Yoga in the Winter: #winterwanderlust

You may think of yoga as an individual practice, a time to be alone with your breath and disconnect from life off your mat.  While this is true, of course, yoga can also bring people together.  Yoga is laying your mat down in a hotel room to unwind on a business trip.  It is also asking the person next to you in class to spot your headstand.  It’s a solo journey and offers a safe and special place for connection.

Misha Krepon representing Vibe Yoga Studio teaches vinyasa flow to kick-off the morning.

Misha Krepon representing Vibe Yoga Studio teaches vinyasa flow to kick-off the morning.

Winter Wanderlust, Fitter’s premier January event, was a beautiful gathering of Silicon Valley’s yoga community.  There were instructors from multiple studios twerking together (yes, literally…twerking…during yoga!), people sitting knee-to-knee on the floor listening to sound bowl meditation for the first time, and shared lunch tables that encouraged conversation and connection.  I know everyone who attended enjoyed the yoga, and my greater hope is that everyone left with a new friend!  As Jackie, an instructor at Bright Heart Yoga Studio says, “My yoga community influences my practice by keeping me motivated towards my goals on and off my mat. My community helps me to be accountable to what I am up to in life.” 

My highlights of Fitter’s Winter Wanderlust are all about the community: I practiced yoga with my friends’ 16-year-old daughter and her buddies – their first time ever doing downdogs!  I met a man named Matt and had coffee with him this week to share stories of our native state, Minnesota.  I invited a woman named Lisa to Winter Wanderlust when we were first introduced, four days before the event.  She came!  And then invited me to SoulCycle and brunch with her this past weekend.  My boyfriend got to meet Sophia, Summer, and DJ Aaron, names he had heard 1,000 times.  I laughed really hard with Fitter colleagues and am excited now to call them friends.  #entrence 

William Cristobal, Aaron Goodnow, and Summer Rechenmacher from Yoga Belly finish off the day with a yoga flow party with live DJ and we twerk together yoga style.

William Cristobal, Aaron Goodnow, and Summer Rechenmacher from Yoga Belly finish off the day with a yoga flow party with live DJ and we twerk together yoga style.

This is what I love about fitness communities: they are a collection of people you would otherwise not know, but when together, you bond authentically and organically.  There’s a common thread, something to talk about, and of course, a lot of sweat and shared hard work.  As much as I value my yoga practice as a time for me to work and play alone on my mat,  I appreciate it even more for the relationships it has allowed me to create off the mat.

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Sophia Wong