The Gift of Yoga and the Power of Story

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by Diane MacDonald

Michael Parent writes: “When we tell and listen to stories, we can almost feel our souls breathing fully and deeply. Our capacity to see options, to visualize possibilities and to imagine expands and we are somehow more alive.”
As yoga teachers, we are in a unique position to watch our students expand their view of what is possible in their lives. A student with depression that finds joy in his practice, a student that suffered with pain from an injury and is now living pain-free, a student experiencing deep loss that found solace and healing in the community of her yoga studio—how can we encourage our yoga communities to share these stories?

The yoga practice and the communities we build in our studios are so much more than the asana—so much more than being able to place your leg behind your head or do a forearm stand. The yoga community is in a unique position to support students and clients to share their stories of healing, of possibility and of transformation. In the current widespread cultural environment of discord, deep divide, anger and fear, the communities we build in our studios have the potential to stand outside of the divisiveness and set an example for what is possible.

We can encourage our students to share their stories and experiences by providing platforms for sharing, communicating and being in relationships off the mat and outside of class. Students can share their personal stories on blogs, newsletters, Facebook pages and Twitter feeds. Creating time to bring all of your community together with fundraising events, group sharing circles, or a potluck open house once a month can help us to go beyond the practice and encourage a deeper connection to each other and to the greater possibilities for healing and transformation in our world.

Diane MacDonald is the owner and founder of It Takes A Village Wellness and A Woman Alive. As a yoga instructor and life transition coach, her passion is building communities of healing and supporting her students and clients to believe in possibility, stay in action toward their dreams and feel more alive. It Takes A Village Wellness will present 7 Women Sharing Their Stories on March 23, from 7 to 10 p.m., at the Port Jefferson Village Center. Tickets are $25. For more information, call MacDonald at 646-546-0644 or visit AWomanAlive.com/sharing-our-stories.

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