As 2013 draws to close, I like to reflect on what I accomplished over the year and what influenced my yoga practice and my life. In the wake of the Lululemon Chip Wilson debacle, I have learned a lot about the evolution of yoga.
I practiced yoga before Lululemon was synonymous with yoga wear; before there were expensive yoga mats and yoga studios on every street corner. I was practicing my breathing before yoga was a function of beauty as opposed to an act of self-care. Yoga started for me as a way to slow down and calm my nerves. As a young black child growing up in an all-white school, I was tormented and it was hard.
Yoga saved me. My mom taught me how to breathe and look past the cruelty of young children who were taught to hate what was different than themselves. It gave me peace of mind.
Move Towards Inclusion and Compassion
As we move forward into the future, my hope and my dream is that we continue to implement the message that the practice gives us. It is a message of love, compassion, balance, togetherness, focus and understanding. As the practice continues to evolve and more of us come to our mat, I see a shift in consciousness. Most people are much more aware of their actions towards others. We are becoming more sensitive to the people around us.
I see more opportunities being created for inclusion within the practice. This year, yoga became a tool that schools used in the state of California to help kids manage their stress and enhance their lives.
Focus On The Message Of Yoga
If we can look beyond the mainstream images of people doing yoga in popular yoga publications and focus on who the true practitioners are, and what it's really about, you will see that yoga comes from all walks of life. Yoga knows no boundaries. If you truly practice self-care and self-awareness, anyone can sit and breathe and learn. We learn that ALL people can benefit from this practice.
As we evolve as a culture, we must focus on being balanced, more inclusive, more compassionate, more understanding and more loving.
As we draw closer to 2014 how will you evolve?