The Yoga Studio
It's a modern term for the space that we inhabit while dancing in and out of present moment awareness.
But maybe we should call this space a sanctuary, or a temple, or a shala, or even a church. But studio sounds so...meh. The work and prayer that happens in these spaces each and every day is profound. This is where big decisions are made. This is where we remember, and also release. This is where we set our intentions and toss away stale goals. This is where we heal and try our best to wake up.
Something (okay, many things) important have been lost in the modernization of yoga (AND a whole lot gained!). The whole process of "going to yoga" doesn't carry the weight of the work we are undertaking, and that I suspect our teacher's teacher's would have hoped we would. And so you might be thinking "for ME it does!" -- or perhaps alternatively, your yoga is your fitness, and that's fine too. BUT, as a modern culture that offers modern yoga, something is missing from the way we show up in these spaces. Maybe we're missing the daily morning and evening pujas I experienced in India, or the alter covered in fruits and incense and money as offerings from the community. It all sometimes feels a bit clinical and corporate, and less reverential. The studio setting can feel like any other workout place...and Yoga isn't that.
And yes, this is of course partly my own trip. But I want our collective experience and appreciation of these spaces to match the work we're each putting in on the mat. We owe it to ourselves, our neighbors and the wisdom keepers of the past to remember the potency of our work. So bring your heart and your full willingness into these spaces.
A couple tips:
-Before even arriving, ask yourself why you're showing up today. Do a quick scan of your physical, emotional and spiritual layers and just check. Prepare before your journey.
-When you come into the space, leave your phone outside. You're about to embark on a sacred journey. Leave the tech far away from you.
-Stay until the end! Don't cut out early. The end is the best, and there's something powerful about sticking with it, even if you want to cut and run. Leave the space better than you found it. Wipe up your sweat, put away your props, and fold your blankets nicely.
-Be extra kind to the staff and your neighbors. This is your chance to shine and show up.
That's it. Begin again.