There are many ways you can practice yoga: by yourself at home, with a friend, at a gym, or at a yoga studio. One of the perks of taking class in a studio is the feeling of community. If you come to class at the same time every week, you may find that you run into the same students time after time. After a while, perhaps you form friendships, or at least become familiar with your fellow students. I know at our studio, when a regular is gone for a few weeks, we begin to worry and check in to make sure all is ok, we get updates of grandchildren, and many times, students will bring in things to share. This sense of familiarity and community helps the atmosphere in class as well, as perhaps you feel free to laugh and talk along with the instructor. Now I know our studio is very laid back compared to some other places, but this sense of community can occur in many places other than the yoga studio.

The idea of community and sharing experiences with another got me thinking about family. I am blessed to have my entire family together for this week, and knowing that our close-knit bond is not universal, I started thinking about what family means for others. The definition of family is “a basic social unit consisting of parents and their children, considered as a group, whether dwelling together or not”. I know that not everyone has a close bond with parents or siblings, or even the desire to be close with their family, but can’t family and the sense of community go beyond whom we are related to? You don’t get to choose your family, and sometimes they suck. It happens. But you can build and create your own community rather than sit around and sulk. Its tough, I know, but if you don’t help yourself, than who will?

Yoga is one place that is wonderful for meeting like-minded people who are calm and care about their bodies and minds (hopefully). If yoga isn’t your thing, than maybe you should join a run club. I will always recommend you join something that combines community with health and well being, but I know there are many other options out there. Don’t let the traditional sense of family drag you down; create your own group (family) that will support you and give you sound advice when needed. We can’t choose whom we are related to, but we can always choose whom we relate to.

So pick wisely, but as always, you are more than welcome to join us at the yoga studio, where smiles, laughs, occasional frowns, and baked goods are shared aplenty.