I realize a lot of yogis are ambivalent about professional football. And I have to admit I am too. I don’t believe I’ve ever watched a whole game. And if I have, it was for the commercials. I wasn’t around in 2005, the last time the Seahawks made it to the Super Bowl. I imagine it was much like it was yesterday, the city buzzing with pride.

Karen GambleI live in Ballard and was up and out of my house at 8am on Monday and so were the fans. They were in coffee houses, walking their dogs, grocery shopping, all of them clad in green and blue and some even decorated in face paint. Every fan became the 12th player, a part of the tribe. It felt like a holiday; there was elation in the checkers voice at the grocery store, smiles amongst pedestrians, and chatter among strangers. People were making eye contact and grinning, recognizing a comrade by their colors.

We might see this behavior as primitive but our need for connection is primitive too. These instincts are not dismissible. I learned that through yoga. Through my practice I’ve learned to distinguish between what I want and what I need. And I need connection.

Faith and hope are indivisible. Alone, they can be desolate. In numbers, they are powerful and unifying. I prefer to practice yoga in a class with others mostly because I feel strong in a group of my peers. Yoga is a personal passage into self- knowledge. Although it is an individual journey, it is not made alone.

We don’t often have the opportunity to converse with strangers on common ground. The game yesterday gave us an excuse to acknowledge new faces, greet one another and smile. Our city came together and will come together again in a couple of weeks with a unifying hope that the Seahawks will win. Like I said, I’m not really a football fan. Still, what I see through this football lens is a metaphor. Our life is like a series of games we play year after year. Some years we play better than others. And then we have the opportunity to really shine. What we think we want is to win, but what we really need is to connect. We’re not in this alone.  We are the 12th player in each other’s life. So cheer.  I’m going to celebrate this in my classes in the coming weeks, acknowledging our need for connection and celebrating our hope to triumph.

Posted by: Karen Gamble, 8 Limbs Instructor

You can find Karen Gamble teaching yoga at 8 Limbs Phinney Ridge and Wedgwood. Join Karen on February 9 for her Yin Yoga Workshop at 8 Limbs Wedgwood. 

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