Updated: Nov 9, 2018
I spent a good ten minutes the other day trying to co-ordinate time in my calendar for a yoga class with a friend and fellow teacher. We reached a point where she was going to catch a cab from the other side of the city to meet me thirty minutes from home for a sixty minute class and a possible five minutes to talk afterwards. I hesitated at the trouble she was going to and we awkwardly exchanged alternatives we knew wouldn't fly. Suddenly it dawned. "We could just do coffee?" she offered. "...Oh my gosh! Things other than yoga!" I exclaimed with delightful surprise. I adore teaching yoga, I adore being a student of yoga, and I adore the opportunity to connect with the community through the practice. And I refuse to use the word 'but' here, except to acknowledge the decision, because nothing can take away from that joy or the gratitude I feel toward it. What is consistently highlighted to me, though, is that yoga practice is practice - and we need to take this connection off the mat, and into our lives to truly experience its power. It can be as simple as that coffee. It lasted two coffees, in fact, and as many hours, brightening my spirit as caffeine and connection flowed through my veins.
Sometimes we simply stand in the circles drawn for us, forgetting we too, hold a pencil. Spending time with people outside the contexts in which we know them can be so soul enriching. And whether it's work or school or play; stepping outside, into the world, gets us talking about it, connecting to it, and connecting with each other.
I found time in the days following our coffee catch-up to attend a yoga class closer to home - also beautifully energising. But I truly feel it was this opportunity to meet with a friend - to have someone in my corner not simply because we both love yoga but because we are both passionate about life - which spurred me to better care for myself; which spurred me to reach out to another friend, which spurred me to write this. Had we not thought outside our beautiful little yoga studio sized box, I would never have learned of the person I was practicing with. I would have missed out on conversations about soul music and living in new cities and the grief and freedom of change.
Yesterday, after another soul-soothing connection with another friend over breakfast, I ran late for the following appointment because I simply lost track of time. That's what happens when the phones go away and you talk about real life, real love, and you speak for, and from, your soul. I'm not an advocate for tardiness or making people wait, but for the first time, possibly ever, I felt no stress making my way somewhere as I ran way behind time. I felt it was the best reason to be late, and my life coach, whom I had kept patiently waiting, agreed. I was previously in a space I had been scheduling work and appointments in permanent marker and simply pencilling in engagements with friends or time to myself, erasing as life got busier and replacing with more permanent marker matters. Why do we do that? When we organise a meeting with our bosses do we pencil it in? No. We red flag, we remind. We remind again. So let's get drawing - creating our circles - and swapping this pencil with which we have so timidly sketched, for some bold, bright, permanent marker appointments with whom, and what we love in life. It's all very easy for me to say this when I've fiiiiinally made the time to spend with a friend and I'm feeling relaxed, but... ah. No but. It makes. All. The difference.