Best Friends Forever
Nothing beats having your yoga best friend by your side
D o you have a yoga best friend? Someone who motivates you to get to class regularly or who inspires you to keep going when things get a little tough? Or perhaps it’s just someone you like to relax with after class, enjoying a gossip; or perhaps a little discussion about yoga philosophy (unless that’s just me!)?
Even if you go to a group class, yoga is essentially a solitary practice, so it can be nice to share the highs and lows with someone who understands. A yoga friend won’t eye-roll when you talk a bit too enthusiastically about your journey to Handstand, or look incredulous as you gush about the theme of class which was quite wonderful in the moment but sounds rather cheesy afterwards. I am grateful that I don’t have just one yoga best friend like this, I have several, and in their very different ways they provide much-needed camaraderie in my yoga journey. (And not just because they don’t laugh at the expression ‘yoga journey’!)
One yoga friend is often my buddy in workshops and trainings. We experiment with aspects of yoga that are slightly outside our comfort zones. She can always be relied on for a conspiratorial grin if things get a bit weird or woo-woo. Having a friend in the room
is also such a relief when the teacher utters that terrible phrase “now everyone find someone to partner with...” And with a fellow teacher I can share the trials and tribulations of guiding others through their practice. We encourage each other to recognise the opportunities in each challenge or just to see the funny side when a teaching idea that was great in theory falls a bit flat in real-life.
As well as sharing some laughs, my yoga friends also have my back in a more serious way and they give me lots of support and encouragement. If they’re not making me cry with laughter at some shared joke, they can bring tears to my eyes for a very different reason. Just recently my all-time yoga bestie told me how proud she is of me, having watched my practice change and develop over the years. I was really moved by her acknowledgement of how far I’ve come. I think my practice always flows better when she’s on the mat next to mine, so perhaps she just sees the best moments! Good company works wonders in yoga, and in life.
Victoria Jackson lives and teaches in Oxford. She is registered with Yoga Alliance Professionals as a Vinyasa Yoga teacher.