Yogis Unite!

This Monday morning, I taught my first class since the Boston Marathon bombing and subsequent events that rattled our city.

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Boston, you’re my home.

During that early hour- one of the first of the new week- I hoped the class would bring the students some moments of peace, healing reflection, and a much-needed sense of safety and warmth.

I was fortunate to take two wonderful classes last week following the bombing.  One teacher focused on heart-openers, emphasizing their ability both to dispel grief and inspire courage.  I left that class feeling lighter in body, stronger in mind, and braver in spirit.

The second teacher also referenced last week’s events, and reminded us that one of yoga’s greatest gifts is its ability to cultivate a steady mind in times of turmoil.  A steady mind is not a denial of the truth nor turning away from pain.  Instead, it’s taking the reins of our own thoughts so we can act effectively and skillfully.

“True meditation is about being fully present with everything that is–including discomfort and challenges. It is not an escape from life.”

Craig Hamilton

{I can’t think of a better example of acting skillfully than last week’s response of so many brave men and women protecting our city}.

During Monday morning’s class, I reflected upon the many interpretations of yoga as “union”.  Many often define yoga as the simultaneous union of mind, body, and spirit.  Perhaps yoga is also the union of one pose to another, one breath to another, or one day to another: a continuum of life and movement.  I’ve often thought of yoga as the union of that person we are “on the mat” with that person who lives and works and plays in the outside world.  We often bring our best selves to our practice, yet as we step out of the yoga studio the qualities of non-judgment, compassion, and presence sometimes slip away.

This past week, however, I was blown away by another beautiful union: the union of people.  We often forget how interconnected we all truly are, until times of great joy (think: Boston sports parades) or great sorrow.

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“A person experiences life as something separated from the rest – a kind of optical delusion of consciousness. Our task must be to free ourselves from this self-imposed prison, and through compassion, to find the reality of Oneness.”

Albert Einstein 

This week, let’s remember the connection we have with one another.  How a stranger’s smile on the street can brighten a morning; how a funny text to a friend can spark a much-needed giggle at the office.

Because, really, what’s the point of uniting our mind, body, and spirit if we can’t find a deeper connection with one another?

Wishing you all cheer and safety for the week ahead!

PS: The playlist for the class —

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