Yoga Is Not Just Self-Help
I can’t tell you how excited and frightened I am by the imminent change in our government. I personally plan on continuing to volunteer to help the person I believe should be our next president get into office. I also plan on continually pushing for each and every one of us to be proactive in creating the world that we seek. What I want to ask you is: What kinds of change is the O2 Yoga community capable of? Believe it or not, we are over 3,000 strong. I believe that many of you have unique talents, strengths, and passions. I would like to take those talents and strengths and begin to harness them. Now, I am the captain of this proverbial ship, O2 Yoga. There are many causes worth championing but I believe that these causes can be fine-tuned to basic principles: Ahimsa, or non-harming; aparigraha, or non-greed, not taking more than you need; asteya, or non-stealing, which also means owning your own path or dharma; satya, or speaking your truth; and finally, and, I think, most importantly, standing up for what you believe and standing up for those who can’t speak for themselves. The first four are part of the very first limb of the eight-limbed path as set down by Patanjali; the fifth comes from the agitators, the likes of Martin Luther King, Gandhi, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Ingrid Newkirk, Che Guevara. It is one thing to work on yourself, it is quite another to stand up for those who have no voice.
I believe the practice of yoga is more than just self-help. I believe the practice of yoga is about raising the bar on what it means to be part of this great community of O2 Yoga, your town, this country, and the whole beautiful world. The central teachings in yoga lead us to a connection to all living things. Doesn’t that imply a responsibility to more than just ourselves?
Most importantly, I see our community as a bright light to be passed on and on. The true definition of “guru” is to pass the light on to the student and on and on; not to keep the light just for ourselves. Please think about what you believe to be possible in the coming months. O2 Yoga is more than a place to do yoga. It is a community filled with positive energy. Just like in yoga practice, we can all practice focusing and centering our energy to create change both inside and out.
Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we have been waiting for. We are the change that we seek. —Barack Obama