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Yoga Now More Than Ever

By Jiwan Shakti Kaur 

“When you have to say nothing, do nothing, be nothing, then what are you? You know what you are? You are a lighthouse, so nobody else can wreck near you. That is the one thing in life you have to do. Forklift. Spread the light. Be the lighthouse. So every journey, every destiny, every distance can be safe.”
-Yogi Bhajan

We’re living in a moment of profound transformation. The future of planet earth is hinging on a balance. This is not a time to sit by the wayside and tune out; as yogis and healers, we’re being called upon to take the lead, to guide the way, and to help others find their inner strength.

As we look at what’s going on in the world, emotions are running high. Yogi Bhajan taught that it is our birthright to be Healthy, Happy and Holy—and that as Kundalini yogis, it’s our responsibility to teach others that these rights are theirs as well.

So what happens when we see discrimination and racism? How do we respond when we see people being belittled, ostracized, or rejected based on skin color, beliefs, gender, sexual preference, or any of the other countless ways that human beings embody beautiful diversity?

We all can—and should—pray for peace and tolerance, but while necessary, this is not sufficient. We are living in a moment of time that calls for action—for activism rooted in our spiritual understanding of oneness and universality. Kundalini yogis are spiritual warriors, and our spiritual foundation strengthens our movement for progressive change. This calls for strength and steadiness, for compassion and understanding, and for the ability to keep up and share.

So how do we do this? Each and every one of us is being called upon to lead right now, and here are some steps you can take to get there.

  • Sadhana. It’s incredibly important to have a strong daily personal practice. With a regular sadhana, we stay connected to our universal oneness, which keeps us steady. Three minutes, 11 minutes, 31 minutes—do what you can to start, and build up from there. Something is always better than nothing.
  • Teach and participate in group yoga classes. We have power in numbers. When we practice together, we develop group consciousness, and through this group energy, we uplift others, who then uplift others, and so on. Bring people together to share their hopes and fears. Create a safe space so that ALL feel welcome.
  • Chant. Vibrate the Cosmos. Change the vibratory frequency around you, so that others feel it as well.
  • Take action. Yoga and meditation are great stepping stones for concrete actions that we can take to make the world a better place. Talk to students/friends/neighbors/strangers. Write letters, sign petitions. Organize house meetings. Participate in rallies, engage in non-violent resistance, do what it takes to raise consciousness.
  • We all want to create a better world. We want our children to thrive, the environment to be clean, all beings to live safely. We'll get there, but it's going to take a lot of work—yoga and otherwise. Commit. Be the Lighthouse. Rise up to the challenge to be an Aquarian leader.

Jiwan Shakti (Julie Eisenberg) is the owner of Lighthouse Yoga Center (lighthouseyogacenter.com), Washington, DC’s home to Kundalini Yoga. She started practicing yoga in the mid-1990s as a way to decompress from a stressful job. Over the years, as her practice deepened and evolved, Jiwan Shakti began to understand yoga as a tool of personal transformation and empowerment. She is a Level 2 certified Kundalini Yoga Teacher (E-RYT500) and is an Associate Teacher Trainer with the Kundalini Research Institute (KRI). Outside the studio she teaches yoga to the homeless and low-income Spanish-speaking immigrants in Washington, DC and is involved in many community and civic organizations. She also leads local and international retreats and welcomes all participants! Her classes, workshops and retreats are energetic, spiritual and often powerfully transformational.