Energy contagion ...

One more yoga story for this week ...

Recently a middle-aged mom brought her teenaged daughter with her to an afternoon yoga class.

This pair set up their mats behind mine and I smiled inside watching them get settled.

Not too long into the (really!) hot class, the daughter puffed out several exasperated sighs and gave up.

She just laid down on her mat. Face down.

Now, this happens quite a bit in this kind of class. Everyone from UNI athletes to young track stars occasionally take a break. This is not your mama's yoga class!

But this young woman really gave up. She. Was. Done.

And, without words, she let everyone around her know she was done. She did not want to be there. She was unhappy. And her unhappiness, frustration and disgust oozed out of her, along with her sweat. Pretty soon I noticed she was off her mat and was just sitting with her back up against the wall. Her lovely teenage face transformed into one large pout.

Here's what I noticed:

Her giving up impacted me profoundly.

My energy level dropped.

I felt myself grumbling along with her about how hot the room was.

My enjoyment of the whole experience waned significantly.

The power of another person's energy to impact ours is deeply underrated.

Because here is something I have noticed since that day - When I am on my mat next to another person or group of people, no matter their skill level, who take the day's class seriously, give all their energy to the experience, approach each part of the practice with diligence and enthusiasm, and  give every pose their best effort, their positivity impacts me profoundly.

I find my energy level rising.

I feel myself celebrating my own sweatiness, along with theirs.

My enjoyment of the whole experience is exponentially multiplied.

The power of another person's energy to impact ours is deeply underrated.

The power of our energy to impact another's is deeply underrated.

Reminds me of how the author of the New Testament book of Hebrews encourages the early church:

"And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds." (Hebrews 10:24)

Our attitude toward life does not just impact us. It oozes off of us, like sweat in a hot yoga class, and leaves the people we meet either spurred on toward love and goodness, or demotivated, complaining and complacent.

How can we make our world a bit better?

Show up on our mat.

Face difficulties with a positive attitude.

When things get hard, take a break, but don't give up.

Pay good attention to those who are giving it their all.

Lean into their good energy. It's contagious.

Tags: Called to Community, Developing a Rule of Life