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No Yoga, No Peace – Know Yoga, Know Peace

December 30, 2013

By Rabbi Chava Bahle

Yoga is part of a larger ethical and spiritual system, rooted in Hinduism, aimed at still the mind and rooting us moment by moment in ultimate reality.  In short, its aim is peace – mindful inner peace and mindful outer peace.Yen Yoga and Fitness

I had to take some time off yoga as I dealt with the effects of a serious car accident which occurred last month.  It was simply too painful to consider the mat.  Along with feeling the pain, soreness and stiffness that resulted directly from the crash, I also become aware that being unable to do yoga for some weeks had a noticeable impact upon my emotional and spiritual state of being.

Some trace the etymology of the Sanskrit word yoga to cognates like “to add, to join, to unite”.   It become quite clear that, without regular practice, I felt disjointed, out of touch and isolated.  My inner peace level was quite low.

When I was finally able to return to something of a regular practice, the effects were immediate: not only was able to be on the mat again, but I was part of something meaningful – the community of fellow yogis who support and nourish my practice simply by being present.

Yoga isn’t only about turning inward to cultivate peace, calm and good ju-ju; it is also about the way we move through the world, as part of something that matters.  I am reading a great book on the process of Appreciative Inquiry, a change process based on strengths and carrying forward good things upon which we can build.  The author notes note that it matters to us whether we matter or not.

Part of the peace of yoga is knowing we are a piece of something – a class, a group of learners, a lineage of teachers, a system of being.

When you do yoga, even if you are alone, you are part of something – a great lineage of seekers, whose ultimate aim is to change the world in a place of peace, justice and love.  The moment you roll out your mat and commit to practice, you are paying forward a great gift of wisdom and promise.

I am grateful to be back on the mat, part of a community and reconnected to an important spiritual truth: everyone matters.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 25, 2014 3:31 pm

    I myself have just started to practice yoga. It is amazing how yoga really relaxes the mind and is an amazing form of working out.

  2. May 6, 2014 6:18 pm

    Wonderfully written!

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