What you can do right now.
I was listening to the news this morning on my way to work, and it was another report on the horrific and heartbreaking refuge crisis in the Middle East and Africa. I pulled into the parking lot, and noticed that I was feeling pretty sick to my stomach. I was experiencing a deep heartache from listening to these stories. I feel so much sadness for the countless people who are suffering in unspeakable ways, and it seems like there is nothing I can do about it.
This is what I was thinking about, just as I was walking into the gym where I teach yoga. I had an hour to pull myself together before class, and to somehow process these emotions and stories.
I walked into the yoga studio, and laid out my mat, closed my eyes and began to move and breathe. I breathed into my own heart. I breathed into the ache of sadness that I was holding in my throat. I breathed into the space inside of me and around me as a prayer to every being on this planet. I gathered myself, and let the earth hold me, and aligned myself with the rhythm of my heart. I did a moving prayer for peace. I made peace happen in my own being, and I shared it with the empty space of the yoga room. I did backbends and bunch of other postures, and I opened my heart to all of the suffering that is happening all over the planet. I landed deep into myself, and I felt my own strength, I felt my own vulnerability, and I felt intimately connected to the great cycles of birth, life and death.
Then, it was time to teach. Students walked in. It was Monday morning at 10:30, and I dont know what their mornings were like. I have no idea what they deal with in their own lives, or what kinds of sufferings that they might have experienced. All I know is that they are there to have an experience of themselves. All I know is that in this little yoga space, I can do something postive for the world. I can remind people to breathe, I can remind them to love their bodies, and feel gratitude for all of the abundance and goodness in their lives. I can hold a space where they can feel and embody the connection that we all share with each other.
This is something that I can do right now. This is something that we can all do. We can make peace in our own bodies, with our friends, with whoever we meet throughout our day. And, it all begins with your breath.