I love walking into the yoga studio for class, placing my mat on my favorite spot on the floor, smiling at my fellow classmates and feeling the camaraderie among us.
Most of the students in the Wednesday night class are of a certain age, 40 and up. We all struggle with the occasional aches and pains of slowly but surely getting older. Some are librarians, some teachers, some are in tech, some office workers and me, the therapist, depend on our yoga practice to keep inner selves at peace and our outer selves moving and strong.
Certain poses are more challenging than others due to the limitations of our aging bodies and sometimes we look at each other during class and just laugh when teacher demonstrates a pose that we are challenged by. Teacher is older too, but she can twist, bend, bind and balance like she’s a teenager. She smiles and laughs with us which reinforces the sense of camaraderie among us, but she still gently encourages us to try each pose.
My Thursday night class is different. Teacher is a youngster, compared to me, and the students vary in age and gender. I love that class just as much, just differently. The flow from one sequence to the next are much faster and the poses are more of an intermediate to advanced level, therefore very challenging to me. I find myself doing some ill-advised, self loathing comparisons between myself and other students, which I try to fight against, but it still creeps up from time to time. I know it is my practice and mine alone. I know I am exactly where I am supposed to be on my mat, as I am frequently reminded by my blogging cyber yoga friends, babycrow and cat h bradley who both offer me an invaluable sense of connection and support outside of the studio.
So, camaraderie shows itself in many forms in my life and yoga practice and I am grateful for every bit I can wrap my arms around because I plan to be twisting, binding and bending for many years to come, as long as this body will allow.