When I first heard of the Boston Marathon bombings, I was so angry. Then I became scared for those I knew that were at the marathon running or were there as spectators. Then I was sad. Sad for those that had a beautiful, triumphant day taken from them and turned into a horrible memory. Sad for those who were hurt and killed. My husband runs marathons and I know how joyous and exciting marathon day is, how families race around the course to cheer on their loved ones, how you feel invincible watching the amazing feats of athleticism and inner strength.
Events like this make you feel helpless, too. What can I do? How can I help? How can I lessen the suffering of so many? In preparing to teach my yoga class this morning, I was unable to ignore the events of yesterday. I decided to teach about how our practice can help heal the world.
A personal yoga practice can look very selfish from the outside. People practice to get stronger and more flexible, to calm their own mind, to relieve their stress. But when we take a deeper look at those reasons, they really are for the benefit of others. When we are healthier and stronger, we have more energy to engage with our family and to give to others. When our minds are calm, we are more present with those we are with. Our minds aren’t wandering, thinking about problems and decisions that need to be made. When we have less stress, we don’t yell at our children, we get less angry with our spouses, we engage better with our co-workers. Your yoga practice helps to heal your small circle of family, friends and co-workers.
Photo credit to: http://soulgarden.me/profiles/blogs/the-world-of-love-is-here
But your yoga practice can heal a wider circle of people as well. When we do yoga, we open our hearts to those that are suffering and to those we may be in conflict with. We breathe into our heart centers to create space for those that need to be lifted up. We create space so that we can surround them with our love and light and peace. Your yoga practice is healing for the relationships in our life that may be hurt or struggling, where connection has been lost.
How can yoga heal the world? When we practice yoga, peace and love, patience and courage flow from us, positively affecting everyone we come in contact with. If a majority of people were practicing yoga, this would create a shift in the consciousness of a community, a city, a country, a planet. It all begins with one person choosing to practice their yoga, on and off the mat, to begin to heal the world. You are that one person. I ask you to dedicate your practice to those in your life who are suffering and who you have lost connection with. Open your heart to them, surround them with light, love and peace, and allow the healing to begin.