Friday, July 1, 2011

Freedom, Independence and Unity


I love history and look at it as a point of reference when we come together on the mat and see the yoga in all of what we came from so we can arrive in the present moment and fuel our future.

As we head into the belly of the summer and the celebration of this country's 235 birthday, independence and freedom, I initially started this weeks classes with the collective intention to celebrate the freedom within the body as we focus on the structure of the postures.

I love the ability to find such freedom when safety and stability are established first in the physical body.

Much like our country. We need structure in order to find freedom. It's not always a freedom we find fair or agree with. Our country, like our bodies, sometimes rebel against us.

Freedom is a right but a feeling we still battle to maintain.

In 1776, the 13 colonies fought a revolutionary struggle to be free from Great Britain.

On July 2nd, the Continental Congress voted in favor of this independence and adopted Thomas Jefferson's Declaration of Independence.

I love when we have the opportunity to live history as it's happening. Lawmakers voted on Friday, June 24th to legalize same-sex marriage in NY, the largest state where gay and lesbian couples will be able to wed. This gives the national gay rights movement mass momentum from the state where it all began. And, everyone knows that great trends come from NY, so it's only a matter of time before other states follow.

In order to find independence, we must come together. This is yoga.

This is freedom.

And, when I went running on the beach the other day and saw the beach clubs lining the path with all their decorations for their 4th of July celebrations, I watched our great flag wave in the breeze.

I savored the long perfect structured lines in the stripes, red and white.

I smiled at the stars bursting in all directions right next to this perfect structure.

I watched as the flag softly waved in the breeze.

I looked at that flag and felt proud that even looking at the flag that represents our country, I could see yoga.

This is my goal and mission in life - to find yoga in everything and share it with you.

When I can find yoga in everything, you can find yoga in everything and we can LIVE yoga completely on and off our mat, independently and together.

So, in exploring freedom in our classes this week, explore the lines and explore the bursts of excitement.

Use the holiday to deepen our unity - coming together to practice or barbeque.

At the same time - surrender control and stand strong in independence.

Wave your inner flag proudly and celebrate your ability to practice yoga finding the balance in our United States of Being free!

Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress, working together is success. - Henry Ford

So powerful is the light of unity that it can illuminate the whole earth. Baha'u'llah

Alone we can do so little, together, we can do so much. - Hellen Keller

You have freedom when you are easy in your harness. - Robert Frost

Freedom is nothing else but a chance to be better. - Albert Camus

"Our greatest happiness does not depend on the condition of life in which chance has placed us, but is always the result of a good conscience, good health, occupation and freedom in all just pursuits." Thomas Jefferson

“Liberty, taking the word in its concrete sense, consists in the ability to choose." Simone Weil

"Freedom is the oxygen of the soul." Moshe Dayan

"Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom." Albert Einstein

"This, then, is the state of the union: free and restless, growing and full of hope. So it was in the beginning. So it shall always be, while God is willing, and we are strong enough to keep the faith. Lyndon B. Johnson

"You can't separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom." Malcom X

“Life without liberty is like a body without spirit.” Kahlil Gibran

"Only our individual faith in freedom can keep us free." Dwight D. Eisenhower

Nothing is more difficult and therefore more precious than to be able to decide. - Napoleon Bonaparte

Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth. - George Washington

True independence and freedom can only exist in doing what's right. -Brigham Young

Today, you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive that is youer than you. - Dr. Seuss.

Caged birds accept each other but flight is what they long for. - Tennessee Williams

There is no easy walk to freedom anywhere, and many of us will have to pass through the valley of the shadow of death again and again before we reach the mountaintop of our desires. - Nelson Mandela

It's only after you've lost everything that you're free to do anything. - Chuck Palahniuk

The anchor in our world today is freedom, holding us steady in times of change, a symbol of hope to all the world. - George H. W. Bush

Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose. - Janis Joplin

All the great things are simple and many can be expressed in a single word - freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope. - Winston Churchill.

The greatness of a man's power is the measure of his surrender. William Booth

Change is the essence of life. Be willing to surrender what you are for what you could become. ~unknown

All of our reasoning ends in surrender to feeling. Blaisé Pascal

If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other. Mother Teresa

Where there is no struggle, there is no strength. –Oprah Winfrey

No man is great enough or wise enough for any of us to surrender our destiny to. The only way in which anyone can lead us is to restore to us the belief in our own guidance. Henry Miller

Freedom is not the right to do what we want but what we ought and let us have faith that right makes might and in that faith, let us to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it. - Abraham Lincoln

Stars and stripes,


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