Love Your Mother

September 21, 2019

Yesterday I spent a few hours among thousands of kids at the global climate strike, immersed in an ocean of voices, some of which were indigenous, Puerto Rican, and queer. Next to me stood a young non-binary person with an earth drawn on their hand. That to me was the most touching detail of the day.

Since the last presidential election I have found myself in a persistent depressed state about the human condition and our inability to collaborate or make things better on planet earth. And no amount of physical yoga practice or breathing or meditating has helped. The only soothing activity for me has been taking walks in the park and feeling the presence of trees.

For the last seven months I have been collaborating with my coworkers at YogaWorks NYC to form the first labor union for yoga teachers ever. An initiative that started small has now grown to become a community of over 100 teachers. And since we took our effort to the public two weeks ago, that community has expanded as it sparks conversations all over the country regarding the sustainability of the yoga profession.

Being in the process of organizing has shown me what is possible when people come together in support of each other and a common cause. Greta Thunberg has shown to all of us what is possible in a very short time when you persist, speak truth to power, and act from a we-centered place.

Nowadays I consider taking action based on ethics my main yoga practice. And deep down I feel that yogic ethics have always been the central limb of the practice. Why? If yoga is the direct perception of our interconnectedness, then caring for each other, the air-water-soil-plant-animal-human planetary organism, is the logical consequence.

The solutions could be profoundly simple: large scale ecosystem restoration through permaculture design principles, no more subsidies for industries that damage the earth, and a shift from the egocentric mindset that is causing so much divide and disconnect towards eco-centric action.

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