Remember the "good old days" in the previous century? You know, the '50s and '60s. Life was rather simple then. For instance, everything you didn't want that came into the house went into the trash. Once a week, along came the garbage truck and took it away. Out of sight, out of mind. and we took delight in a clean and tidy house.
So what has changed? For some, not much. Life goes on as it always has and the garbage is still picked up every week. For others, garbage has taken on a new meaning. There's been an awakening to taking personal responsibility for the state of the environment that include such issue as climate change, dwindling natural resources, declining air, weater and soil quality, and so much more. Trash is now sorted and put into various bins for recycling and certain food scraps are even composted. This requires more time and effort. Life isn't quite so simple anymore. There's often a domino effect as other aspects of life are examined and changes made, such as preparing wholesome meals from real food instead of just putting a few frozen items into the microwave or going to a fast food place for some, dare I say, junk food.
Those seeking a transformation of their life/lifestyle/ way of living have a multitude of choices and sources of how to start. One such source is Yoga. Yoga offers a credible body of study that provides us with a set of guidelines in which to formulate our own beliefs and opinions about anything and everything, and appears to have claim to the earliest recordings of such contemplation with a 3, 5, or even 8 thousand year history. Yoga promotes questioning, discussions and debate, both privately and publicly. A great many people/institutitions, Yoga practitioners included, are in a state of disharmony because they are so focused on being right, on winning, looking good, ect. Yoga, in its fullness, embraces a comprehensive program of health and well being that places equanimity among the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of our being in such a way that, ideally, causes no harm.
It's there for anyone with the interest in making a change in thier life, no matter the age, condition of the body or life situation. It's about self empowerment,, so that we think, act and speak in a manner that promotes cooperation, peacefulness and, yes, love among all inhabitants on the planet. Lofty goals, indeed. Having been in Yoga for 35 years, I believe that in its full scope of operation, yoga is the best guidebook on how to transform one's self into their greatest self. It offers us a place to start so that we might truly make a difference in this world. Is it worth the time and effort? The history of human behavior on planet Earth indicates we can do a lot better. Why not start today!
First printed in Traverse Bay Family Magazine Autumn 2014