Sangha is a Sanskrit word that means "association," "assembly," "company" or "community." In modern yoga, we use sangha to mean a community of people who are dedicated to the practice of yoga and who support each other in those practices. Yoga classes can be considered sangha, as can meditation gatherings, and even book clubs that read spiritual or uplifting works.
Sangha is special because the purpose is to encourage, listen, and transform together. Each person who joins tends to be dedicated to the practices, and wants to align with like-minded people. It is through the connection to others that our practices amplify. You’ll know this feeling if you’ve ever experienced meditation alone vs. group meditation. It’s so much easier to go deeper faster when you are with others (even online!)
One of the most special sanghas that can form is through weekend or week-long yoga retreats. By gathering together in a relaxing space and sharing in the same practices, meals, and discussions, we create an alchemy that changes the mind and spirit.
Time away from our everyday lives creates space for healing and reflection. We are inspired by each other, and the potential for growth is exponential. We are no longer concerned only for ourselves, but for each other. And best of all, we bring our learnings and our new ways of being back to our families, loved ones, friends, and acquaintances. When we become better, those around us do too.
I encourage everyone to find their own sangha, or create one if it doesn’t exist yet. And when you do, expect your cup to be filled over and over again.