Monday, April 21, 2008

yoga for peace

I'm starting to see a recurring theme running through my recent posts.

I think these thoughts have been inspired by the class I've been attending at this yoga studio, called "World Peace Yoga". It takes an asana class to a deeper level -- creating and cultivating intentions of peace and compassion, towards yourself and ultimately towards all beings. I find it to be a truly powerful class (plug: first class is free).

I'll be the first to admit, even if I always talk about being present in my yoga practice, moving with intention, etc etc., there are days when my mind just wanders: "oh, I should add this or that to my research paper...." or "I should remember to call so-and-so tomorrow..." or, even better, "I think I want to bake some chocolate cake tonight." So in all honesty, there are times when my yoga practice becomes.... routine. Mechanical, even. (Guilty as charged.) Then I have to snap out of it and bring myself back to the intention of listening to my body, listening to my breath.

So it really helps to be part of a class, with an instructor who takes you through the sequences. Every now and then she includes quotes and reflections to guide your meditation. As I move through a challenging pose I am reminded to release any judgment about myself, to let go of negative energy, and allow peace to enter... and by allowing peace to enter, we can radiate that same peace to others.

As I've written in my previous posts, we truly are SO connected, in more ways than we think we are.

"Resolve to be tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and the wrong. Sometime in life, you will have been all of these."

-Lloyd Shearer, 1986

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