I'm not going to lie: way back when I didn't know my savasana from my tadasana my teacher would clap her hands gleefully from the front of the studio to announce 'pair yoga' and my little anahata would sink.
Ever been there? Your teacher happily announces you're going to share this precious hour you THOUGHT was all about you, with someone you've never even met, balanced in awkward tree pose next to each other, resting socially awkward sweaty palms together as you try not to touch, but can't not because all this movement to another person's mat has you WELL outside your comfort zone and you're off your balance game and....where was I?
Oh yeah. Collaboration.
I'll admit it: I'm a lone wolf. I LIKE my alone time, I relish my own space, I'm fiercely independent. Collaboration in a yoga class was never going to be for me. BUT, now I'm at the front of the class, I kind of see where my teacher's joy stemmed from. Bear with me.
Ever tried doing yoga by yourself? Found it a bit....lonely? It's not just the lack of fellow yogis you're missing, the likeminded souls and their crazy legging combos, no: it's their collective ENERGY. A room full of cleansed chakras feels infinitely better than one with just one set in it.
Just by attending a class you're collaborating. Working together to lift the vibe. That's my kind of team work!
Now, contemplate how, by doing pranayama you might be collaborating. You breathe in, you breathe out. So far so relaxing, but how does this constitute collaboration? Well, because you're working with Mother Nature, that's how. You're working with the entire PLANET, that's how. You breathe in and it's a gift from the trees. You breathe out and you give that gift back. There's an endless cycle, a symbiosis, taking place with EVERY SINGLE breath. That's how.
Let's go a stretch (haha) further. How's your aura? Actually, WHERE is your aura? Right now? Two feet away? A mile? I'm not kidding! Your energy field stretches and expands and contracts all the time. Where SHOULD it be? Well, around 2-3 metres from your physical self, roughly speaking. Too far out and you risk being depleted. Too closed in and you risk cutting yourself off. At its optimum, a well balanced, clean and shiny aura emits a subtle glow. If you get close to others who's auras are the same, your glows glow stronger. Better together. Stronger together. Individual, yes, but lighting things up. COLLABORATING. What does yoga do for auras? You got it: makes 'em nice and shiny. And what do shiny auras do? Bring in the LIGHT.
It's a beautiful thing.
So, the next time a yoga teacher grins impishly from the front and encourages you to balance on one leg pressed back to back with some nice, quiet woman called Linda dressed in lilac leggings, try to relax. Your collaboration is healing the world.