Yoga Off the Mat Support Group
The support group is a supportive environment where together we use the power of "sangha" (spiritual community) to support each other in our spiritual practice and to reconnect to our natural state of being. In the process we create a deep bond and we learn from and assist each other to come closer to that place of love, joy and peace.
Why a Yoga Off the Mat Support Group?
As humans, we are social and spiritual beings. We need each other for physical, as well as emotional and spiritual well-being. It is important that we create ways in which we can connect with each other and our higher selves.
The Support Group sessions include a Sharing Circle and other tools, techniques and exercises from the yoga and other spiritual traditions and healing modalities.
The Yoga Off the Mat Support Group is not a therapy group but what we do can be very therapeutic. As well as facilitating positive changes and solutions to personal life situations, it will provide a doorway for spiritual awakening.
It is open to anyone, whether you are practicing yoga on the mat or not.
The Sharing Circle is a safe and sacred space that gives us an opportunity to share from our hearts, any feelings, emotions, thoughts or personal situations we are experiencing. It’s an opportunity to be present with our truth, whatever that is in the moment, and to express it. In this space we allow ourselves to be witnessed however we show up in the moment and to witness the experience of others.
I have found sharing circles to be one of the most powerful tools in my spiritual journey. I have processed and resolved many issues, either by speaking my truth, or by listening to others speak theirs.
To maintain a safe space we have “sharing circle etiquette”:
- Respect confidentiality – Everything that is said stays in the space that has been created.
- No “cross-talk”. When someone is speaking, the other participants listen. This can be challenging since in our culture we are used to responding to what others say. In this space we only listen to others and we are heard by others. This can be very powerful. A lot of people receive a lot just from listening to others or by being heard. We encourage participants to notice if they have the urge to respond and ask themselves “What did I feel when what someone said triggered a response in me?”. If someone feels they have something valuable to offer to another, we request he/she wait after the sharing circle is over and ask if they are open to receive it. We request other’s wishes be respected, if they are not interested. Many people prefer to receive answers from within and not from external sources.
- We use “I” statements: “I feel…”, “I think…”. For example, “I feel sad because my mother didn’t call me”, instead of “Mom is a liar, she told me she was going to call and she didn’t”. This empowers us to assume responsibility for our emotions. It’s the only way in which we can transform them. On the other hand, we have no control over the experiences of others.
Everyone has the opportunity to share. We allow people who are speaking to finish without interruption. Participants don’t have to share if they prefer not to. But we invite all those present to use this sacred space.
Please contact Sitara if you have any questions or wish to join a support group.