Shiva Rea: Embodying Peace
Just as courage is the ability to rise up even when there is fear, embodying peace is the ability to emanate peace even when there is conflict or tension in the world or within oneself.
A yoga class or yoga studio is often a place of refuge. Anyone who steps on to the mat has to potential to offer a ripple effect of a positive state of natural peace.
What is it to embody peace in our breath, thoughts, movement, speech, and presence in the world? It is easier when the rhythm is slow but what about when the world heats up in violence? What about when we are under stress or we are holding space for our students who are going through life’s changes – a health challenge, loss, relationship? How can we learn to embody peace when the pace of change is swift, when we are in action, when life is full?
I know many yoga teachers and studio owners who experience stress in the all of the overwhelming administrative pressures that can be part of a yoga teachers life. Our “practice of yoga” becomes tested in the real fire and flow of daily life.
If we look at the consummate yoga guide for peace – the Gita – which takes place on a battlefield, peace (shanty) is the source of happiness as the famous verse 66 asks,”how can there be happiness without peace”.
Peace is an internal wisdom experience of being able to dive underneath the turbulent waves of life to the still waters of the heart. Even in this very moment, we can let go with every exhale for a shortened breath is the breeding ground of reactivity. A slow and present breath flow in a stressful world is the rhythm of embodying peace. Inhaling with peace we receive the greatest nourishment of life. Inhaling with gratitude we know that life is short and that bringing peace to every breath is perhaps one of the greatest simple practices we can experience all day long.
September 21st UN International Peace Day
You can offer you students a yoga practice for peace, as part of the upcoming UN International Peace Day and be part of thousands of events happening over the Sept. 19-21st weekend. Whether you just want to do a peace practice in your class or consider hosting/offering a Global Mala at your studio, consider joining the Global Mala project as yoga practitioners and studios around the world offer 9,12, 54, 108 surya namaskars or meditation or round of universal mantra in a hour – three hour class or event at your studio or in your community. The website www.globalmala.org has all of the info on how to Lead a Yoga Mala for UN International Peace Day.
The goal Global Mala Project to connect the larger community of practitioners beyond any one school or style of yoga to practice forms of a “mala” or 108 for UN International Peace Day to raise consciousness and funds. From large-scale gatherings in Newark, NJ and Washington D.C. to over 40 countries around the world, the Global Mala has continued as an open process that any yoga teacher-studio can join in your own way as a free event or in a regular 1.5 – 3 hour class or as a fundraiser to support any organization that connects to your community.
As the great peacemaker Gandhi has offered, “We must learn to gently shake the world”.
~Shiva Rea, prAna Ambassador
Shiva Rea is a the founder of Samdura Global School for Living Yoga, a pioneer of Prana Vinyasa® , and the catalyst for the Global Mala Project. Her latest book, Tending the Heart Fire – Living in Rhythm with the Pulse of Life is a book of 108 meditations, healing wisdom for embodying the power of our energetic heart. Learn more at www.shivarea.com