I have often heard people say that it’s difficult to find friends after college and I’m starting to agree with them more and more. Even when I meet new people or reconnect with old friends, I feel like everyone is in a rush.
I’m sure the east coast ny/nj pace has a lot to do with it. The last time I was in LA I ran into someone from the mid-west. He complained that the pace in California was too fast. I told him that I felt like everything moved in slow motion!
Looking back, it makes me happy that the West Coast is this in between pace. I like getting things done but when it seeps into my personal life, I pump the brakes.
Two weeks ago I got an email from a yoga studio in the District of Columbia. They sent me an email wishing me a happy anniversary since it had been a year since I first joined them. It made me smile, but also a bit sad that I still don’t live there. Keeping this in mind, when I saw a free yoga weekend at a local Princeton studio I jumped at the chance.
It started with a movie night on a Friday. We watched a documentary called Y Yoga. I found it so fascinating that it was screened at the Democratic National Convention. A lot of problems I have with the west altering the delivery of yoga also seemed to be resolved within the doc. You have to understand that I have been a yogi since the age of five. That was back when I could reach my toes no problem!! I guess these asanas are the one set of poses I don’t really want to see changed. Save that for random dancing:) I’ll join you for that too. I can dance battle, and I have dance battled with the best of them.
In any case I was so moved to see yoga teachers in the movie, who taught so many different populations of people. One teacher even worked with children who were forced into prostitution.
The next morning after the movie, I attended a gentle yoga class and I felt so in love with life. I’m still gushing a week later. Something about that space reminded me of the DC studio. I have tried so many different yoga places in central jersey but everything about this new place was similar to the other one I like. Even the shelf in the corner of the room was the same.
I forgot to mention that there were 55 people in the class with me on Saturday morning. The sense of community in the room was amazing. Sometimes I feel like just being in the room with good people restores my faith in a slower pace in everything. What we want to accomplish still gets done, and we are healthier and more joyful after. The human interaction is really different in yoga since we are all on separate mats, but the pressure is off to perform.
One of the best articles I have read in my life was in a yoga magazine back in 2006. A woman wrote about how she was pushing herself to do a hard pose and then finally just unraveled and gave up. Yoga isn’t supposed to be about being the best. A good teacher will tell you to make it your own practice and to listen to your body.
Well to be honest yoga isn’t about any of the poses. I read the Yoga Sutras in college and found out that it’s about stilling the mind. The poses are only four lines in the whole book! Really the exercise we know and love was created as a tool to prepare the body for meditation. The hope is that we reduce the chatter in our minds to a minimum.
I find reducing the chatter harder to accomplish when change feels so constant.
I hope you find comfort and positive human connection in your daily life. I hope you are making time in your schedule to do what you enjoy. I hope you find a slower pace in the spaces you desire it. I hope you feel so much in love with life that it is practically indescribable because I cannot be the only one who is looking.