yoga, and the importance of community
As I mentioned before, I’ve started attending prenatal yoga classes. These classes have been amazing and not even so much for the yoga as for the community and companionship I’ve found through them. It’s like prenatal yoga with a side of therapy every Saturday morning.
We’re a small-ish group of anywhere from five to ten women, all pregnant, and with a wonderful yoga instructor leading the pack. The class meets for an hour and a half and the first 20 minutes are always inevitably spent talking. We share our ups and downs, our news, our thoughts on being pregnant and giving birth, and anything else that comes up. We then do a good hour of yoga (usually modified moves with blocks, a chair, straps, blankets, etc). Then, we retire to the coffee shop next door for lunch, tea, and more conversation. By the time I leave for home, I feel like I’ve just gotten to voice all of my week’s pregnancy news and concerns, received a bunch of tips and advice, and heard from others going through the same thing as me about how they’re doing it. Like I said, prenatal yoga with a side of therapy.
So I’m really excited to have found this amazing group of women and to have a community of new friends on the same ‘adventure’ as me right now. It’s made me think of how important community is to one’s well being and happiness. It’s why I love running with friends and why I searched for a community of cyclists when taking up bike commuting. When I didn’t find that community in my own town, I looked for it and found it online. It’s also why I decided to start this blog; as a way to add my voice to that community.
I tend to think of myself as a solitary person because I grew up an only child and because I can happily spend hours reading, writing, taking walks, and doing things without others. I’ve also traveled quite a bit on my own, and not only do I not mind going to movies by myself, sometimes I quite prefer it. And when it comes to sports, I’ve never been a team player. Team sports intimidate me. There is too much pressure on not letting others down and too much focus on what everyone else is doing. That’s why I instantly took to running when I started it: it was something I could do by myself and with no other measurement of success than my own PRs, distances recorded, and improvements made. Running, and even racing, is not about competing with other runners, it’s about competing with yourself.
Well, despite my conviction that I like solitary sports and that I fare fine on my own, I’m constantly reminded of how important and valuable community is. I’m reminded of this when I find a wonderful running partner or when I come across a great group of like-minded people. And it just drives home the old cliche that ‘no (wo)man is an island’.
Does community play a role in the things you love in life? Do you consider yourself a part of a community based on common interests and pursuits?
Also, on a related note, this past weekend, I had the double pleasure of attending my yoga class and biking to it. The weather was perfectly suited for a bike ride there; mild temperatures, not too warm, but very sunny. I strapped my yoga mat to my back and rode Bee downtown to the yoga center. It’s about a 4 mile ride from my house to the center, so all in all, a good workout. (And if Dottie can bike to her guitar lessons with a huge instrument strapped to her back, and if Adrienne can carry found furniture home on her bike, then I can certainly carry a yoga mat around while cycling). The beauty of this particular mat is that it came with this super handy strap, which allows me to wear it like a messanger bag. A quick search revealed that you can buy these yoga mat straps for less than $4 on Amazon! So if you’re looking to combine your yoga class with a bike ride there but don’t know how to best carry your mat, treat yourself to one of these handy carriers! Happy cycling!