Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Yoga is Friendship

"Yoga is like a friend--and you want to keep friends for a long time," said the amazing Cora Wen during the Friday night workshop I had to pleasure of attending. "Sometimes you might get mad at your friend and not talk to her for a while. But if you're good friends, you will usually come around. That's how it is with yoga, you might drift away for a while, but yogis almost always come back."

It's an extremely comforting thought.

I am incredibly blessed ... but after moving across the country a few months ago and starting a demanding job there are two things I could use more of in my life: yoga and friends. One brief encounter with Cora Wen gave me a healthy dose of both! She taught me yoga AND invited me to dinner with a group of amazing (and local) yogis! (See? I told you I'm spoiled..)

I've had a yoga crush on Cora ever since the first time I laid eyes on her amazing headstand pictures. This woman has no problem inverting (and having her photo snapped) in front of all kinds of beauty--in nature, in the city, and across the world! Of course, she also has the most amazing presence online through blogging and social media. All of her personality and enthusiasm for life had me fooled into believing she must be a younger teacher... After all, there aren't many older teachers out there sharing their teachings through tweets or standing on their heads at street fairs. But she brings so much experience and knowledge to her teachings, it's mind-blowing.

Much of what's written about Cora talks about how she bridges the gap between the East and the West, and I certainly agree. But to me it's more interesting how she bridges the gap between the traditional, old-school yoga and the emerging, new yoga community. Tradition is important to her. She passes down the legacy of her teachers with such honor and respect, but brings those teachings to the rest of us through Tweets, blog posts, over cocktails, or wherever she is. I, for one, am immensely grateful for teachers like her, who take yoga seriously ... but not so seriously that it's hard for us to relate to them.