginning I was very careful to enter their space at all but they looked ( and expressed) they feel very safe in class so we ended up in a circle of warrior III-s, gently connecting to each other, without weighing each other down but giving everybody the support they needed. Sometimes your yoga bubble is expandable and you let other people in:)
Beyond the mat, how you relate to people is part of your practice( Beyond the mat-the 8 limbs of yoga ). Friendships and social connections are very interesting, the intensity or length of connections can vary depending on many things. I think most of us have at least one person in their lives who would finish a sentence they just started and who could pick up a conversation where you left it even if it was a long time ago. The reason why I’m very grateful to life is because I have more than one of these people, and even though we might reside in different countries and our paths are not the same( probably the exact opposite in most cases) but the connections are there, solid and strong.
Imagine yourself in a middle of this network like flexible ropes connecting you together. Sometimes the ropes dissolve as you have temporary connections, they might not be forever but they bring you/ teach you something or simply experience something with you. And that’s okay, you can’t be best friends with everyone, people travel through each other’s lives all the time. Someone might come along with you when you grow up, someone might be there for a few months, years and the connections terminate..suddenly or just slowly fade away. Stepping away from a connection can be as important as creating a new one. Distance and solitude can teach you many of things.
As I said, connections are important but I also think that you shouldn’t let them sole define you. Yoga can be an amazing tool to self discovery, and expanding your practice beyond the mat can develop the connection to your own beautiful self and through this to other people. As an example, I have a very fiery temper, and sometimes this fire burns other people around me without them being the cause of it. Since I practice yoga,I am more careful about how I handle this, I might choose to have a very powerful asana practice followed by meditation ( if I have the chance) or more consciously choose a time when I can talk to people about problems instead of letting the volcano erupt. Being self-aware and self-connected can give you a different view of the outside world.
Supporting others and feeling supported is also important. How to support someone can be a complicated thing. I think we all have those people in our lives( and certain cultures encourage this as well) who would try to outbid your problems thinking that would make you feel okay.
Let’s say, you fall into a 5 m deep hole , and you only have a 2 m ladder and no torch just a lighter, you share this with someone looking for support who replies ‘oh, that’s nothing, I’m in a 10m deep hole with no ladder’. Should this get you out of the hole? No. Would this make you feel better? No.
As a wise friend once said to me, silent has the same letters as listen. Listening is an element of that flexible rope connecting us together, alongside with many other things( personal to everyone:) .
And to widen this, writing or reading a blog could connect people from different parts of the world, without knowing each other in person. You open a window to your thoughts( or get access to someone’s) to bring on new connections regardless of location. Read, write , be open minded and non-judgemental..and don’t forget to listen😊🙏🏼