Friday, July 19, 2013

A Community of Yogis

I attended an awesome rocking yoga class when I was in San Francisco for a conference a few years back.  There was live music, high positive energy, a heated room and a challenging workout.  I enjoyed it so much I make it a point to attend the owner's class whenever I am in San Francisco. It is called Urban Flow. 

The first night I attended I didn't know a single soul in the room.  I am a friendly person and started to chat with those on the mats around me as we awaited the start of class.  But, I really appreciated it when the instructor put a "shout out" to get up and move about the room and get to know someone you haven't met before.  I got up and started walking about three rows back - catching the smile of a lovely young lady and sat down to get to know here. She ended up walking to and riding the train partway back home with me.  We were in a part of town that one doesn't typically want to walk around in by yourself late at night so it was comforting to have someone that knew the area to travel with for the journey back to my hotel.  I keep in touch with her and let her know whenever I return to the Bay Area.

That simple encouragement to get to know someone new can create a lifelong friend or a moment of brightness in a lonely day for someone.

I want my yoga classes to continue to grow as a community.  Members generally talk freely with those around them and their friends - but I want to encourage them to reach out even more - especially to those that might be trying yoga for the first time and may need some encouragement.  I think I will try the Urban Flow request tomorrow in class.

Where can you create greater community in your work or personal life?

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Isn't Life Grand?!

“Isn’t Life Grand?” – my dear friend I've buddied up with since meeting in first grade exclaimed in her latest e-mail response to my birthday celebrations.  I was spoiled with a trip to the Grand Cayman Islands and still had five days at a beach house to look forward to after I returned from my tropical paradise.  Work in between was crazy but the escapes were worth every late night at the computer.  Yes, that month, life definitely was grand but sometimes it is harder to think that way. 

Such a positive attitude she exemplifies. In spite of all the common struggles we encounter with work and life, she chooses to respond to it with “isn’t life grand?!”  Her life has not been without troubles, true for all of us, but her attitude remains one of “isn’t life grand?” 

I was visiting my father at his assisted living facility in Michigan a few years back.  We were playing a game in the common area and a gentleman came dancing down the hall.  He was greeting everyone he came across with a cheerful attitude as he walked the halls without a cane or any type of assistance.  He was such a charming man and I am sure his attitude positively affected his health all these years.  It is amazing what perspective can do for you physically and mentally. 

A new member joined my yoga class recently.  I was talking with her after class the other morning and she commented about how hard some of the poses were for her.  "But," she said - "no matter how much I struggle in class when I get home it feels so wonderful - like I just got a total body massage".  "And that is a good thing".  Isn't yoga grand?!

I would like to suggest we try to adopt my dear friend's outlook.  When we think positively we focus on the positive and things turn out positive - it's just how it works.  Isn't Life Grand?!