For many of us the yoga studio is a much-needed refuge from the chaos of daily life. But it is still hard to avoid stories of violence all over the world. Newspapers call it war, terrorism, or civil unrest, but it’s all the same thing: people doing terrible things because they want something another person/group has; or because they don’t think the other person/group should be allowed to live like they do. It is a lot of awfulness because people are concentrating on the actions of others instead of regulating themselves.
It may be naive to say we could bring about world peace if everyone would put down their weapons and do a few asanas together, but I do believe there is a profound value in yoga. The discipline of yoga is to explore, challenge and develop one’s own mind-body-spirit. Yoga teaches us to make effort towards our own good in a way that is strictly peaceful. In yoga classes we create and harness communal energy to aid each individual in his or her journey. Yoga is about self-control, not dominance or competition.
Turning up for your yoga class might not seem like a world-changing event, but I think it can be. Writer Cheryl Strayed says: “Real change happens on the level of the gesture. It’s one person doing one thing differently than he or she did before.” When you commit to yoga your attitude changes and it has a ripple effect on your life and relationships. Think of it as little pebbles of peace thrown in a pond of negativity. The small actions and thoughts add up.
Has yoga changed your life for the better? Share in the comments…