We celebrated Circle Yoga’s 14th anniversary earlier this month! This archived Thoughts from Annie post is from May 2007, when the studio was just four years old.
I am writing this letter to you on an airplane returning home after a long weekend spent with two of my dearest friends. We met in the center of the country, one from the West, one from the Midwest, and me coming from the East Coast. We holed up in a log cabin on Roger’s Lake in the middle of northern Minnesota, with no plans, some food essentials, and a deep desire to be together.
Now, on my way home, I am feeling very blessed. And also musing about friendship… what is this amazing force that binds us to our friends? What is the nature of friendship? In yoga, we practice finding the balance between surrender and effort, always looking for that sweet spot where we are open, vulnerable, and still strong. We stretch to be flexible and hold poses to create strength, we balance organic and muscular energies. Can we apply these principles to friendship?
I think so. Being with my friends this weekend, I was aware of a balance between the three of us. We surrendered our vulnerabilities to each other—sharing what hurts in us—and we also put in the effort to support each other and be strong for each other. As we practiced this yoga of friendship, the result was something beautiful, but difficult to put into words. I felt held, truly cared for, and vulnerable, and at the same time I was called to bring my fullest self forward, to be strong and brave enough to hold their sufferings without flinching.
Over the past few months, I have noticed a growing web of friendships at Circle Yoga. This has been a wonderful and surprising part of the journey that we have been on together. I see mothers from the Baby & Me class, sitting out in the garden for hours after class, connecting and supporting each other. I see students coming early and staying late to spend time with new friends from class, students hooking up for lunch or ice cream after class, and wonderful relationships blooming between teachers, students, and our support staff. I see it happening everywhere and every day. I don’t think I can really express how much this meets my need for contributing to the life of my community. I am thrilled that Circle Yoga can provide a container for nurturing friendships. I wish for you that you will enjoy the yoga of friendship, both as a support to your friends, and as the one supported.