Where is the ideal space for yoga? There are some very practical pointers to create a physical space for the physical practice of yoga by our friends at Porch. Another place altogether is to create space for yoga in your mind and in your everyday life.
Yoga is more that what we do on a mat. It’s how we think and breathe and relate to ourselves and others. These guiding principles of yoga off the mat are called the Yoga Sutras – Yamas and Niyamas. The ancient text is translated and interpreted a few ways and it’s sometimes difficult because it’s framed in the negative.
I’ve been struck by the word hate lately. Always really, but especially lately. Yes, we must #StopAsianHate, actually, we need to stop ALL hate. I wish there were another way to say that more positively. Some say, Love Thy Neighbor. Yoga teaches us to be mindful of the words we use and what words we give power to. The brain pays careful attention. What we hear over an over again is what gets wired.
For example, when you say, “Don’t run!” kids only hear RUN! If you want them to walk, you need to say, “Walk, please!” The same is true for “don’t forget” vs. “remember”. Does the word, remember, feel better than the word, forget? It does for me. It may be a small thing, but it matters. One of The Four Agreements is to be impeccable with your word. Choose carefully!
In yoga, the first guiding principle is called Ahimsa. It translates as non-violence or Do. No. Harm. In our work with kids, I’ve translated it further to the affirmative: Be Kind. I’d like to see that trending #BeKindtoAsians or even better #AlwaysBeKind. It hurts my heart to see violence against any one or group. We are all human and worthy. Be kind to yourself. Be kind to others. That’s it! There is no place for a superior race.
Learn to treat ourselves and others with the kindness and respect we all deserve. We can open our hearts on and off the mat and create a Positive Force in our world. Yes, please!