Earlier today, I swiped my iPhone to the right to check in on the news. This is not something I normally do. So today when I checked in on the news and saw something about a guy who molested a 5-year old in Arizona I was startled. Why did I do this to myself – read the news? It’s always depressing. Is it wrong of me to live in a bubble? However, if i’m not informed am i really best able to serve?
I find it to be a tricky balance. The news scrolling across our screens has been hauntingly frightening these days. I’ve felt myself literally asking the question, ‘is this a safe idea?’ before I leave the house. It’s not typical of me to live fearfully, and I wouldn’t say that I’m afraid to go do things but these days there does seem to be some real concern. When Meaghan and I lived in Boulder, people often referred to the place as ‘the Bubble’ or the ‘Boulder Bubble.’ It was kind of a Shangri-La of mountains, natural grocery stores, yoga studios, and coffee shops. It can almost be too easy to get lost from reality there. I found it refreshing when we moved to Norfolk to see a city with a different heartbeat than the one we had left. I sensed that there was a real truth to how people lived and interacted that perhaps I wasn’t seeing before.
The irony isn’t lost on me that now what I want to create is my own little Norfolk yoga bubble where I exist in my yoga world almost exclusively with the yoga community. Is the diversity that I was so longing for, now something that I am retracting from? I found myself retracting from Facebook a long time ago, too. I never felt grounded scrolling through my feed. Or was it the diversity again? There is a lot of difference of opinion, and it was the last presidential election year that I finally had had enough. On Facebook everyone wants to share their opinion, I am hearing a lot about this at the studio. From what I gather, tolerance is often overlooked and in general with social media people don’t mind being a little more vocal thinking that they are hiding behind some false sense of anonymity. I could be off base here, I’m no expert in social media. Other than responding to messages on Facebook every couple of days, I use instagram where I can just scroll through and smile at some amazing photography sprinkled in with some friends’ lifestyle. It’s kind of a happy world – again the bubble thing.
So where does yoga come into all of this. Yoga means union, it is the bringing together of opposites. Yoga does not look at race, ethnicity, sex or sexual orientation and differentiate. Yoga is not a religion either, and it welcomes all. Similar to the Emma Lazarus quote, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…” yoga says come to me, I will meet you where you are and I will help you breathe free. The power of yoga to heal, is not limited to those with large homes, or lots of letters behind their names.
As practitioners when immersed in yoga we are the same. When the practice brings us the feeling of wholeness, the boundaries of separateness dissolve. When we sit and meditate, or practice asana it is us who are changing and becoming one with the world. This is why I still believe that yoga has the power to change the world! Now, more than ever is the time to spread this power out into the world. We can all do something. Invite a friend to try yoga with you. Replace your arrows of with flowers and fire away. Share the inspiring quotes, messages, and photos on social media. Become a yoga teacher and spread the positivity through your teachings. I’m on a mission, I’m going to come out of my shell and not retract further into my bubble. I want to see the faces of those who work hard, who struggle, who at the same time smile and laugh. I want to see differences, too, because underneath the surface what we really feel is the same. We want to be happy and free.
If I want the world to change, then it begins with me. Who’s with me?
Let’s be the change.