The true essence of Yoga practice is revolutionary. Yoga in itself can be a form of rebellion. To teach and embody connection, authenticity, love, humility, empathy, and understanding goes against all of the most important systems that support our capitalist society.
To embrace emotion, energetic awareness, inner reflection and being human in this day and age is rare, not encouraged, and more difficult than ever. It is easy to become opinionated and angry about the current political climate. It doesn’t matter what you believe in, these are tough times we are living in. When we focus on all that is going wrong, we feel more separated and disconnected than ever.
This is why Yoga is something that our world desperately needs. Yoga translates as Union. Yoga is the revolution. Yoga practice reminds us that we are way more similar than we are different. We strive for Union within the Self – mind, body & spirit. And we also strive for Union with all of creation – with other humans, animals, and our beautiful planet. We begin to notice that we are all one, divinely interconnected, and in this together. When we step back into this frame of thinking, the anger and opinions of our personal political beliefs no longer matter. As yogis, we are revolutionaries – & here’s why:
Most of us were not taught to become familiar with or reflect on our inner feelings and emotions. Much of the way our society is set up benefits businesses and not individuals. Unfortunately, to have a society full of people who are confident and love themselves does not drive business. From a young age, we are digesting so many expectations about how we should look, how we should act, and what we should do with our lives. Much of this is downloaded and processed into our perception of who we think we are. We spend our whole lives trying to live up to these expectations instead of living authentically from a place of connection and love. Instead of tapping into our emotional intelligence and true self – we have to dig through layers and layers of conditioning to find what truly lies beneath. Thankfully, Yoga facilitates this process.
In the yoga asana practice, we move the physical body in order to stir up energy, gain flexibility, and activate the parasympathetic nervous system through the breath. Through the yoga practice alone, individuals usually feel a shift in awareness and perspective about themselves and the world around them. As one’s practice deepens and the other 7 limbs of yoga come into play, more space is created in the body and the mind. People begin to feel broken open to experience more emotions, release more unnecessary tension, and re-evaluate the life they’ve been living.
Yoga practice builds self confidence, reduces stress, increases gratitude and contentment, and gives individuals an overall sense of wellbeing. When people are living from this space with clarity of mind, it is easier to tap into the depths of their inner knowing and remember who they truly are.
Perhaps you know this from your own personal experience: When you feel better about yourself, (whole, complete, confident) you can better serve those around you. If we want to cultivate a world of abundance, peace, and love… we first must find that within ourselves. Our political climate is simply a mirror to the internal world of our universal consciousness. Yoga provides us with the space and time to work on ourselves in a safe space. This is what will change the world. Becoming attached to your opinions, trying to force others to see and agree with you, or allowing frustration or despair to come into your being does not work. This will only make you feel worse. Trust the yoga, step into your power, serve from a place of wholeness, and spread peace everywhere you go. Yoga is the revolution.
Of course, the opportunity may arise where we need to take action or speak up against injustice. By no means is Yoga an excuse for passive tolerance or silence. It is beautiful to stand up for what you believe in. Yoga allows us to cultivate the tools to do so in a productive and effective way. We have a responsibility as yogis, as peacemakers, as healers to share our wisdom with the world and defeat oppression in order to bring the world closer to a state of union. The yoga practice helps us to not get overwhelmed, frustrated, or hopeless. The yoga practice helps us believe in ourselves enough to take the peace within and share it out into the world. The yoga practice helps us to see things clearly, so we can recognize injustice, oppression, or intolerance and rectify it with love, oneness, and equality. There is much work to do, and the yoga practice allows us to step into a calm and focused livelihood where we are better able to serve ourselves, others, and the world in need.
Love yourself first and foremost, be proud of yourself and thankful for every victory and defeat. This is how we fight greed, selfishness, doubt and fear. We start with ourselves and embodying a life where those things are not present. Embody the type of world you want to live in. Be nice to everyone you encounter, smile, question how you can be of service. This is much needed and radiates out into the world. We can all be a source of light. Continue the revolution, and the yoga practice.
By: Jeanine Talento, E-RYT 500
Instagram - @jeaninetalento
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