There is sometimes a moment in class, when I look into the mirror and see the bigger picture. I am usually resolutely focused on myself, and my practice, but sometimes I catch a view of the class as a whole, moving as one. I love that. The strength the class has as it stands together and works together is inspiring, and beautiful to see. It always makes me smile.
Today it happened during Half Moon Pose. It was a full class and everyone was centered on their mats, reaching up and to the side. We were all different colors, shapes, sizes, nationalities, experience levels, men, women, but we were all part of the whole, like individual brush strokes in a painting. I could see the energy in the room. I could feel it. We all held the posture, gave one final push together, and moved back to the center in unison as the teacher said, “Change.”
This reminded me of the first time I attended Solstice in Times Square. Held on the day of the summer solstice, the day-long event includes mass yoga classes in NYC’s Times Square taught by leading instructors in various yoga styles. The Bikram class is usually held around noon to get the benefit of the heat. More than 10,000 people attended the event in 2014. If you have the chance to attend, I highly recommend it.
The first year I attended was 2012. Talk about feeling part of something bigger! There were thousands of us packed together on the street in Times Square for the Bikram Yoga class, each with our own yoga mat and stack of personal items. It was tight, but that was part of the experience. Yogis were sharing sunscreen, chatting, and taking photos for each other. While I arrived alone, I ended up in front of someone I recognized from my studio, and next to one of her friends. It was great fun.
There were no mirrors, of course, but I was far enough back in the crowd that I could see the group moving in unison through the postures. Again it was Half Moon Pose where it resonated most for me, probably because we were all reaching toward the sky. I was thrilled to be a part of the Bikram Yoga community and to be sharing the practice that I love with so many. I saw the bigger picture. My yoga practice not only helps me personally in my daily life, but it ties me to others, making me a part of something bigger and much stronger for the unity.
Fellow yogis, do you ever see the bigger picture in class?