Kula: A Sanskrit word that means community. Specifically, a community of the heart, a group coming together of its own free will. An intentional community, a family.
You know the routine. Rush from work to your yoga class, find your favorite spot on the wooden floor, roll out your mat, sit and begin stretching your aching calves, waiting for your yoga teacher to show up. Perhaps you look around the room and make eye contact with a “yogi stranger” on another mat across the way. Perhaps you smile. Or, perhaps you avert your eyes back to your mat and begin to focus internally, because hey that’s where the gold is, right?
But what happens when a new a new student walks in, sets up next to you and begins nervously asking questions about the teacher, the studio, and the class difficulty? Are you, (A) annoyed but kind and helpful, (B) happy to be helpful, (C) unfamiliar with this situation because you always keep to your self in yoga class or (D) a combination of the above?
It may interest you to know that, despite social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook, Americans are lonelier than ever. According to one study, loneliness has doubled since the 1980s: 40% of adults said they were lonely, up from 20% in the 1980s. How could that be? And could the rise in yoga attendance over the last two decades have anything to do with this sad statistic? Are more people coming to yoga class in order to connect with others?
This week on #yogachat we will be discussing “Yoga & Community: Finding your kula”. Here are some questions to get you thinking:
- What are some ways we can improve the sense of community at yoga studios?
- What are some benefits of meeting fellow yogis?
- What are some challenges in meeting other yogis?
- How can yoga help ease loneliness?
- What are some ways yogis can reach out to & support one another before & after yoga class?
- What is an example of a strong yoga community?
- How can someone find a sense of belonging at a local yoga community?
- For yoga teachers, how can yoga teachers help create a strong yoga kula?
We look forward to discussing this topic with you this Friday, May 23rd at 10am PST on our Twitter tweet chat. Check out the Yoga Chat page for more info on how to join in.