By Lora Heiner
My dear friend Danny Argetty recently published his second book, The 6 Qualities of Consciousness, a lovely dissertation based on yogic teachings passed down from his primary teacher Douglas Brooks. The book describes six qualities of human consciousness. Through an illustrative and poetic display of science and personal anecdotes, it offers the reader a roadmap for how to thrive as a human being and how to skillfully navigate life’s ups and downs all while experiencing the sweetness, beauty and intoxication that this life offers.
I am so proud of Danny because I got to witness his journey through the concept, his struggle, and the tenacity he had to complete the manuscript. I was lucky enough to support him with data offerings from a scientist’s perspective as well as assist with edits. One of the qualities that Danny writes about is Community (in Sanskrit: Kula), and in reading the finished product I am called to comment on my personal commentary of the importance of kula.
Yoga for Community
Before embedding myself into the lifestyle of yoga, I was a corporate scientist. I was driven, independent and found it incredibly difficult to ask for help. When my life took a turn, I recognized I was in need of a shift. I had withdrawn from community and didn’t have a clue where to start in terms of catalyzing a change in my life both personally and professionally. Thankfully through the grace of a friend I was introduced to yoga, and from there my entire world changed. At first I held onto my walls -- seeing the same faces in the yoga room day in and day out. Eventually I made new friends and the studio became a place where I went not just for yoga but also for human interaction. I became open to possibilities, met interesting new people and began to network socially. In a very short time, I went from introvert to social butterfly, and it never felt better!
Community for Better Health
These days, our society spends countless hours on Facebook and Instagram seeking personal interaction, when social networking in its truest sense has always been alive and well. As Danny reflects,
“Social interaction speaks to the need species have to be a part of a larger group and tends to create an added sense of comfort and reduced stress."
The documentary “HAPPY The Movie” details how community and sense of purpose within a collective, without a doubt, contributes to the sense of happiness within us. The evidence is all around us that strong community makes a positive difference to our wellbeing. With that in mind, I was inspired to foster strong community through small business ownership. Thus, Inhale Yoga and Fitness was born.
Community as a Studio
Inhale Yoga & Fitness was born out of a connection I made with Dr. Matt Ryan via one of my best friends. My partner Walter Thomas was a student I met while teaching at a local studio and through getting to know him we developed a business strategy. I Interviewed numerous website developers but in the end I felt comfortable and excited to work with my friend and local yogini Michelle (aka the Girl with the Ganesh Tattoo). One of my students Christina painted our lovely mural on the south wall of our studio. These are just a few examples of how community has worked to create a special space in Del Mar, and how supporting local businesses not only feels good but makes a huge difference on wellness — and while wellness is difficult to monetize, it is incredibly priceless.
So get off of Facebook and go out and support your community. You may be amazed at who you meet and where your interconnectedness will take you!