A thorough yoga practice is more cathartic and rejuvenating than anything I’ve encountered. The continuous stimuli invading our lives leave little room for stillness of the physical body and clarity of the mind.
This is not the necessarily the ‘yoga’ promoted and cultivated by many fast-growing urban yoga studios filled with lululemon-clad young people. This is the yoga of simultaneous thought-quieting, awareness and interconnectedness; it is meditation in motion. It is also the yoga of thoughtful everyday action and interaction.
In the stillness, perceiving that your mind and body are firstly, not separate from each other; and secondly, not separate from your surroundings, leads to a profound sense of unity. I had a conversation with a good friend yesterday about the idea of Dharma and Karma. Dharma, the Sanskrit word translated as ‘duty’, will be saved for another blog. Karma is the idea that essentially, ‘right’ action leads to Self development and eventual enlightenment (the ultimate of interconnection). If we are all interconnected, what one person does to another, or what one nation does to another, or what we do to the environment, is ultimately inflicted upon ourselves. We are not separate; our actions come back to us like a spinning wheel.
I am reminded of one of my favourite songs, that says: “I am that I am, that is that. I am who you are looking back. You are what I am, can you imagine that?”
You don’t need to subscribe to yogic philosophy to consider that we are all interconnected. But maybe yoga is a methodology for us to understand how every action and thought eventually comes back to influence our own personal states of being. Maybe yoga is a framework through which to better understand concepts of service, volunteerism and even… international development.