Stop and think for a moment how you feel when you’re on your yoga mat. Any feelings of animosity? Anger? Hostility? When you’ve concluded your practice, chances are, if the yogis and scientific studies are correct, you’re in a better place. Your mind has found a little more peace than it had when you began. And where else does the world begin to find that peace than with each individual who will contribute to it?
Yoga mats aren’t weekend retreats for self-betterment, nor are they legislative gambits resulting in aid to disenfranchised populations, but they are nonetheless places where peace can take root and blossom into a state of mind that can have world-altering effects. While you’re struggling to hold that Tree Pose as still as the live oaks of Savannah, your mind is in a place of calm, of good will. While your body is being trained to obey your mind, and to do your bidding without even being told, your spirit is also becoming more connected to that which grounds all living things.
The Yoga Mat Life is not one to be undertaken without a full understanding of the implications it can have on you and those with whom you come in contact. Seriously, it can really change your life. Maybe you’ve already discovered this; maybe you’re skeptical. Either way, once the endeavor is undertaken, the result will be, if nothing more, a stronger sense of peace within yourself – it really will – and when you miss a day on your yoga mat, you’ll feel it. Any practice which helps to ground you will be missed when it falls victim to the demands of the urgent.
In the midst of a season where so many are focused on giving things to each other, where many feel the pain of loss or loneliness, where some of us feel the inhuman sufferings of millions of others less fortunate than we, wouldn’t it be a good idea to spend a little extra time on that yoga mat? Perhaps instead of a gift basket or wine club subscription, this year you could give someone important to you a yoga mat and an invitation to join you in a practice that will have a very real impact on their lives. In this very small way, peace on Earth can begin with you.