shemane 5-6

 

Billions of people around the world are now in touch through social media, but are we really truly connected with one another? In a recent hot yoga class where the temperature was tipping one hundred degrees, the instructor asked us to hold hands with the people on either side of us to help us with a balance pose.  Sweat was pouring down from my head and my entire body, and it wasn’t exactly a moment I wanted to share with a total stranger.

At first it was a bit uncomfortable as I clasped hands with a woman next to me.  Since I was next to a wall, there was no one to hold me on my right, which meant I had to do much of the balance work for myself and the woman on my left, and our whole row.  If one person wavered slightly, the rest of us would feel it too. We were like dominos waiting to fall.

Although we held the poses for only moments, they seemed like hours, especially when you’re holding the sweaty hand of a stranger.  If I wobbled, so did she, and I didn’t want to let her down. I didn’t even know her name or any of the struggles that she might have endured. What was her story? Did she have any illnesses, financial loss, or tragedies in her life? I didn’t know, but for those fleeting moments, I tried to be her rock.

It’s amazing that we think that we are connected with so many people in our lives when we really aren’t. When was the last time you truly listened to someone …looked them in the eyes and heard them? You didn’t interject your opinion without being asked and you listened?

After the class, I reached out to a few friends I had been out of touch with.  They were busy but appreciated hearing from me.  Although it’s nice to have “likes” on Facebook, nothing beats the lost art of really connecting with friends and family, or even total strangers in a sweaty yoga class.

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