How is it that we form communities and strong friendships through our yoga classes and studios?  When I first opened Blooming Lotus Yoga and Wellness Center, I had a vision in my head of how my classes would unfold.  Every student would enter the studio, silently take care of his or her belongings (remove shoes, turn off cell phone, etc.), sign in, and roll out his or her mat, silently lying or sitting down to begin meditation.  This, of course, has not been the case.  Our classes have become tight-knit communities of loving friends, laughing and sharing life’s experiences.  I quickly realized that this was not MY studio, it was Interlochen’s studio.  This warm, inviting space has created an atmosphere where people feel reconnected to each other, and to themselves.  Websites, Facebook, IPADs are great tools of communication, but nothing takes the place of looking into another human beings eyes and offering a warm smile, a hug, or a laugh together.  I deeply cherish the friendships I have formed and watched others forming through our yoga practice together.  I love that when someone new comes in, others introduce themselves and welcome them to our studio.  Yoga offers us unique and beautiful opportunities to go deep within ourselves and see the rich, vibrant beauty we ALL have within us.  When we carve out moments to enjoy the best within ourselves, we open to the best in everyone else.  We become more compassionate, more understanding, patient, open, and more mindful of ourselves and others.  For some, this is a process that takes time and personal healing.  For others, it happens in an instant.

I recall classes I have attended in which the instructor worked very hard, class after class, to convince everyone to be silent, go within, not interact with others, not disturb others.  It often became a situation in which the teacher’s irritation with the students was more distracting than the interactions in the class.  It felt to me that the teacher was encouraging intolerance in others.  I chose, instead, to get out of the way and watch the bonds of friendship form.  Taking time, instead, at the beginning of each class for silent meditation, so that we could, as a group, unwind, quiet down, and go within.  The beautiful yoga family that has formed at Blooming Lotus was more important than each student’s silent, pious entry to each class.

OUR yoga studio continues to be a community center and yoga family.  I wouldn’t have it any other way!

With love,

Steph