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Respect is the essence of yoga.

In class I talk a lot about breath, mindfulness, focus, effort, daily practice, being present… these are all different ways of expressing respect.

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Yoga means “unity” and it is born out of a respect for the fundamental bond between mind and body. Western culture historically, and modern life generally, strive to separate our physical and mental selves. Yoga teaches us to respect the healing power of the mind and the creative power of the body; it helps us reunite with ourselves.

Yoga encourages to cultivate respect towards ourselves and others in many ways. We respect our teachers by participating in classes and being open to learning. We respect our fellow yogis by creating positive energy in the studio We respect our hunger by nourishing ourselves with healthful food. We respect our emotional state by being aware and compassionate.

Ultimately, the more we do yoga, the deeper and broader our capacity for respecting ourselves and those around us. What begins on the mat spreads through our life, making us more grounded, generous, open-minded people.

Share your thoughts on yoga and respect in the comments

photo credit: Neighborhood Yoga via photopin (license)

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