Community Yoga | An Exercise in Connection

On Saturday I experienced such a magical moment in sharing the energy and love that was present at Blooma’s Bellyrama outdoor family yoga event. With the music pumping loud and the many families strewn about the lawn in front of the Lake Harriet Bandshell, it was a glorious celebration of love and joy, but also a gathering of support for the hardship, the struggle, the loss, and the heartache that accompanies life’s path.

I was once again reminded of the strength and power I experience within myself when moving through the various postures, especially with the warmth of the sun washing over me as I raised my face to the sky and felt the energy radiating from my finger tips. The same strength and energy was palpable in the beautiful trees and water around us, the cool autumn air, and the men, women, and children, who at one point formed a giant circle, embracing one another to share in the experience.  A soft smile spread across my face without my realizing, as I sat in the wondrous moment thinking, “this is real life.” The tears, the excitement, the frustration – all the intimate moments of human life that we sometimes forget are shared experiences, were present.

The joy, the pain, the sorrow, the pride, all seemingly contrasting emotions are held together in the same vessel; our bodies. Moving through empowering yoga series remind us that they can all be one together, experienced simultaneously, as we revel in the movement of our bodies. When we connect to our physical being, and to others, we provide our own validation as we are held in support by those around us. When we slow to notice our inner emotional experiences paired with external stretching and engaging of our muscles, skin, and joints, we integrate our thoughts and memories; we become whole again. This year’s Bellyrama provided a true testament to the power of community, and the soul-moving experience of yoga – integrating the mind and body, our own, and in connection with others.

Written by Lauren Robbins, MS, LPCC, LADC