Though I belong to a large and incredibly supportive teacher community at my studio, I sometimes feel isolated from others, since usually we’re dashing from class to class. As Carol and I have been talking with yoga teachers about forming a DC Yoga Co-op, we know that this feeling resonates — and is even more keenly felt by independent yoga teachers. (One described it as being an “island” in her teaching practice.) To counteract this feeling, in the fall I unmoored myself and let the tides drift me to Upper Marlboro, MD to see how far out my yoga peeps live and work.
I was very early for the noon class at Spiritual Essence, but nevertheless warmly welcomed by Jakuta Dunmore, my instructor. While we waited for her class to begin, we delved deeply into what was important to us as teachers, practitioners, and community members. As our conversation turned to taking this practice to people who need it most, she shared the exciting news that she just been hired to teach yoga in the county prison. I could see that this new position was an expression of her compassion and practice of loving kindness. As I said goodbye and we took pictures of each other and fellow students, I hoped that I would get to hear about how that first class went at the prison.
I’m always happy when I leave class blissed out after savasana, and I’m over the moon if I have learned something new — a few new moves to incorporate into my sequences or a new perspective on ancient teachings. This time I left buoyed by the knowledge that I had connected with someone who shared my values and my practice on and off the mat. Definitely a fellow yoga peep, my friend Jakuta.
When I envision the DC Yoga Co-op and what it could be and do for yoga teachers and serious practitioners in the region, this is what I imagine: A place where we can gather, share support and wisdom. For a brief moment, we could be islands in the sun.
If you are interested in hearing more about the DC Yoga Co-op, drop me a line. Happy to include you in our work to create this community.