I got my next My Yoga Mentor assignment: creating community in a yoga class. Most of the story ideas I've pitched to them, so it was nice to be offered a subject. But, what a subject. I agreed, of course, but thought--I'm not sure what there is to be said about this: post some flyers? put a book store in the studio? sell tee shirts?
However, the more I think about the subject, the more intrigued I am. How do we humans create communities around anything...similar tastes, experiences, backgrounds? And what is a community anyway...do you have to be physically present? Wikipedia suggests community originally implied "a group of interacting people living in a common location," but the definition has now expanded to simply describe "individuals who share characteristics." Pretty broad. So it's interesting to think of yoga as something to build community around; partially because it's such an individual, internal practice, but also because it seems like something you should do rather than talk about.
And yet, create communities we do. Maybe because the classroom is automatically a group experience; or maybe the intensity of the internal experience is such that we want to externalize it to make it more understandable. Or maybe we just love yoga so much, we want to share. To me, that's what the online community is, certainly, since we aren't practicing in the same studio, or even the same country!
So, can you decide to "create" such a community, or does it just happen? I guess if you're off in an ashram somewhere, you're keeping your experience pretty private, but--judging by the online traffic and yoga classes all over the place--yogis want to keep in touch and discuss.
I'm collecting interview subjects and can't wait to hear what they say...I'll let you know. In the meantime, my dear online community, what do y'all think...