I haven’t held back about expressing my difficulties with friends this year. I did make a video about friendship breakups after all. I am a relatively shy introvert, and truthfully I think friendships are hard in your 20’s as we’re all moving through life at a different pace. People come in and out of your life all the time.
I have been lucky that fate (and social media) has brought a couple of friends from my past back to the present. I trust them both dearly and I have loved reconnecting. That said, I have also been actively stepping out of my comfort zone, and my area of town, to explore more facets of yoga. Ever since I finished my 300 hr training, my eyes were opened to the fact that even though I just spent about a year studying and learning, there was still so much more out there and I didn’t want to stop and lose any momentum. I’ve been riding off of that steam and reaching out for local yoga opportunities.
This has manifested in a few different ways like taking over a new class at another studio, one that I’ve only had a relationship with as a student. It has also meant going to a panel discussion, a yoga conference, and assisting Adriene Mishler on her FWFG Roadshow where she taught 2 classes of about 140 yogis each. I won’t lie – all of these opportunities gave me a bit of anxiety before I arrived. I was so nervous the first day teaching at Yoga Collective, worried that no one would like the class and therefore not show up again. I feared I would disappoint Adriene and/or make an ass out of myself. I even convinced myself that a teacher I studied with for 8 months wouldn’t remember me. Of course none of that happened.
Instead, I was shown the power of community. My teacher remembered me and gave me a smile and a big hug upon seeing me. I’ve connected with new, deeply passionate students. I finally met and spoke with a local teacher that I have known about through social media for years. And then this past Saturday with Adriene was amazing. She and her team were warm and welcoming, and the students that showed up were inspiring. They didn’t complain about being cramped on their mats, but instead made conversation with their neighbors and took photos together. Plus I bonded with and found a new friend in the other assistant, another amazing local teacher. It’s amazing how one little spark can bring strangers together.
Yoga is powerful in that it often draws in people that are looking for introspection, yet it invites and builds community. And I’m just going to say it – yogis are wonderful. I feel grateful to be a part of the communities at my local studios, to have been initiated into Adriene’s online family, and make more deep connections with smart, caring, creative, and inspiring individuals each and every day.
As I see the beauty of communities come to life, I hope that one day I can help cultivate that for others. Whether it’s through my teachings, this blog, my Youtube channel, the few projects I have up my sleeves, or all of the above, I would love to bring people closer together, to create friendships whether they only ever stay online or manifest IRL.
In the meantime, I’m taking small steps for myself. I plan to continue venturing out in pursuit of my passions and meeting new people along the way. I will continue to nurture new and old friendships. I’m also trying to put together a little creative community with a few people I know that are all crafty. The future is looking bright, and full of extraordinary people.
If you feel like community is lacking in your life, what passions can you follow that might lead you to one? Or are there ones from your past you can reignite? If you look around hard enough, there might be a community right under your nose. It can be scary to jump into an established community if you’re shy or an introvert like me, but take that step out of your comfort zone and see what happens. I bet you’ll be welcomed with open arms.