I’m an introvert. A process-things-alone, take-solo-vacations-and-forget-to-speak-to-anyone-for-seven-days, a quiet and overly-sensitive introvert.
I feel overstimulated by a lot of sound, or a lot of fun, or a lot of change, though I like these things a lot. The very best place for me to process the business of being human is in a quiet space void of new input. When the shit hits the fan, silence and solitude are my medicines.
And yet. I adore people. We are such weird and intricate fellows, and i wonder, fascinated about every corner of everyone i know and the ones I don’t know, too. There is nothing so powerful as making a deep connection with another person. I teach yoga classes to probably hundreds of my favourite humans every week. I (sometimes unwittingly) bring my tenderness, my joys, my heartbreaks and my sensitivities to a roomful of beings daily and i set it all down quietly into the asana and the breath and into the pile of collective buzzing before and after class: book recommendations, hugs, tears, laughter, chatter, catching up, sorrow, joys; all shared. We are all students of life, in this together. I’ve always wondered how my classes have become such a vibrant, boisterous place when i am such a nerdy loner.
The answer is yoga, of course. It yokes us together, like it or not, by a tiny, daily miracle.
I will save the details of the story for another time, but one day i did a very risky thing: i went to a yoga class and did what everyone who comes to a yoga class does; bravely chooses to explore being herself on a mat amidst a group of complex, beautiful, tender humans doing the same, in a quiet way; independently connected. We share a space, hold it together, but everyone is having their own private experience. Together, alone. It is vulnerable, but it is secure and calm, too. It is quite a little something, a group yoga practice. It is one of the greatest joys in my life.
For the second time, I am enjoying the lucky break of being part of a yoga festival, a pulsating, built-on-community festival called Prairie Love. I can’t tell you how out of my comfort zone this is, in some ways, how much of a tentative joiner i am because festivals are big and wild, how excited i am for it, still, and how beautifully yogic it is, too. How much stimulating, exciting, overwhelming fun! joy! transformation! there will be. But also what a great chance it will be to have a yoga practice together. A quiet place to call temporary home with other people seeking a quiet, temporary home, in the midst of the noisy beautiful chaos of life. My class is an introvert flow. Maybe people will join me there, when they need a little place to be quiet, reflective, to stew in and integrate the beauty they encounter, a place to touch the earth through which we are all cooly, calmly connected, withdraw the senses, go at our own pace, come home to our good, sweet selves. And in the end, we’ll maybe look up, with our feet firmly planted, and meet someone’s eyes and know each other in a way that we couldn’t possibly know with words, and it will be perfect.