According to Dr Alexander Berzin “The word “Sangha” is a Sanskrit word that means, literally, a community that joins and lives together.” In Canberra as Yoga teachers we gathered in the spirit of a Sangha to come together to share in our love for teaching, learning and all things yoga on an autumn Sunday afternoon.
Martha Luksza, IYTA’s ACT Representative
As I drove to the venue I managed to get lost and as I was organising the event this was not conducive to starting our first Sunday Sangha. Just as well I remembered to breath, smile and trust that everything would unfold the way it should. Luckily, my fellow yoga teachers were patient, welcoming and sympathetic.
In my introduction I said that yoga in my experience serves us most not when everything is flowing beautifully but when life goes pear shaped. It is the moments when we are most challenged in our lives and off our mats that our teachings truly reveal themselves.
Our afternoon was divided into various guided Pranayama practices followed by questions and comments. One of the things I observed whilst we were practicing Pranayama was how powerful it was to be in the presence of other people sitting in a circle breathing together. When we get out of the way of our heads and just let our breath guide us. When we no longer force the breath or worry about the exact counting of the ratios that we can fully experience our physical bodies breathing.
With a couple of teacher’s volunteering to run a segment, a free home studio for our venue (thank-you Pam), it was easy to see why people wanted to join in for a couple of hours.
We had such a wealth of years of yoga teaching experience present. It was wonderful to hear how different people’s experiences were with the various practices and how generous and honest everyone was. Our Pranayama practice was followed by a beautiful kirtan with Marguarita strumming her guitar.
The power of getting together with other teachers wanting to be part of and build a vibrant yoga teaching IYTA community was a success. For me the value of sitting in the presence of other yoga teachers is infectious, authentic, fun, informative and so inspirational. There is something special about taking time out to listen and learn from each other that stimulates, connects and nurtures each of us to be better yogis and teachers both on and off the mat.
Closing the Sangha circle with gratitude and Oms we then shared afternoon tea and more discussion with a commitment to meet again.