It is a core teaching of Yoga and ancient philosophies worldwide that the outer world is a reflection of the inner. We all have a responsibility to look within and see our role in being creators, sustainers and destroyers of violence and injustice.
With eyes of compassion and understanding we must look at our anger, attachments, jealousy, fear, anxiety and all mental habits that create and perpetuate injustice. We must look at our shadows. Let them speak to us and let us listen like mothers consoling a crying child. It’s okay. Let the shadows surface and embrace them. Shadow comes from light. When you embrace the shadow, you touch the lesson, the reason, the source. What you embrace shifts. What you resist, persists. Embrace the seeds of violence, separation and injustice that are within you and there will be space for a different way.
If you do not have a practice to look within, do not call yourself a yogi. If you are interested in learning yoga, find a teacher that can guide you. If you are a yoga teacher and are not sure how to guide your students in this way, find a training to help you. If you run a yoga business and have a platform of followers, remember and remind your students that we do yoga to train our minds so that we can be useful in the world.
As immense injustice and violence continues, we have a responsibility to look at the seeds of injustice that we carry within, bring them to the surface, speak about them in our communities and awareness will lead us to next steps.
Just as each person’s practice is different, so is each person’s way to serve. No judgement. No comparison. No set way. I’m not saying that every yogi has to go march in protests. Serve in the way that your heart calls you to, always. But, do the inner work. The inner work will make the shift between your actions being effective or not.
If you are interested in training with me, come to Ishta Yoga in New York City September 22-24, 2017. Doing deep internal work with the support of a community makes all the difference.
Reema Datta will be at ISHTA Yoga from September 22nd-24th to lead Yatri: Yoga for Emotional Healing Training
Bio: Author, speaker, mother and teacher, Reema Datta was born into a family of yogis. A graduate of Vassar College and The London School of Economics, Reema left her life working for the United Nations in 2001 and has been teaching Yoga and Ayurveda internationally since 2002. She teaches 200 and 300-hour Yoga Alliance certified teacher trainings that use Indian and Tibetan Yoga as well as Psychotherapies to move through kleshas, the Sanskrit word for “mind poisons.” Major kleshas include anger, attachment, anxiety, depression and fear. www.reemadatta.com