How Yoga Can Connect Our Bodies

By Anne Marie Blaire

Note from Marcia about this blog: In my classes this past week, we discussed the NY Times article How Yoga can Wreck your Body. These discussions have been important and my own ideas have been written in the blog we posted last week. But it occurred to me that one way to balance the negativity of the article was to ask each student who wished to offer a word or phrase about what keeps them coming to yoga—in many cases over many years. The answers were varied and inspiring including: flexibility, strength, balance (physically and in life in general), inner peace, health and vitality, keeps me young and keeps the spark in my heart glowing that makes me glad to be alive.

I received this email the next day from one of our teachers and longtime cheerleader, AnneMarie Blaire. After reading it I just had to share it with you because she expresses so beautifully why so many of us keeping coming again and again to this practice and to Yoga on High.-Marcia

I was going to add this to your list of why we practice yoga, but didn’t want to start “round two” of really great reasons, lest we would have all been caught up in a yoga lovefest without movement.

While I joked that one of the reasons I practice was for “the chance that I might see Jerry Marcom’s smiling face in a Hatha L3 class” it’s been one of the primary draws to yoga and YOHI -- A SENSE OF COMMUNITY.

As I looked around your class last night, I knew most of the 20+ faces and counted 14 of the faces as good friends whom I have gotten to know over the years. Some of these friendships started in the classroom when we partnered in your class, Linda’s or Rodney’s; other’s I’ve taught, mentored or been a student in their classroom. I’ve shared meals with most, become Facebook friends with many, celebrated my birthday with some, been fed and supported by others when my mom was dying and I’ve just enjoyed a conversation with in the lobby or parking lot others.

As I continued to ponder these smiling faces, the diversity of our backgrounds, daily lives, professional lives and personal stories, I realized that without yoga and YOHI, I never would have met any of these amazing people whom I now call my friends and part of my yoga family.

Without our yoga connection, if I’d run into any of them at Northstar or Stauf’s Coffee Shop, we most likely would have smiled at the other and continued on our individual paths. Without yoga and the classroom, I would not have discovered the unique personalities behind those who have become some of my dearest friends. Yoga has tossed together seemingly unconnected smiles to allow us to discover something amazing about ourselves, compassion, strength, wisdom and humanity.

As I look forward to 2012 and my new life in Paris, it is not without sadness for what I leave behind. YOHI and my yoga family has been one of the greatest gifts in my life and it’s the randomness of my yoga family and my unique students and peers which has made me a better teacher and a better person.

As I looked around the room on Sunday morning when we celebrated Tom’s birthday with 40 Sun Salutations, I wondered if I would find my new Parisian Yoga Family in time for my 44nd birthday. I had just 366 days to build my new world and I’m not even there yet!

So I come to yoga because I cannot imagine my life without it, but it’s far more than the asana, pranayama and meditation, it’s because of the community of yogis that my life is so blessed!

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3 Responses to How Yoga Can Connect Our Bodies
  1. Rhonda

    So beautifully said! And so true 🙂

  2. Jennifer Gebhart

    I agree and feel so blessed to be part of this wonderful community! Anne Marie will be deeply missed!!

  3. Rose

    Oh, Anne-Marie! Anthony Bourdain’s “The Layover” is on, and they’re in Paris. What a place. I’ve been so excited for your move, but a little sad that you’ll be so far! Thank you for sharing this post. So beautifully presented — of course!