If you love to laugh, you should check out the Netflix show Grace and Frankie, though do start from season one if you are just hopping into the series!
The show has a multitude of themes, but the one I want to focus on is that of friendship. Season one finds Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda not exactly liking each other. But through circumstance and the necessity for human support, the two become close.
Tomlin and Fonda were interviewed for TedTalks about lifelong feminine friendships. (Men, keep bearing in mind the focus of the Talk was about women's friendships so you don't feel left out.)
Interviewer Pat Mitchell quoted Sister Joan Chittister saying, "women friends are not just a social act, they're a spiritual act."
Jane Fonda follows with, "... They feel spiritual because it's a heart opening, right?... I find that I shed tears a lot with my intimate friends. Not because I'm sad but because I'm so touched and inspired by them. "
Lily Tomlin jokes, "And you know one of you is going to go soon."
For the past seven years, I have been completely inspired by everyone's practice on their mats. It is an awesome journey to watch a student hesitantly enter their first yoga class and evolve to "oh my gosh, I totally get this yoga thing!" This yoga thing having nothing to do with poses or class levels or competition.
With the recent news of our studio losing its lease, I think the hardest aspect will be in not seeing our spiritual supportive friends at each and every class we are used to attending. Do not forget Hindu deity Ganesha understands the lack of space appears as an obstacle to our yoga practices, our spiritual well- being and seeing our yoga mat friends. But your yoga practice is inside of you. As a teacher, I have striven to present concepts and thoughts to provoke you into creating your own physical, mental and spiritual practice. Your spiritual well-being is formed by your application of positive thoughts and creating your own mantras that lead to positive habits. And, trust me... your yoga friends...they exist outside of the studio, too. They really do! I have run into some of them at Jewel almost undisguisable in non-yoga attire!!
It's normal to feel sad and angry. But if you decide to stay there, your energy becomes glued to the spot. You remain stagnant when all the Universe wants to do is offer you a new way to look at your practice.
When I took my teacher training I was advised to not become friends with my students. And though I love my teacher immensely, I chose to disregard this suggestion. I am glad I did. I understand the tightness of friendships here at this studio. But they will not dissipate. We can all friend each other on social media to share insights into our new practices and where we might re-convene in the near future.
Lily Tomlin is asked what she looks for in a friend. She answers, "I look for someone who has a sense of fun, who's audacious, who's forthcoming, who has politics, who has even a small scrap of passion for the planet, someone who's decent, has a sense of justice and who thinks I'm worthwhile." What a great answer. I could lose the political part but listen to that last part again...someone who thinks I am worthwhile. That's why our connections are so strong. I know everyone inside of my classes is worthwhile and I can feel that reciprocated in the studio amongst all the yogi's. Where else can you go sit for 75 minutes knowing that everyone surrounding you sends you love and light and thinks you are worthwhile??
Fonda adds, "Women's friendships are like a renewable source of power." We have been each others renewable source of power and we will continue to be. It is as simple as that. It just is.