None of us can escape conflict. If we’re lucky enough to have peaceful personal lives we are still caught up in the social and political conflicts around us, willingly or not.
We can’t control governments or militants. We can’t control our friends, partners, parents, co-workers, or students (haha!) What does that leave us? Ourselves.
The one thing we can control is how we react to conflict. If someone is aggressive or thoughtless the one tool we have to shape the situation is our response.
Reacting with kindness and mindfulness can defuse conflict. It gives us an opportunity to engage with the person, not the problem.
However, this is easier said than done. When we’re tired, angry, impatient, frustrated, the last thing we want to do is breathe and listen.
How do we learn this skill? Yoga.
Yoga teaches us awareness, it teaches us to listen, to breathe, to relax when we feel stress, to push ourselves to do the right thing in the right way even if it is challenging.
These are the skills that help us in conflict. When we practice yoga we learn to detach from the immediate physical sensation and open ourselves to deeper meanings. We discover the strength to work though difficulties and cope with discomfort.
We can change the world by changing ourselves. Yoga gives us the tools and courage to transform conflict into greater harmony.
Share your views on how yoga can resolve conflict in the comments!