" You must be the change you want to see in the world" ~ Mahatma Gandhi
We all dream of changes. Most changes incorporate the Mind, Body, and Spirit. Yoga is a chance to manifest these changes. Taking the time to sit on your mat in meditation, flow through your asana practice, and even go through some breathing exercises (pranayama) are all little changes that inevitably can change your individual world and the world at large. Extending your Yoga practice beyond the mat, beyond the peace of your favorite Yoga studio, and even beyond the comfort of your most treasured place of tranquility and then taking it out onto the NYC subway...that is a way to make your Yoga practice an extension of your soul.
A Meditation (Dhyana) practice can uncover peace and serenity in a busy city like NYC. On a crowded, rush hour subway, take a minute to change your outlook from within. With focus on your silent breath, cultivating an inner state of gratitude, and being thoughtful of fellow commuters we can extend our meditation practice beyond the mat. The peace we find within can change the entire experience.
Asana practice can also be taken on the crowded subway. Focus on a single point (drishti), rooting your feet down, engaging your abdominal (locks/bandhas) and allowing yourself to BALANCE. On your feet and not on your hands or head of course. But this is taking your Yoga beyond the mat to create change in an otherwise frustrating experience.
Finally, regardless of religion, Love is the common thread of our universal fabric. Love is found in compassion to a pregnant woman in need of a seat, in gratitude when thanking a fellow rider who makes space for you, in charity when sharing some pocket change with a person less fortunate, and in humility when we apologize in the event we step on another commuters feet.
Our Yoga practice can inspire the change we wish to see in the world. It can be as simple changing our thoughts. It is more than achieving the most fierce Yoga Pose (Asana). It is an inner peace, a kind perspective, and joy that begins within and extends beyond the mat.