Betty is having a bad day. “What’s up,?” I say to her right after she finishes modified triangle. She doesn’t answer and switches sides. I’ve learned to wait with Betty. She is, after all, 78, a widow, with, to quote her directly, “many, many operations behind her.” I really love her, and I tell her so as I assist her into supported Uttanasana. She wiggles her hips in appreciation. My life is complete.
I have this awesome job, in fact I have the beginnings of an awesome company. One of its highlights is the way in which the practice of yoga enhances an experience of partnership and community, or as I like to call it, a Kula, a community of the Heart. There are great, intangible, wondrous blessings that manifest out of these kind of gatherings. I am never surprised when people who initially came together as strangers are inviting one another out for lunch, offering rides, clapping one another through a challenging posture; believing in each other and by extension more firmly in themselves.
I’ve recognized that this concept of Kula springs out of the desire for community within my own heart. When I arrived in Minnesota, I wanted to connect, belong, be me, offer up my gifts and talents and witness transformation. I had no idea at the time that the greatest shifts were going to take place within my own self. Its humbling, oftentimes breath-taking and definitely scary. I’m all in anyway.
“Your’s is a spiritual practice, Susan,” Betty’s friend Shirley says to me at the end of class. She’s almost 80, quiet, focused, did a balanced half moon with a chair assist against the wall today for the first time. “That’s why I like it so much. I’ve shifted into wonder.” She smiles.
Wow, I think to myself. Honor this moment. It’s why you are here.
Betty waves as she walks out the door.