Why we practice alone, and why we practice together

St. Lawrence Church, Warkworth, England. Photo by author.

Most of my yoga practice is done at home.

But I like going to yoga classes for the camaraderie. I enjoy talking to others before and after class — at a class in Mankato, I know most of the people so it’s a time to catch up. At a studio where I don’t know anyone, that’s OK because we all share one interest so it’s pretty easy to make conversation.

What I like most is the energy that comes from a room of people practicing together. It’s powerful when you are able to synchronize movement and breath. You kind of feel like you’re one being.

The other day, I realized that I feel this same way in church. There’s powerful energy that is derived from people praying together and singing together.

I pray at home. But I want to come together with my “tribe,” too. Same with yoga. So much of my practice is solitary, so there are times I want to come together with like-minded people.

In both church and a yoga studio, I’m reminded that I’m part of something larger than myself. Everyone is looking within themselves and finding a measure of peace and calm, even if for only a short period of time.

The list could go on.

I write by myself, but I get together with writer friends to exchange work and talk through ideas.

I listen to music by myself, but I get with others at live shows.

I develop my own curriculum as a teacher, but I get together with colleagues to share successes and failures.

Where do you like to come together with others?

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