“The greatest sweetener of human life is Friendship. To raise this to the highest pitch of enjoyment,
is a secret which but few discover.”
Friendship: noun \ˈfren(d)-ˌship\
1: the state of being friends1
2. harmony, accord, understanding, rapport.2
I recently read an article about origins, a twist on a review of the movie “The Social Network”. The article, on Elephant Journal “What’s Your Yoga Origin Story” by Laura Marjorie Miller tied together the origins of Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg’s creation of it with the question of what brought each of us individual yogis to the mat. From my perspective, I think it’s a good article because I thought of it for days after reading it, and it came to mind again when I was given this first assignment, writing an essay on “What does yoga mean to you?”
Understanding what yoga means to me ties in directly to my origin story- wherever my practice started, it motivated me then to return to the mat after the first “visit” and it motivates me now to return daily to the mat (figuratively and/or literally) and it motivates me to teach, learn, and teach some more. It is what yoga means to me.
I came to yoga through a friend. I was deep into my research for earning my postgraduate degree in biology, and whether or not I knew it, my friend (thankfully) recognized that I needed something outside of the laboratory to help me. My friend practically had to drag me to my first yoga class. Yoga didn’t just help me- it saved me from some serious stress-related illnesses. I went from weekly doses of prescribed sleeping pills to sleeping peacefully each night. My breath went from being in my throat to returning to its rightful place of regularity in my chest. My skin felt better. All digestive systems were ‘go’. Thought processes were well oiled, flowing again. Clarity. Peace. I felt much more composed in situations that typically brought anxiety. I could go on and on about how much better my life was after my friend brought me to yoga.
Yoga saw me through one of the more difficult periods of my life, and continues to be there for me like an old friend. Which brings me back to the origin. The origin of my yoga is friendship. My friend motivated me to come to the mat the first time. I wasn’t looking for yoga, and I wasn’t looking for help from my situation. My friendship with this really cool person motivated me. And now what motivates me is my friendship with yoga. To give this gift of friendship with yoga to my students now is a wonderful dream-made-real life.
Friendship. That’s what yoga means to me.