By Lyn Girdler
What do Van Morrison’s song ‘Brown Eyed Girl’ and side-angle/Parsvokonasana pose have in common?
Not much, if you lay them side by side. But, encounter a room packed with yogis in side angle pose; their top arm outstretched to a live band playing Brown Eyed Girl, singing “La la la la la la la la la la la te da” and you’ll find that the two have a lot in common.
Notably; they foster connection.
You can’t help but feel connected when the person next to you is in the same pose as you, singing happily to the same song as you, smiling just as big as you. Why? Because it’s familiar, because it’s an experience we can share together knowing it’s very likely we’re feeling the same kind of happiness.
This, I realized, was what the Sunday Supper was all about.
The yoga was good; naturally. I mean, you’ve got Donna up there; her ferociously blond curly locks all wild and untamed. She’s present, you know? That kind of presence that says ‘we’re here just to be together, to have a good time and I’m going to hold this room accountable for that good time’. And, you know she’s going to hold you accountable!
Considering she was dealing with some allergies and not much of a voice, she did a kick-ass job of getting us into poses while laughing, encouraging some whooping and clapping along with the band and popped herself up into some arm-balances along with us.
The band was so….live! It’s the best way to describe it. The music filled the room so there wasn’t much room for fancy verbiage from Donna – just good old fashioned instruction – “high lunge, twist, Chaturanga, cobra, down dog, breath, you got this!” We all know it anyway, right? We know what this yoga feels like in our bodies, so it’s good to move so freely. The band was right there with us, playing us good classics when the flow called for it and then some deep drumming and bass guitar when we moved into fun arm balances.
Liz was there, in the front row, tapping her foot in Uttanasana & Tadasana, shaking her ass in Uttkatasana and basically rocking out in her own private, musically infused yoga world.
You couldn’t help but smile.
There were some new faces and old friends came by and were so thankful they did. The energy felt electric.
It was a long Savasana……Ah! A deep, soulful Savasana lullabied by real instruments – you felt the music, literally, vibrate inside. There’s something tangible and cellular about live music.
The food was delicious! It was laid out in the small room on a long table where we all helped ourselves to meatballs and Kale salad and Napoli style pizza and homemade pasta. People bought their own wine and desserts and shared with each other. There was enough for everyone.
Besides the group singing I think my favorite part was seeing the big room adorned in picnic blankets and baskets. The conversation became louder than the live music which was still being played while we ate. I discovered so much about some of the students I had seen on a regular basis; notably a student who was an author of 16 books! After all these years, I had no idea.
But you know it wasn’t just the yoga practice, or the live music, or the good food, or even Donna’s wildly gesticulating hands being thrown around encouraging us to be more of ourselves, that made this a great event.
It was the way all of it brought us to a deeper sense of connection, because it was a language we could all speak. It was the language of our namesake; Saraswati. It was the language of art, and we created that together. Side angle pose or a classic song feels comfortable because they are familiar. So it is with each other. If we can take the time to get to know one another a little more, and foster a kind of familiarity then we create more comfort with each other and within our own community.
The event was supposed to end at 6:30pm but people stayed well closer to 8pm and then helped to pack up and talk about the next Sunday Supper and who they hoped to bring.
So what do Van Morrison’s song ‘Brown Eyed Girl’ and side-angle/Parsvokonasana have in common?
The both need you to come alive.
Maybe next supper we’ll all be dancing…….
A few more setting up and making connections: