For optimal pace, grace and speed, paddlers must paddle together, as one unit. "Paddle as One" is a motto and also an intention. When one member falls out of rhythm with the rest of the crew, the canoe suffers. The voyage slows, staggers.
In yoga, when practicing with a group, if one person falls out of a balancing pose, sometimes the person next to him will then fall out, too. The reverberations can be seen and felt throughout the room.The key is, when someone next to you slips, to resist falling into his fall. Stay in the pose. Stay in your body. Stay in your breath. You have now become the anchor -- for you and for the group. This isn't something that is ever spoken in the yoga room. It's just known. Because we've all experienced it, from each side, as the fallen and as the anchor.
Yoga is a solitary practice yet when we practice together, we are there to support one another, without words. With simple intention. To breathe, and move, in many ways, as one. Each of us has a different body, with a different breath, and yet the intention remains the same, to support, and uphold the canoe, the community, the sangha. And in doing so, we are all anchored. In our ourselves and with each other.