In the wake of an often hostile society and my own tumultuous inner landscape, I stumbled across what would inform the rest of my life.
It was a Monday, 2016 and I was heartbroken. And when I say heartbroken, I mean it, gut wrenching, tear jerking, broken hearted. My friend had convinced me to tag along to a yoga class with him. I had always been interested in yoga and getting my inner Zen on so, it didn’t take much to get be to downward dog.
I’ve told the story of my first Kundalini yoga experience multiple times, but every time I relive it the facts stay true. I found myself engaged in a Kundalini yoga class that was centred on eliminating grief and sadness from the body, certainly appropriate for my current inner landscape. In brief, I cried, a lot and left feeling a smorgasbord of emotions. Sadness, excitement but certainly support and relief. I drove home that night and broke down into another emotional purge yet felt grateful for the experience I had. At the time I was unable to articulate exactly what I was feeling but I knew that I had been blessed with something phenomenal, a group of people who were dedicated to social upliftment through spiritual enlightenment.
I left Johannesburg soon after, to take on my new adventure in rural Mpumalanga, which meant I couldn’t indulge in my newly found yoga love. However I had a new journey that awaited me, one that could only make a fruitful contribution to my growth as an individual. I found a second group of people who like the first were dedicated to social upliftment but this time through the arts.
I didn’t realise this at the time but I had been blessed with community. Two communities whose goals were so closely aligned and not only was I given the opportunity to share my skills with the organizations but also to learn from them and experience community first hand. Whether it was learning how to facilitate a dance or yoga class in an outreach program or just having cake and tea for someone’s birthday or breaking bread together at the end of a yoga class.
These communities however go beyond this, and have had an impact on more lives than just mine. Both organizations, AKYTTSA (African Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training Foundation for Southern Africa) as well as the Forgotten Angle Theatre Collaborative constantly make a valuable contribution to their surrounding communities as well as each individual that engages in their projects, such as their outreach programmes and training programs, amongst others
And as we close off 2017, that’s exactly what I’m grateful for. Community. In a society where we are often fighting against each other and not for each other, community is something valuable we need to regularly remind ourselves and each other of.
Community is all around us, from our intermediate family to our friends and our social groups, let’s make a conscious effort to engage in our communities and create meaningful relationships. Living a hermit life may seem pleasurable, especially if you include binge watching your favourite series and copious amounts of junk food but seriously, man is not an island and bonding over our humanness is certainly part of this roller-coaster that is life.