Traditionally yoga was taught one on one and practiced alone. Originally it was taught as an adjunct to a spiritual practice, training the yogi to be able to sit comfortably for long periods. The yogi then could apply the breathing practices and meditation to advance their journey towards the Supreme goal. These days however yoga is mostly taught for other reasons like health, fitness and relaxation.
The one on one teaching is left to those who can afford private classes while the majority of us attend group classes.. Of course a private class in the presence of an experienced and trusted teacher will be of great benefit especially as the practice can be exclusively individualised with much attention able to be paid to areas that might need fostering.
However there are also benefits to attending group classes. Man is a social animal. It is natural to like to spend time in the society of other likeminded people. Group classes and workshops provide a great chance to get away from the screen and have some real time connection.
Being part of a yoga community can provide a sense of belonging and connection, which can improve mental health and overall well-being. Practicing yoga together can create a shared experience that brings people together, creating a sense of unity and support.
Many people find that rocking up to a group yoga class is much easier than finding the motivation to get on one’s mat at home. Practicing with others can inspire and motivate individuals to continue practicing and improving.
There is a lot to be learnt about oneself in a group setting, where we might be confronted with feelings of inadequacy or pride. We might be motivated to go beyond our limitations in a spirit of competitiveness. A group yoga class is a great way to recognise, own and step away from these feelings and become confident in our own individuality.
ASMY provides a safe and supportive environment in which to practice our asanas. Here individuals can practice yoga without fear of judgment or competition. You will find that everyone is there to support each other and work towards their own personal goals.
Many people have a network of friends and family but for those who may feel isolated or lonely, practicing yoga at ASMY can provide that sense of community and friendship which we all need in our lives. People who come along to ASMY are open and easy to make friends with and the teachers always willing to spend time chatting between classes. In fact, we have a comfortable area in the foyer especially designed for sharing friendship and cups of herbal tea.
On the 29th April, ASMY Gold Coast is celebrating it’s 2nd birthday at our new Mermaid Beach yoga centre. This is a great time to meet the teachers, experience the different types of classes they offer and make new friends. Be sure to mark this day on your calendar and come along and become more involved in our yoga community.
By Vrndavan Dasi
Founder and Principal of Veda Yoga Teacher Training