In a time filled with divisiveness, hate rhetoric, and duality yoga feels more relevant and important than ever. Inclusivity is at the heart of yoga teachings. The word yoga itself means to yolk, to bring together. The practice is about gathering up and reclaiming all the fractured parts of ourselves and returning to our innate wholeness.
One of the most fascinating and enlightening aspects of this journey is that it starts by narrowing our focus, looking at ourselves, our thoughts, habits, and conditioning. By looking at ourselves through this compassionate lens of open awareness we start to see the places we are creating separation from within. What parts do we shame, judge, and hide? Where is the fracturing? Often the hardest part is going through. There is no bypass. If we want to feel whole we have to see all the places we are not. As we open our arms to embrace ALL of who we are the veil of separation dissolves.
It is only by seeing clearly what we reject in ourselves that we can see what we reject in others. Our narrow lens widens from embracing our own humanity to embracing all humanity. And there is a reason yoga is described as a practice. It’s not a one time go in, see, heal, embrace, and done situation. We are evolving and humanity is evolving. We will need to go back in again and again to clear the lens.
I know from my own experience the courage it takes to sit with myself in my judgement, shame, anger, and projection. It is hard to do this alone, which is why I am grateful for my teachers and my community. Together we can foster accountability and therefore change. We are all being called, not only to look at ourselves and the state of our communities, country, and world, but to truly see with clarity and honesty. May our time on the mat and cushion be a launching point, may our time together be a place for conversation and investigation, may yoga be a lighthouse that guides us toward our own, and our collective healing.
Peace to all,