Today's world is wrought with electronic communication, all with its long list of pros and cons. Many of us know the benefits of technological communication. You can chat with someone across the globe, connect with family members who don't live nearby, and even learn from people who are not local. You can send a message in an instant, and even see each other through a video screen.
As someone who grew up in a time without cell phones, I have witnessed there are also some negative impacts that are changing our society, and how we communicate.
For example, electronic communication is known to isolate us from each other. We can connect through a device while being alone in our space. It reduces the development of communication and socialization skills in our children and young adults. It can lead to misinterpretation, cyber-bullying, and cancel culture. It lacks prana, and the silent depth that happens when two people are face-to-face with one another.
That's why many modern psychologists and sociologists are advocating for a return to in-person communication and community connection.
As a species, we have evolved to be communal creatures. We naturally cooperate, care, empathize, and seek connection.
Since communication is an essential component to our human interaction, it is vital for our overall wellbeing and evolution. That is why sangha circles, community gatherings, are making a comeback. Science has proven how essential they are to our modern lifestyles.
Circles contain a hidden power. Circles offer us a magical space that have the capacity to transform people, situations, belief systems, and separation. They can heal, enlighten, and reconnect. Circles provide a safe place for people to tell their stories and be listened to by others - without judgment. They hold space for people to process tender emotions. They hold a mirror for people to see nuanced aspects of themselves through another.
Circles can build community connection through group work, conscious listening, and collective acceptance.
The circle process has been used for thousands of years in indigenous cultures, and it is making a strong comeback in today's modern world, just when we need to return to them the most. Circle is a place people can come home to themselves and feel the support of another. In circle, we have an opportunity to remember our power and to discover that being an agent of change is not about doing it alone.
As Birute Regine clarifies, "Circle is not anything new. Circle is an ancient process of consultation and communion, a place for slowing down, respectfully listening and being heard, a place to change the conversation and a way of being together that taps into the deep well of wisdom and creative thinking that is so needed in this time and place in history."
Being in circle is a matter of remembering our original way of being in community.
This purpose, makes circles an essential part of the greater yoga community, the heart of a yoga studio, and the essence of all yoga classes, events, trainings, and retreats. Circles are where we come home, as an individual amongst the collective. They are the foundation to life on Earth, and are the cornerstone for healing, reconciliation, and regeneration.
When was the last time you sat in circle? What effects did it have on your mental-emotional wellbeing?
What did you gain by being seen and heard by others?
If you are a yoga teacher or studio owner and would like to learn more about creating safe and intentional circles, join my upcoming webinar "Creating Epic Yoga Retreats" hosted on Tuesday June 14, 2022 from 12pm - 1:15pm EST. This session is recorded if unable to attend live.