Nechama Rosenberg has been a student at Lyons Den Power Yoga since it opened two years ago. She recently shared how the yoga community — specifically the Den community — has changed her and opened her up to new possibilities. Take it away, Nechama!
I remember being in class with Bethany one day. We launched into Warrior III and pushed our arms back, and Bethany yelled out, “Now grab onto the hands of the person next to you.”
“Yes, touch them, touch their hands.”
Ew. Gross. The room is heated, and we’re 52 minutes into a 90-minute power vinyasa class. There’s sweat. A lot of it. And I’m supposed to touch the person next to me?
But I decided: I’m already in Rome.
At first it was just an awkward tap on the sweaty hands of the person to my right. But then Bethany repeated, “Push into their hands. Don’t just stand there awkwardly. Let go of whatever is holding you back and let their hands bring you higher.”
So I did it. I pushed my sweaty hands up into theirs.
Finally letting go of that fear of touching the sweaty person next to me, it hit me: Pushing into their hands did let me lift higher. My back started doing that up-dog thing. My leg was straighter. My Warrior was stronger, flying higher than ever. And that was the lesson of the day.
As tired as I often am in class — as exhausted and as overcome by the humidity — when Warrior III is called, I’m there. I’m not in Child’s Pose. I’m not outside getting air. I’m present, and I’m a YES to the person next to me. I’m present to assist that person and elevate his or her practice. I’m there to let go of all my fears, all my inhibitions, and fly. That action brings my own Warrior to new heights, and it helps the people next to me elevate their practice, too. I get to help another human being in a way that would be impossible if not for me.
That’s a takeaway right there: community.
I’ve found that too often in life we can be too stubborn to realize that we can succeed by merely letting go of just a few of our hesitations — just a few of our fears. With that, we can let in the person to our right and the person to our left, and that place we wanted to go, well, we’ll already be there. It won’t even be a thing anymore. You’ll have to create a new “thing,” now six feet ahead of where the original thing was. You create the next place to go, and with the help of others — with that support — you can go so much further.
So I say, don’t be the person to give nothing. Be the person to give something. Anything. Just give.