Returning home after a weekend in Estes at the Colorado Yoga Journal Conference, I am clear that the evolution of Yoga into the future involves taking our yoga off of the mat and into the world. With a mix of social activism and therapy practice, I envision that the path of yoga is opening up to expand its reach to heal the entire globe. This seems like an enormous endeavor. Words like “heal the entire globe’ have never been stated with confidence and conviction like I am feeling and knowing in my heart and the core of my being right this moment. It is happening in grass roots communities around the world. The breath is the same in every nation, country, ethnicity, and time of day. It is connecting our hearts through this invisible knowing of unity, peace, and compassion for all beings.
First of all, starting a yoga practice may at first be a physical release and outlet. As we form a deeper connection with the lineage and the practice itself we come to our mats to heal. This space of silence and communing with our bodies can open up a sanctuary for becoming whole. Learning about the philosophical ideals of living life as a yogi or yogini pass through our personal being and bleed into all areas of our life. Introducing yoga as a way of healing inspires a list of new modalities to explode including Principle Based Partner Yoga, Yoga for Emotional Health, Yoga for Low Back Pain, and Yoga for Fertility. When we can learn to live in harmony with our self this cascade of growth enters into all of our relations. We can open up to the sacredness of all of life and that each moment is here to teach us something, to heal something deep with in us.
In addition, if we really want to call ourselves a ‘yogi’ or ‘yogini’ we must become an activist. Once we can heal ourselves, it is our duty to expand this health and vitality to reach to all corners of the earth! It is when we cultivate this respect for our communities, ourselves and our relationship to the elements, that we are truly living our yoga. This respect is contagious and very much needed for the awakening of the planet. Taking our yoga off of the mat and into the world is standing up to make a change for what we see needs evolving on the planet. This form of activism can take many forms including, eating local in season foods, buying organic products, boy-coting stores that do not align with our core beliefs, committing to vote, recycling, and ridding our bikes! From local to grand, now is the time to enliven this restoration individually an collectively.
Our time spent on the yoga mat is a time to reflect and heal physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. May this practice continue off the mat and into the world through the evolution of this ancient healing art. Encourage yourself and your community to be in action around what you are passionate about and be the change you wish to see internally and externally!