Imagine you are about to begin a yoga class.  You start with your own particular vibration. You have your own reason for being there. The other members of the group have come in with their own traces of the day and different concerns. Perhaps your energy field (aura) has diminished through stress, isolation, anger, media overload, to-do-list for the week, lack of self-value. Perhaps you feel particularly sad for some reason. You don’t really feel like making much effort today and wondered why you bothered coming! So you skip the first couple of postures and rest in Childs Pose.

After a few breaths, without you even trying, your energy body starts to feel a little nurtured by your peers. Your mind begins to release a little resistance.  Because energy begets energy, you start to feel inspired to join in. Your energy begins to move beyond your finite experience and merges with the others. Without much effort at all, you soon find your energy has mingled with the group and your mind is operating on a different wavelength. Slowly you begin to hear the quiet voice of the soul. Slowly….. peace.

Group yoga is all about energy.

Yogi Bhajan said when practicing yoga in a group, you are basking in a collective, higher energy field. This exponentially multiplies the effects of your individual yoga practice.

When we come to class, we not only up-level our spiritual and physical health and wellbeing. We also inadvertently help to lift others whether it feels that way or not.

Doing yoga in a group develops consciousness.  The happiness of one person balances out the sadness of another. Individual efforts are multiplied. Kundalini Yoga is the yoga of awareness and consciousness.

You heart develops energetic coherence giving you connection to fellow yogis who’s names you might neither know nor does it matter.  Your spirit has had an experience of the beauty of collective consciousness. It has experience integration within and around. This is healing individually and for the planet.

The Mind

Yoga isn’t just physical postures. Your state of mind is equally important. Otherwise you are just going through the motions and not really transforming anything except your physical body.

Your thoughts affect every cell in your body. They create. They generate the chemical state that sets the stage for everything that happens in your body. They set up your emotional state. They have an energetic impact around you and even things remotely. (This is why distance healing can be so remarkable.)

Your mind is constantly painting a picture of the world depending on your mental state.

When you are in stress you are less inclined to make healthy choices. These choices impact every level of your experience and every habit. Your habits become your days, and your days become your life.

Often you are trying to address a problem from the same mindset and environment where it was created. Inspired thinking using the same brain that is suffering form the lack of inspiration is hard work. Tapping into collective energy and insight is much easier. You cannot win the find against your own mind with your own mind.

Your mind is hardwired to create. Depending on the state you are in, it can create a masterpiece, or a catastrophe. Especially when practicing yoga at home, being mindful of how you are using your mind is essential. Are you generating more of the same subconscious thoughts and beliefs that run the show when you are off the mat? Without awareness you may be reinforcing your current mind state and neurological pathways.  We don’t want to accumulate more of the same energy. If you tend to judge yourself then your natural tendency might be to criticize your ‘performance’ after a posture if you are not aware of your mind working like this in the first place. In this instance you when you would want to cultivate more healing thoughts of acceptance.

It’s much easier to shift our internal state in a collective energy field. It’s easier for the mind to see the big picture, you can see beyond the problem making. So you feel better and make better choices. Inspiration and solutions become apparent when you align with positive forces. You can trust a higher collective mind to help generate higher emotions such as condition-less love, real gratitude and compassion.

The power of community

Community (or lack of it) can be the most powerful influence in your life.  Life is always in flux, but a collective energy will stay at a more constant level. Whatever the activity or passion, choose a community that supports your overall health and wellbeing (emotionally and spiritually) within that arena.  Choose a vibe that to check in with regularly to keep you moving forwards. I’m not just talking about yoga. I’m doing about any community. As a natural introvert, I resisted this concept for many years and now I crave community with commitment, integrity, joy and creative energy to regularly remind me of the beauty and potential in the world.

You can’t choose your family, but you can choose your tribe.  Reflect on the influences in your life. Are the people you are in contact with allowing you to birth your deepest voice? Do they make you come alive?

It’s easier to find your inner ease with a positive community, a dedicated time and place outside of your home environment. If you are feeling anxious and frustrated, practicing yoga with others can help bring about a different more assimilated result. It’s easier to operate in peak performance with like-minded crew. It’s easier to lose your negative mind to create a positive solution. You just tune into the energy around. Somehow, information that is outside of our normal ways of thinking about space and time is available to us. Science (and by the way I’m a fan of science) can’t explain the specific mechanisms of how connecting with nonlocal information works. Yet.

Life always reflects your internal state – what is going on in your mind. That’s why it’s so important to watch your mind during yoga, as yogic science activates a receptive programmable state.

How to do yoga when you don’t feel like it.

It’s very rare I don’t feel like teaching.

I’m lucky my work is a lifestyle choice that feeds my spirit and allows me to give abundantly provided I am looking after myself correctly.  In former years, I was very angry and I used to pollute myself internally.  (The litany of lies we are fed; the endless horror of abused animals and children across the planet; and my irritations at even being in this physical body on this planet at this time.)  Over the years I have channelled anger into meaning. These days I teach because it’s my way of taking responsibility for my own darkness so that I enjoy a more whole experience of life. Thus I am empowered to do what I need to do to generate change in my community.  It creates not only space and clarity in my life but also for others.

So that’s how I teach when I don’t feel like it.

Everytime you feel challenged and you face a choice, try asking:

“What action could I take right now that would enhance my life the most?”

“What would I do if I loved myself?”

Finding real peace and aliveness can be tricky on our own. I think back and remember sitting on my bedroom floor practicing breath of fire in the same energy that housed my collective thoughts and fears.

My sincere wish is that everyone does some yoga every day at home. That can mean a posture, a pranayam, a meditation, some yoga nidra, anything.  But even I myself can every occasionally fall into the modern life trap of going through the motions. Zooming through a half hearted practice without integration or correct assimilation. That’s not yoga. It’s just checking off another item on the to-do-list.

If you are practicing to be better, for a better world, when you are in an inspired energy field, you have greater awareness of the unity of all people, have more compassion, understanding and love for others. The others bring out the best in you, and you help to bring out the best in others. Your brain works better and your use your mind differently. As we change our nature in the company of others, so our attitude towards others changes, and the attitude of the world changes towards us.

We all need a way out of delusion and into heaven on earth. It starts in your body. And ends with merging with others to create a more beautiful world.

Whether you are practicing at home or in a class, make sure merger between you and the world around you is there to some extent. Without the merger, there is no yoga.

Community helps us awaken to serve the world in a bigger way.