Yoga Day

Be Well Be Happy

June 21 was International Yoga Day. I happened to hear the prime minister of India (who originally proposed to mark this day in 2014) speak. He said: “Yoga brings people together and could bring peace to the world.”

This resonated with me, as I often think that when we come to practice yoga—the whole of it and whatever type—everyone is equal. There is also a kindness that happens, a softness that is more prevalent than anything else. It doesn’t matter what you do for a living, what position you have, how much money you have, what car you drive, where your kids go to school. So what matters?

Yoga brings people in our community together, yes, and it is an individual practice. It is something that really happens inside each individual, creating overall wellness, after a while getting into whatever practice suits your body. The mind and the heart kind of follow that so it happens inside first and that’s the key to peace, that inner harmony. “Yoga,” means joining together or unity, so in our practices it comes to mean the unity of mind, body and heart. It is a continuous transformation that promotes inner peace, tranquility, harmony.  `

So, we—individuals—have this balance, this inner peace, this harmony IN the yoga room or in our private practices. When we step off our mats, because it is within/inside, chances are we take some of it with us for the day. I often hear people say when they show up for a class:  “I really need this today.” We need to be centered and whole and peaceful in order to navigate “humanly” throughout our lives. The prime minister in India witnesses large gatherings of yoga classes and feels the vibrations of the people around him. He imagines that this could bring peace to the world. The whole practice of yoga: the breathing, concentration, mantra repetition, movement of the body, resting—all together create the peaceful harmony within. Every day we read about conflict in all corners of the globe resulting from greed or hatred or envy or pride. The practice of yoga in its entirety, helps to dispel these replacing them with the more positive aspects of living principles:  compassion, commitment to the truth, not taking anything that isn’t freely given, not holding on to things that have no meaning to our lives. 

So, we celebrate International Yoga Day as a recognition of coming together in community with the hope that we will witness more and more peaceful gatherings, and more and more peaceful acts. “All we are saying is give peace a chance. All we are saying is give peace a chance.”  (John Lennon)

May you be happy. May you be free. May you be grateful. May you let go of things that do not serve you. May you have inner peace. 

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