Although I am not a Donald Trump supporter, I can’t help noticing that there are good things coming out of this election. A lot of issues are coming to light and there is a lot of talk right now about bringing our country together and uniting the people. That’s a good thing.
This year marks my 30th year teaching yoga and I have to say that nothing else I have ever done has brought me into personal contact with folks of all races, religions and beliefs. In my circle of students I have become friends with men and women, young and old, abled and disabled, people of different faiths and different races. Even Republicans, Democrats and Independents have come together! We have formed circles in class and have spent time together in meditation, deep breathing and practicing yoga. We have laughed and shared our sadness and grief. We have joined together with the sound of “OM” at the beginning and end of every class.
In Sanskrit yoga comes from the root word “yuj” meaning “union” or “to yoke”. Hatha Yoga is the physical yoga postures or asanas. “Ha” translates to “sun” and “tha” means “moon”. Therefore yoga can be viewed as the union of opposites. The sun and the moon represent the two side of ourselves – the light and dark, the masculine and feminine, positive and negative, the conscious and the unconscious, control and surrender,
Let It Go Yoga is the yoga of surrender but it is not taught without teaching control. You can’t have one without the other. Let It Go Yoga is not about being weak or yielding to the injustices of the world. The Let It Go Yoga practice sustains both, it will give you the strength and courage to stand up for what you know is right. It gives you the insight to see both sides of a situation and a knowing that nothing is all one way.
When you control your yoga pose and you learn how to relax around it, you become more aware of where your body (or your mind) is holding tension and you can begin to work on those areas to open up. You will find parts of yourself that need to get stronger and parts that need to release control. You can discover whatever it is you are needing at the time.
My teacher used to say: “If you think something is one way, look at its opposite, for it is that too”. If you discover you need strength in an area of your body or your life, yoga will give you the tools to work on that. If you discover you need to be more flexible and accepting of others, yoga can give you ways to work on that, too. But you do have to pay attention and work on yourself, adding balance where needed, adding love where there is fear and light where there is darkness.
Let’s circle up, invite people to practice yoga and let’s unite. When you take a class, talk to the student next to you. Breathe together, laugh and join together in the sound of “OM”. The universal sound of oneness. Let’s celebrate the oneness we all share.
Sue Anne Parsons