The world is evolving. More than ever before, we are becoming aware that discrimination, capitalism, injustice, and greed have shaped the way in which our world operates. When we know better, we do better, and the world changes for the better. Now is the time for that change, and that change starts with us.
We are blessed to be living in a time when we, as individuals, can make a huge difference on a broader scale within our communities. Never before in our human history have we been able to speak so loudly and be heard so clearly. With public access to new media outlets, we can inspire change. Powered by our blogs and social media, we can educate and raise awareness. We can stand up for something and create movements like #BlackLivesMatter and #SayHerName.
It is time to use your yoga for more than achieving a great body. It is time to put your yoga teachings to work. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it. We just have to be fearless, put ourselves out there, and find our tribes in the process. These tribes will be comprised of other individuals who want to support and sustain change, and together we will have the power to raise our voices higher.
It is time to use your yoga for more than achieving a great body. It is time to put your yoga teachings to work.
News is instant and social media is everywhere. The majority of us have access to technology that can effectively mobilize society in order to foster change. We have been given a whole new level of power, and it is right at our fingertips. We, the average citizens, have the tools we need in order to create change. The only catch is that we need to do it together. Each of us must stand in our power and use our voices. Then, when all speak up, our collective voices become so much louder. One person standing at the mountaintop speaking the truth has power and starts the conversations. They hold space for others to come forward. This is how we start a movement!
The solidarity we are looking for can be found in our yoga practices. Yoga teaches us we are one. Together we are one. Yoga also teaches us how to be mindful, compassionate, forgiving, humble, and conscious.
So how do we begin? I believe these five principles are the fuel to our fire, and when applied in union, they will undoubtedly change the world as we know it.
When we are mindful, we are observant. As a result, we see all the things going on in the world around us. Through this lens, we choose our dharma (purpose), and we choose whether we will be leaders or followers. Armed with mindfulness, we must decide whether or not we will shine light on injustice in the hope of creating change. Will we choose to not only engage, but also educate, illuminate, and eradicate inequity as we strive for a shared equality?
When we understand karma, we discover that life is about service. Will we use our privilege and influence to create a platform for those who are not heard? Will we help to pull people at the margins back into the center of global awareness? Armed with a thorough understanding of karma and the cyclical nature of our existence, we are empowered to take action. The laws of karma teach us that what we share or put out in the world ultimately comes back to us, be it good or bad. Every action has a reaction. So how do we create an epic reaction? What if we strive to put the very best of ourselves out there into the universe? Then we raise the vibration of the world and inspire transformation and healing. This is the change we want to see in the world.
What if we strive to put the very best of ourselves out there into the universe?
3. Self-Study (Svadhyaya)
When we are committed to studying ourselves at the deepest levels, we begin to open our eyes to who we are. Sometimes it’s hard to see ourselves as we truly are, but until that happens, we cannot be agents of change. Applying svadhyaya encourages us to admit that we have bias and that we must boldly lean into our own ignorance and limitations in order to grow and change our inner perspective first. Through self-study, we discover what is holding us back as well as what makes us hold other people back. Armed with svadhyaya, we become aware of our actions, and the fact that our most innocent endeavors may sometimes have the harshest outcomes. In order to become more aware, we must practice self-study. Self-study teaches us about who we really are. Once we learn about who we are and how we impact the world, then and only then can we change the behaviors that limit our growth, and inspire others to step fully into their own power to become incredible agents for change.
Practicing kindness informs us that we must appreciate all forms of humanity. Applying kindness requires us to acknowledge the fact that when one of us is suffering, we are all suffering. We must turn on and turn up our humanity. When someone reaches out to us, we must reach back and make a connection. Equipped with kindness, we can begin to show our appreciation and affection openly. And If we are joined in practicing kindness, we can begin to experience our true connection to one another.
We must turn on and turn up our humanity.
Practicing joy encourages us to express our gratitude for what we have and where we are in life. Sharing joy invites us to make others look good by praising their good works, or doing something thoughtful and kind for strangers in an effort to amplify a shared sense of joy in our communities. Joy is contagious and it feeds the soul by uplifting vibrations all around us.
The change you want to see in the world starts with you. So how will you change the world?