What’s Missing from Most Yoga Part Two: Community

by Melissa West on June 28, 2017

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What’s Missing from Most Yoga Part Two


Today I’m going to share with you Part Two of what I think is missing from most yoga today.

Hi I’m Melissa from Yoga with Melissa. I offer Real Yoga for Real People. We are all about connection. Connection with a teacher and teachings that allow you to connect with your True Self and to a community of people who support each other on a genuine path of spiritual transformation.

If you are new here be sure to subscribe and turn on notifications. I put out a new video like this every Wednesday at 9 am PT. If you like this video, give it a thumbs up and let me know what you like about it in the comments.

Today I am going to share with you what I think is missing from most yoga, teaching. Last week we had a lively conversation about my experience of what I thought was missing from most yoga classes. Thank you for all your comments on that video.

This week I want to share with you my experience of what has been missing from most of my experiences of yoga classes that I have attended. In my experience, the big thing that is missing from yoga is community. For me community goes beyond having a common shared characteristic, coming together for a shared interest, goal or attitude and a sense of fellowship. For me there has to be a real connection with other people.

In my experience of yoga classes and online communities, they have been on the whole, solitary experiences. I go to class, I stay on my little rectangle and given the structure of the container looking and talking to other people is discouraged. For example, I went to about three different yoga studio for a significant amount of time and never made a single friend or significant human connection despite many attempts to say hello and make small talk to people before and after class. This to me shows a lack of community building in yoga generally speaking.

Retreats, workshops and teacher training have been the exception to the rule, however I do think that there is a need for community in our weekly yoga classes. How do I think we can do it? Well I would love to hear from you, let me know in the comments. Have you had some experiences where you have felt part of a community in the container of yoga? How did that work?

In my experience I feel one of the ways we can build community is by breaking down the hierarchy of teacher above and student below. We need to value the students’ experience and give space to hear about it. One of the most popular sections of our membership community is our Just Like Me Interviews where we tell the yoga stories of our members, how they came to yoga and how it has changed their lives. Everybody has a story to tell and I want to hear it. The thing that I find so challenging is that people are so used to handing their authority over to the teacher that often there is a lot of fear and nervousness to tell our stories. But I am here to tell you, we want to hear your story, we are hardwired for story. Your story is important. So the next time I reach out to you to ask to hear your story, please share it with us.

I will leave the link to the interviews if you are interested in listening to them. And if you are not already a member, it is one of the greatest perks of being part of our community.

Membership Sign-Up

Just Like Me Interviews – Link here

Let me know in the comments about your experiences with community in yoga. Has it pretty much been a solitary experience of confinement to your rectangle or has it been a space of connection for you? Leave your comments below. Let’s have a conversation. I value your experience. If you liked this video, give it a thumbs up. Be sure to subscribe and turn on notifications, I put out a new video like this every Wednesday at 9:00 am PT.

Namaste, Melissa

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  • Katelyn Greeno

    Hi, Melissa. I agree with you that yoga can be solitary. It certainly has been for me. Last summer I attended morning yoga classes at my local gym. Even though I attended every day for several months, I never made a friend. The yoga instructor knew the names of many of the other students, but never bothered to talk to me during my four months there. Needless to say, I cancelled my membership since it wasn’t serving me. I figured I could save the money and not have to get up at the crack of dawn each morning to drive to this yoga class. That is when I started doing “home yoga” more seriously and have enjoyed it much more.

    • Dear Katelyn, I´m sorry to hear that your experience has been similar to mine. I think this is so unfortunate. I´m so happy to hear that you are enjoying your home practice. Thank you so much for taking time to leave your comments and make a connection with us. I appreciate your presence here <3 Namaste, Melissa

  • Kaye Thomas-Hogan

    As a yoga instructor for seniors one of the things that I do in my yoga class is to do some simple balancing poses: tree, falling star, warrior III and others. Then we get in a circle, hold hands and do the same postures holding hands throughout and see how much easier it is when we are “supporting each other”, a metaphor for life. Life is easier, more fun, more do-able, more confidence building when we support each other, have compassion for each other and help each other along the way.

    • Dear Kaye, Thank you for your beautiful teachings to seniors. That is such a beautiful offering of supporting each other through the circle and in life. Thank you for your teachings. With gratitude, Melissa

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