I’ve been thinking about community lately. I truly believe that we are more successful in life and in our various endeavours if we have a community of like-minded people cheering us on. A community that is understanding, and not judgmental. A place where we can be real and imperfect and still be accepted.
I was recently approached by YogaClub and asked if I would become a YogaClub Tribe Leader. I was thrilled to accept. I was already a huge fan of their yoga clothing subscription box, and they felt that my messages of self love and body positivity were in line with values that they are focusing on. A key component in being a Tribe Leader is being active on YogaClub’s Facebook group, My Yoga Journey. It’s an incredible virtual community where people from around the world are coming together to lift each other up, to help each other out, and to share a love for yoga. Some members are just starting out on their yoga journey, while others have been at it for years, if not decades.
The first yoga community that I was a part of was when I lived on a Caribbean island. It was there that I attended my first ever yoga class in those old pink sweatpants that I’ve shared about before. I was feeling like I didn’t belong, and I had no idea that it would lead to one of the most beautiful communities I’ve ever been a part of. Shortly after my first class, that teacher opened a studio and I started going regularly, despite how I felt about my body and despite being the largest one in the class and despite the fact that I knew nothing about how to do even the most beginner yoga poses. That studio became a place where I felt safe. It was the first time in my life that I truly wanted to go and do something healthy for my mind, body and spirit. I stopped thinking about my size or weight or lack of yoga skills. I stopped thinking about who I was before moving to the island. When I showed up in that room, I felt the warmth and acceptance of the people around me. I was surrounded by positive, kind women, smiling at each other and encouraging each other to be themselves. I was part of a community that loved me for me, not for how I looked, and it shifted something within me. It started a change in how I felt about myself.
I haven’t been in that studio with those people for many years now, since I moved back to Canada. But when I finished my yoga teacher training and started my own classes, one of the most important things I wanted to create was a community where we support each other and lift one another up. A yoga community where you want to go to class because you know that no matter what has happened in your day, spending time in your class with your people will lighten your struggles and leave you feeling ok. A community where no one feels judged or marginalized for their size, shape or skill level.
It would be AMAZING if this sort of community existed in real life for every yogi, but some of us live in small towns in the middle of nowhere, and a virtual community is so much better than being alone. A group like My Yoga Journey is also such a great information resource for yogis worldwide. People ask questions and we share advice and opinions, on everything from yoga mats to poses to local studios.
If you are on a yoga journey of any kind, I encourage you to check the Facebook group out.
It’s completely free to join and you don’t have to purchase anything to be a part of the group. They will support and encourage and motivate you, and help you see that you are not alone. You will find people in similar places as you, and perhaps you will find an accountability partner- someone to lean on. You will see lots of pictures of YogaClub boxes also, since that’s what brought us here in the first place!
I really believe that yoga is for everyone, regardless of our size, shape or skill level. It can be hard to see how inclusive yoga can be if you are just experiencing it at one yoga studio. Expand your horizons and connect with yogis worldwide. We are a community. We are a group of people that are on the same journey, regardless of how different our paths might be. So let’s work together and spread the yogi love.