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  • Writer's pictureMaria Wagner

The Power of Collaboration... A Letter of Thanks to Niraj Yoga

I need to say thank you. I need to say thank you to each one of you who is here with me now, and to every person who has come to practice with me on Monday nights over the past few years… some of you every week. What we have created together has blown my mind and burst open my heart.

I need you to know, that although I came in prepared to teach a certain theme, movements, and with specific music, your role was and is just as important as mine. Through our collaboration, magic has been born.

There were many Monday nights when I’d come to the studio with a flutter of excitement, almost nervousness, because I had done my very best to source inspiration, and to create a journey into our bodies, breath, and hearts to share… but I was never quite sure how my spark of inspiration would actually manifest itself as a yoga experience. The creative process is mysterious with a divine personality of its own. I did my best to harness an idea, and was then asked to surrender to how that idea might come to life.

This is where you came in. There were many times during class when I would see you all as a beautiful moving force, a sea of individuals moving as a collective, like an ocean wave breathing. Our collective experience took on its own prana, its own life force. I would become awe struck, when your energy, both as individuals and as a group, would teach me where my plan for us was meant to go. Your presence became the life blood of my inspiration - together we embarked on a gorgeous co creation, revealing new and sometimes unexpected layers of depth - an exploration of everything it means to be a human.

To me, collaboration and connection is the greatest source of joy. True collaboration honors the contributions of everyone present - no exceptions. How we show up and what we bring to the table matters. But when we think we have to show up a certain way… we begin to disconnect from the resonance of truth calling from deep within us. Collaboration asks us to show up exactly as we are, however we are that day, or that moment even… it asks us to allow the truth of who we are and what we are longing to express to come through, so that these individual truths can meet and interact with one another to create something greater than we could alone. From truth something truly divine is born out of a current of what is real.

Revealing truth to one another requires epic amounts of vulnerability; a vulnerability that I continue to feel deeply and practice surrendering to every time I stand at the front of the room.

So I need to thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for co creating with me. Thank you for providing me a safe space to be seen and heard. Thank you for every moment of vulnerability you share while you practice. Thank you for having the courage to continue to show up for yourself, to see yourself for all that you are, and to inspire others to do the same. Thank you for every tear, every smile, and every embrace. Thank you for providing me a sense of belonging and home that I had never felt before. I am so humbled.

Thank you for allowing me the privilege to reflect back to you the exquisiteness of your pain, and the brilliance of your light. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Sat Nam.

Truth is my name, truth is my identity.

photo credit: Wohler & Co.

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