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  • Tiffany Baker

Opening the Yoga Circle


It's time for yoga to evolve. We talk a lot about "opening" in yoga: opening the heart, opening space in the body, opening our minds. One meaning of yoga is "to yoke" or to form union. I believe that we need to take yoga off our mats, get out of our own heads, and use our practice to connect more than our hearts and our bodies, but to connect to one another. To practice yoga is to practice the art of non-judgmental witnessing, but it isn't enough to stop there. We need to use that non-judgmental space to allow for and to foster change--in our own minds, in our communities, in our personal lives, in our nation. To be a yogi is to commit to walking the path of the humble warrior. To be a yogi is to be flexible on and off our mats. To be a true yogi has nothing to do with contorting yourself into wild poses and everything to do with developing the grace to maintain your balance in turbulent times and the strength to change your position when you need to without losing your center. To learn to be kind and forgiving to yourself is a radical and worthy act, but ONLY IF we open that circle and extend that kindness and forgiveness to others. Going forward, I will be donating to Prison Yoga Chicago, an organization which brings the practice of yoga to the incarcerated population of Chicago. To practice yoga is a privilege that should be afforded to all people, all races, all incomes, all genders, bodies, and sexual orientations. The universe is wide and wonderful. Our yoga should be, too. Be well. Be just. Be fierce. Be free.

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