Yoga studios are essential for both the student and the teacher. In this digital, social, media-energized virtual world, it is evident to me that people still crave human connection.
The most important contribution studios offer is community. Community defined simply is a place for gathering. A place where hearts can connect. A place where interaction and relationships develop in personal face-to-face relationships.
What Yoga Studios Can Provide
Yoga studios provide that space where we can connect, learn, support, and celebrate each other. For students, this is critical in fostering personal growth and highest self-study, or svadhyaya. As students, we need teachers who can actually be with us.
For the teacher, it provides a consistent platform to offer their special gifts and unique styles. It fosters deeper, more intimate, and long-lasting relationships with the student. It also offers a place to call home.
Jamie Silverstein says that, "For me, the studio and nourishment that a yoga community provides cannot be understated. In my own life, having a studio to both come home to and be accountable to helped me heal profoundly; my yoga practice in the context of a supportive community has had a direct impact on how I've learned to understand and love myself.
"And, while I'm not saying that healing and connection cannot be found in a more independent practice, I deeply believe that we serve each other (and ourselves) best through communing and growing together. Yoga is connection — body, mind, spirit, and world at large."
A Sense of Community
Speaking of this whole: All of our small yoga tribes, yoga studio to yoga studio, all connect to create a larger community. There is power in this union. And if we harness the power of connection with loving intention we can influence even greater positive changes in the bigger community outside our yoga world.
Community requires we take responsibility. To see that our actions, our thoughts, our words impact the connections we have with those around us: positive energy creates more positive energy. In community, there is power in union and connection.
Right now, pick one way within the next 24 hours you can support your local yoga studio that promotes community and positivity. From that spark of momentum, let this set the intention to keep taking action after action to promote our yoga studios!
Here are 5 reasons why yoga studios are important:
1. They Are a Safe Space
They hold safe space for you to be your most authentic self.
They are a place where it doesn’t matter what your balance sheet is or what titles you have on your CV. A home where your mind can soften back into your heart.
2. They Are a Place to Learn
Yoga studios are a place of learning with a skilled teacher. This includes techniques and adjustments related to proper physical alignment and an opportunity to be inspired by the philosophical teachings of yoga, along with gaining insight from the life experience of your teachers.
It is said that, "if you are connected to your teacher and your teacher is connected to yoga, then you are connected to yoga."
3. They Are a Place of Accountability
Yoga studios offer accountability and camaraderie in sticking with goals.
The accountability for one another to help stay the course with healthy intentions, be they physical or emotional, can have a powerful effect on your practice. Cathy Gee, Seattle Yogi says, “a yoga studio provides benefits of a gym and church.”
4. They Are a Place of Community
A community gathering of like minded people. Opportunities to make friends. I have always said to my students, “I’m interested in you gaining friends more than poses.”
Pam Rollins, U.S. Coast Guard and Alchemy of Yoga RYT Yoga Teacher, says “practicing with like-minded individuals increases my awareness and experience on the mat, building group rhythm and sharing the big moments, falling out of poses, laughing, etc. It's like looking over and thinking, "we're in this together." And although what we each get from the practice is incredibly different, we all took the same class.”
5. They Are a Sacred Space for Transformation
We are in changing times where more and more yogis are learning yoga through Instagram and their practice is by themselves watching their laptop. And while these ways of practicing are great, nothing can really take the place of studios.
Let’s do our best to support our local yoga studios. They may not say out loud that they need it, but they do. Take my word on this, having owned a studio myself for 12 years in Chicagoland. They can always use your support.
May our united offering benefit everyone, and may our lives reduce the suffering of all! Love yourself, love your day, love your life.