Achieve Serenity Amongst the Chaos
The news notifications on my phone are getting ridiculous. Every morning I wake up to headlines that make me want to cringe and crawl back in bed. The world seems to be making collective steps backwards. Granted there are rays of positivity shining through if you look for them. Even so, the majority of news tends to be negative.
With global events shifting towards doom and despair, it can feel futile moving through our small, seemingly inconsequential daily tasks. As a yoga teacher, I start to question the purpose of my job. How the heck is teaching people to breathe deeply and practice downward dog helping to ease global dissonance? Does yoga really matter at a time like this? The answer?
An unequivocal YES. Now more than ever, we need yoga. When the world appears to be moving through a period of upheaval and uncertainty, the practice of yoga is paramount.
Yoga teaches us mindfulness, self awareness, self agency, and a cultivation of internal peace; all of which have been, and will continue to be profoundly needed. The practice of yoga encourages tolerance and understanding of self, while simultaneously reminding us the self is connected to the world around it. The result?
The more we understand and accept ourselves, the more we will understand and accept the world around us and those with whom we share it.
In a yoga studio, I’ve taken part in and witnessed many conversations between people who normally don’t have the chance to talk. Strangers become yoga pals. People connect on the common ground of the yoga mat. They share everyday pleasantries. Students exchange energy and breath when they flow and move as a unit. Everyone is there seeking some level of self improvement or positive change. Everyone there, whether they are consciously or unconsciously aware of it, is pursuing peace.
I’ve experienced for myself how seeking internal serenity on the mat brings peace into my life and the world around me. I’ve watched my relationship with myself and others mature and become increasingly well balanced. Sure there are bumps in the road, but the practice of yoga makes those bumps easier to manage.
If you practice yoga, you may have participated in the chant “Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti” sometimes used to end class. Om is the primordial, universal sound. Shanti means peace. We close practice with an ancient call for Universal Peace.
It begs the question; how much more sane would the world be if everyone practiced yoga? How much more peace would exist if we filled moments with deep, soothing breath rather than deeply cutting or hurtful words? Whether yoga means meditation, physical asana, controlled breathing, or sitting still long enough to hear and address your own thoughts and feelings, be sure to practice your version of yoga. Now, more than ever, yoga matters. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.
Jelayna is a well certified, passionate yoga teacher. Her love for yoga takes her across the GTA to teach at several studios and multiple clients. Her background in Psychology and College Athletics infuses her classes with a strong understanding of how mind and body function. Whether leading a large outdoor event, a classroom of yogis, or in the home of a client, her philosophy for teaching is simple; teach with love, empathy, patience and humility. Yoga is a journey, not a destination.