It seems like yesterday (actually about a year and a half ago) that Carrie, from Enso, asked me somewhat incredulously on the phone:”You want to call it Coffee and yoga with Robert?!” She may have repeated the question. I understood her hesitation. After all, coffee is often shunned in the yoga community by many. So why on earth did I choose this title?
For me it was this cozy feeling that I yearned to re-introduce into our yoga practice. In Holland, from where I originate, we have a word for this: “gezelligheid”. The Dutch have perfected being “gezellig” in a country that is often grey and wet. Small sidewalk café’s where the waiter will serve your coffee on a small platter in a porcelain cup with a little cookie and whipped cream on the side. This is then to be slowly and ritually savored while absorbing your surroundings. It’s this atmosphere I would like to convey a to our newly developing yoga community: a sweet cozy ritual!
I have been to many yoga studios in my life that felt intimidating, even by design. Teachers reveling at times in borderline bullying, often passed down from the guru himself. I still recall being in a headstand and a prominent yoga teacher, who will remain nameless, exclaiming loudly to the other students: “come look at this banana over here!“ I shrugged it off, yet still recall it now a good 25 years later.
The competitive nature in society often seeping into the yoga room, dividing us in different camps: beginner, intermediate and “advanced”. While this may make logical sense, it further encourages the competition we so desperately need to drop. After all in yoga we strive to become graceful dancers, artists. It’s decidedly not bootcamp.
This brings me back to: “Coffee and yoga with Robert.” I’m happy to tell you that we are still gathering Tuesdays through Fridays at 10:30 AM on Zoom with a group of diverse students, some from different time zones. If you haven’t attended for a while, join in once again and bring a friend!