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I remember the first time I did crow pose. Nature Kids Summer Camp. What a glorious moment for 11 year old me! Until, I went for round two, and fell right on my face. This was my first yoga memory. At that time, I didn’t know it as “yoga,” and certainly not as I know yoga today. From that one meaningful connection, and then the countless others that followed it, I’ve found a lifelong practice. Now, I could not imagine my life without my yoga practice and my yoga community.

A genuine connection can be rare, but I think it’s something we can control. It takes a major commitment to yourself and your willingness to build that bridge. Effortful and challenging, it may be. Your bridge may be sagging in the middle and its pillars shaking, but it is still a connection between body and mind. Over time and through intentional practice, a strong foundation is formed. Your mind and body begin to speak differently to one another, eventually using no words but sensations to communicate. A sense of trust forms as a result, along with an intuitive respect. These connections that form between mind and body are what send me to back to my mat.

Like the body, the mind strengthens certain connections; it forms then re-forms due to constant movement. These fluctuations of the consciousness or citta vritti naturally create new space and a landscape for us to explore. Through asana (poses) and pranayama (breathwork), we become more aware and learn how to maintain equilibrium while we explore new territory inside. As we move through the dark dank jungles or vast green fields of our minds, we learn to find comfort in our abilities to navigate neural waters, and come home to ourselves. To that place of stillness, peace, liveliness, [fill in yours here]. As yogis, the recognition and mutual respect that we are each on our own journey home is what builds connections for a community.

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