Seeing and Being SeenNov 15, 2023
Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting with some of the students enrolled in my online classes. I took the occasion of launching my new class platform to reach out to people, address their questions, and check in with how the classes were going for them.
During these delightful one-on-one meetings, I had the chance to learn about their backgrounds in yoga, what led them to my classes, and why my teaching style resonates with them.
We uncovered shared experiences in our yoga journeys, discussed teachers we both admire, and reflected on how yoga has anchored us through the big changes we’ve experienced over the past four years.
Although my initial intention was to support them, I was surprised at how gratifying and energizing our conversations were for me!
It was a powerful reminder of the importance of supportive relationships in yoga. In Sanskrit, the term kalyana mitra refers to a kind of spiritual friendship that’s characterized by goodwill, generosity, and respect. These are relationships with teachers or like-minded practitioners who are our well-wishers and support us on our path; what we might refer to as “good company.”
Through these conversations, I realized that this aspect of yoga practice – which is so precious and edifying for both teacher and student - can easily be neglected in the current online context. Despite the convenience and accessibility of virtual yoga, it doesn’t necessarily excel at fostering supportive community.
I’m fortunate to have cultivated many long-term friendships with both students and teachers, where bonds of mutual trust have developed over time. These relationships are like gold to me, just remembering them brings encouragement and inspiration.
These recent meetings underscored their value and highlighted how meaningful connections help our practice to flourish and deepen.
The power of seeing and being seen, of hearing and being heard, is more valuable now than ever. Whether you’ve been around for a while or you’re newer to the practice, it’s worth seeking out opportunities for both.