In New York City, the city that never sleeps, the concrete jungle we call home, there are moments every day when we wonder, where is the peace? Rushing around from place to place, wearing a million layers, bumping into people, carrying what seems like a ton of things to get through just one day, peace can easily elude us. Thus, it was especially poignant that last night’s MLK Day yoga class was dedicated to peace, both within and without.
We encounter situations in our day to day lives that can cause us to abandon this notion of peace. Our teacher used a metaphor of the subway as a catalyst of stress. Throughout class she proclaimed, “is this your F Train?” She was referring to the idea that, sometimes, in life, (and, literally, on the subway) things go awry. The train might all of a sudden change to an express without any real notice, and you might find yourself 20 minutes off your original plan. These are the moments when peace comes in handy. As the tension grips, and the blood boils, and the plans become further away, the notion of peace becomes a necessary means of survival.
Also, we often make decisions that are not in alignment with peace and love for ourselves. Self-sabotage and putting oneself down are a daily practice for most. If you’ve spent any time in women’s locker room or fitting room, you know what I’m talking about.
In this particular class, we were asked to treat ourselves with as much peace as we needed, to give ourselves a hearty helping of peace. We were advised to add some extra padding, to use a block to help reach the ground, and to actually listen to what our bodies needed. It was a beautiful class filled with a message of world peace and inner peace on a day when we remember an individual who gave his life speaking a message of peace.
If we had any hope of making change in the jungle surrounding us, we had to begin with ourselves. Here’s a little something to get you inspired: