For the past couple of years, I’ve struggled mentally and emotionally with the state of the world and with wondering how as a longtime yoga student and instructor I could contribute to a better world. I started to ask myself some pertinent questions. Namely, ‘How do I expand my practice from the mat into the world at large?’ and ‘How do I empower others to find their voices, speak their truth and start to participate more mindfully within their communities? It’s been a difficult journey thus far with a good deal of soul searching as I’ve worked to gain the confidence I need to take a different approach to my yoga practice.
Today we live in a world where there is so much pain and suffering. We are destroying the environment, the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat. The injustice against people of color and the poor continues unimpeded and the gap between the rich and the poor widens. We’ve allowed politicians, governments, and corporations to divide us and pit us against each other, so much so that we’ve become fearful and angry at life and society. Everything we read or see in the media feeds into our already anxious and overstressed consciousness. People around the world are fighting for their lives and most times, we can easily look the other way because it’s not happening to us. In response to all of this, we find it easier to just shut it all out and continue with our own lives. We numb ourselves by self-medicating, going shopping, keeping our calendars busy, and using technology to try to forget or ignore our feelings and the reality of our world. In truth, we are not separate from everyone and everything around us; we have more in common with each other than we know. What we do to each other/earth/nature, we do to ourselves. The destruction, wars, injustice and poverty happening around the world affect us all. Consciousness is evolving and we are witnessing an awakening. People around the world are coming together and are starting to make some big changes. Now more than ever is the time to awaken to the truth and join us in creating a better world.
We have an opportunity to dive deeper into our yoga practice and to look honestly into ourselves for what’s holding us back from being who we really are. In this way, we can open our hearts and begin to heal and be fearless in overcoming the challenges we’re facing. Now, more than ever, we need to find our voices and speak our truths as we are facing some of the biggest crises of our time and we will only persevere through cooperation and through transformation; transformation as individuals and also as a collective to better serve our communities and humanity as a whole. Yoga is an unending process of self-discovery and self-transformation.
Every change we desire begins with ourselves.