Let’s face it, this is a difficult time for people; we’ve lost all sense of unity. Here in the United States, it feels like people are focused on what divides us, rather than what unifies us. The news is full of protesters and negative media directed at opposing sides hating one another and fighting. As an American, I have personally never seen the country so divided; the political climate has been hostile and triggering for many. We need more unity.
As a psychologist, I have heard horrific stories of people being bullied or threatened based on the colour of their skin, religion, etc. It is painful to think about. During these times, I can’t help but try to reflect on how yoga can be a method of change; of creating unity.
As we know, the word yoga means union, and I think regardless of what country we come from, or what our social climate looks like, we can all benefit from a sense of unity.
The thing that I always tell people I love about yoga is that it is for everyone. Young or old, any body type or shape, any culture, religion, and race. It is for everyone, and I’d like to believe that it can in some way promote unity and help bring us all together.
As yoga teachers, we can bring this sense of unity to our classes by providing a safe place where all are welcome. We can foster harmony by emphasizing that yoga is not a competition, and lead as an example of encouragement for our students.
We can teach students not just to chant “om”, but to understand the meaning behind it, and discuss how by coming together we can raise a positive vibration into the universe. Don’t get me wrong, I often do my own solo practice, and that is lovely as well. However, there is something really amazing that happens when people come together through yoga, chanting, or even just holding space for one another.
Yoga means union, and I think that as yoga teachers, preaching that meaning can have a positive impact on our students, and the world around us.
What are your thoughts about using Yoga as a way to unify?
Contributed by guest author, Lauren Villegas, Yoga Teacher Training Alum
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