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Why Are You Here?


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I’m subbing and don’t know the clientele. I ask the standard questions: Is anyone new to yoga? Is anyone injured? Are there any requests? They smile at me but nothing else. I ask; why are you here today?

To my surprise the first answer is “love”.


I’ve never met her before. It does not seem logical that I can provide what she wants.

Look up the word love and see that there is no absolute definition. What is love? It can be a multitude of things. As stated on Wikipedia:

This diversity of uses and meanings combined with the complexity of the feelings involved makes love unusually difficult to consistently define, compared to other emotional states.

And within this discussion of love, an interesting premise for the yoga class is written:

Love may be understood as a function to keep human beings together against menaces and to facilitate the continuation of the species

We are empowered by the comfort of community.

It’s primal. I used to work on film sets. The experience was not unlike the commonality of the group who spends a couple of days together at a yoga retreat (except for the liquor, x-rated banter and sleepless nights:)). You are an impermanent collective with one purpose.


Yoga studios promote community which requires a consistent group of participants.  In this case there seemed to be a random section of the population who had not met previously, who did not gather before or after class. Could love then be described as a function of community? It did not feel that way to me.


I have taken class with humorless teachers who did not befriend the students but I left the room wholly satisfied with the transformation of a body that came in one way and walked out another. I might call that feeling love.

What can the yoga teacher offer as love but her skills?

It never hurts to have a teacher smile your way but encouragement is not love. It is part of  her job. The teacher’s love of her craft, her desire to implement is the act of love. Though we are mostly affirmation junkies, students are learning the skill of actualizing; of becoming clear in a way that is unaffected by circumstance. So do we need love to actualize?

Yoga is self love expressed in the intimacy of attention to movement. Yoga is a communication to one’s self.
The teacher is the facilitator. Can that be enough?

Wikipedia again:

Love in its various forms acts as a major facilitator of interpersonal relationships and, owing to its central psychological importance, is one of the most common themes in the creative arts.

I wonder if yoga is a creative art. I have not heard it described that way but coming to yoga as a dancer I know that it can be.

Dance is passion expressed in the language of movement. It serves the dancer but perhaps its greatest service is to the viewer. The dance is our communication to others.

Though our yoga practice is the practice of self integration, we are not isolated when we practice together, particularly when the medium of music is the basis for the choreography of that practice. While in yoga we are generally advised to keep our eyes to our own mats, there are times that opening our eyes to the movement around us lifts us up. That feels a bit like love to me.

If love acts as a major facilitator of relationship then the yoga practice should be infused with love. Yoga is about relationship in every layer of our being, in every contact we make beyond that.


 Love is yoga expressed in the intimacy of attention to movement.


Love is indefinable, it is a sense of community and it is about relationship. In yoga love is the experience of you. You come to yoga class for love that is already there. I hope to help you to find that in unexpected ways.