personally, i think for a yoga class to begin in a circle, even if for nothing more than a “hello” and a hands-together OMmmmmm is an important centering of itself, and helps create an atmosphere of the sagham, the spiritual community, being more cohesive, more “present.” I love the idea of a circle anyway (the mystery of Stonehenge; the idiosyncratic significance of the oh-so-similar, but oh-so-different logos of Mercedes Benz and VW; –the full moon and glorious life-giving sun!). Beginning a yoga class that way (as opposed to “every man and woman in their own space, their mat) helps people “see” God in each other, rather than catching a glimpse of others now and then from the corner of our eye.
i guess one of my pet peeves is how distant and aloof a lot of yoga practitioners become, because of the tendency to just plop themselves down on their own little mat, and not join in with the entirety of a sangham, even during a single class.
yes, it’s important for each of us who studies yoga to learn how to do our asanas, the poses, properly. but . . . i believe it’s the challenge of those of us who teach yoga to convey the “inter-connectedness” of all to the students, as well as train the body-temple to perform the asanas.
the community of people is as important as each of us learning to heal and become whole, whether with yoga, pilates, crunching abs or Zumba. Being involved in spiritualizing humanity . . . is just as important to the yoga practitioner as our own physical practice of poses, our hatha yoga. here’s a depiction of mine about the significance of the sangham. See how the Energy starts from the very center, where those who practice regularly, with great gusto and authenticity, send out their Light to the world–and in time, every one who comes in contact with that Energy, that Shakti, will also be deeply affected by the awakening of their Spiritual Quest.
of course, in my own practice, as everyone else’s too, we practice our breathing, our poses, our alignment, sometimes using visualization techniques, such as this i use to get into a challenging inversion pose . . .
whether we go within to find our center of power, or rely upon the circle of strength from outside ourselves, remember the strength of the circle is enormous!
in the Light, lordflea