What is a Yoga Studio?
As the world begins to exhale, I wonder what it will be like to begin to invite students into my studio. I think about what was "given up" when studios closed, and when our magical small group of yogis began practicing together/afar in our neighborhood park. Here's my reckoning so far:
No mirrors- so we can't assess and correct our alignment, or, we allow ourselves to tune into how we feel rather than how we look, check our alignment from the inside-out, and no longer judge ourselves or others on appearance.
No soundtrack, so we can't lose ourselves in a song, we don't have the motivation of a pulsing rhythm to keep us moving; or, we don't have the distraction of song, instead we have the real unfolding of life around us as we steer and re-steer back into the moment. Birds, garbage trucks. The wind in the trees.
No hands-on assists, so we can't get as fully into the postures as we'd like; or, we have to tune into our own wisdom to deepen into the postures, and pay more attention to verbal cues, fully committing to our brains to our muscle action.
No controlled temperature environment, so we're not guaranteed a good sweat or a comfortable experience (I personally got shat on regularly by enthusiastic mourning doves during one outdoor flow!), yet we have a new understanding of how to honor our energetic fields and practice without expectation of perfect circumstance, feeling the expanse of our eight chakras all around us, our connection with the air around us, the earth beneath, the sky above.
No booming community of friends and strangers to practice within, no high-fiving, no tapping into the energy of the one-armed hand-standing yogis on either side of you to keep you going and inspire you to take it to the next level. Instead, folks walk by with their dogs, families on outings good-naturedly swerve their children away from our circle, and our end-of-practice Namaste takes on deeper meaning as a connecting point for us to energetically come together again after separating into the privacies of our newly public practice.